AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature’s appropriations committee unanimously approved a supplemental budget early Friday that includes $850 payouts to more than 850,000 residents amid inflation worries.
The budget tracks closely with Gov. Janet Mill’s proposal and would return more than half of a state budget surplus topping $1 billion to qualifying residents in the form of one-time checks.
The budget also creates a fund to address PFAS contamination, invests in education and delivers property tax relief.
The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee worked late into the evening before delivering their unanimous vote early Friday.
The committees co-chairs praised the panel’s Republicans and Democrats for working to establish consensus.
“This is what Maine people expect from their government — collaboration and common sense,” said Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth.
The governor originally proposed $500 checks, then $750 checks, then $850 checks, as the surplus grew. The current projections called for a budget surplus topping $1 billion through June 2023.
The full Legislature will take up the budget in the coming days. Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn on Wednesday.