Lincoln Jeffers, Director of Economic and Community Development for the city of Lewiston stands across from city hall on May 7, 2020. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A new state Economic Recovery Committee established by Gov. Janet Mills includes two state lawmakers who live 20 miles apart in the rolling hills northwest of Lewiston.

State Rep. Joshua Morris Submitted photo

State Sen. Lisa Keim of Dixfield and state Rep. Joshua Morris of Turner, both Republicans, are among the 37 members appointed Wednesday to a panel that’s supposed to offer guidance on how Maine can minimize the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lincoln Jeffers, the economic development director in Lewiston, was also tapped as a municipal representative for the panel charged with developing recommendations to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy from the pandemic.

“It’s really a wonderful opportunity,” Jeffers said.

Mills also named the state’s congressional members as ex-officio members of the panel, among them U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat.

Mills said the committee, which includes representatives from a wide range of interests, should issue a preliminary report to “guide our economic recovery” by July 15.

Jeffers said he is honored to have the chance to “to try to help figure out how to do this safely and appropriately.”

State Sen. Lisa Keim Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

She told the panel to “gather input from experts and industry sector representatives on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Maine’s economy and offer specific policy recommendations to mitigate those impacts.”

Co-chairing the committee will be Laurie Lachance, the state’s former chief economist who serves as president of Thomas College in Waterville, and Josh Broder, the chief executive of Tilson, a company in Portland.

The panel is not supposed to address public health issues, including the time frame to reopen businesses and other establishments.

Instead, Mills’ office said, it should “provide guidance on the importance of good public health as a precondition for good economic growth.”

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