Gov. Janet Mills said recently that all of the relief checked should be delivered by the end of March.
In this Oct. 5, 2022, file photo, Lucinda Tyler and Aaron Raymo sit outside their home with fuel containers they used to fill their heating oil tank at their home in Jay. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The state finance office said nearly 60 percent of recently approved energy relief payments have been mailed to eligible Maine residents as of Friday.

The $450 checks were approved by the Legislature in early January after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills proposed them in an emergency bill.

The governor has described the payments as a bandage to address soaring heating and electricity costs as policymakers seek long-term solutions to volatile energy prices.

Her nearly half-billion dollar proposal is drawn from the state surplus, and it’s expected that 880,000 Maine tax filers will receive a payment.

The payments are exempt from state taxes and are designed to be exempt from federal income taxes, although the IRS has not yet made a determination.

The agency recently determined that state-issued pandemic and inflation payments are exempt.

Mills said during her recent budget address that she expects all of the checks will be delivered by the end of March.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.