Gov. Janet Mills released details of a $71 million spending plan Wednesday that includes new funding for public safety and mental health initiatives in the wake of the state’s deadliest mass shooting.

The proposal would add to the current $10.34 billion biennial state budget and comes as Maine is anticipating an additional $265 million in revenue through the fiscal year ending in June 2025.

The governor is asking that $107 million of the additional revenue be set aside for future state spending and is proposing some one-time spending for other initiatives.

“This proposal strikes the balance between making timely investments to address urgent needs – like public safety, mental health, housing, education, and health care – and saving money to ensure that our state continues to stand on strong fiscal footing in the future,” Mills said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with the Legislature in the coming months to arrive at a budget that protects our fiscal health and that makes prudent investments to support the health, safety and welfare of Maine people.”



In the wake of the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston, Mills has proposed a package of gun safety measures that will result in legislation that is expected to be unveiled in the coming days. She said Wednesday that she is using her supplemental budget proposal to complement the legislation with investments in public safety and mental health.

The funding includes $1 million to establish an Injury and Violence Prevention Program at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to track data and examine violence through a public health lens, as well as $950,000 in one-time funding to establish a crisis receiving center in Lewiston to respond to people going through mental health crisis.

The center also would be supported by $450,000 in ongoing funding while the Department of Health and Human Services works to establish a statewide network of crisis receiving centers, modeled after one that already exists in Portland, to better meet behavioral health needs.

The governor also is calling for $2.8 million to support mobile crisis response teams that would respond to the location of a person experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, $200,000 to promote Maine’s safe firearms storage program and $5.5 million to hire more state police troopers and officers.

And her proposal asks for $422,400 to support a surge in mental health assessments being performed under the state’s yellow flag law, which police had used infrequently before the Lewiston shooting but now are using on average once per day.

It also would establish a Maine Mass Violence Care Fund using $5 million in one-time funding to cover physical and mental health out-of-pocket expenses that are connected to mass violence events and are not covered by insurance.


And it provides $6 million in one-time funding to address a federal funding shortfall for victims’ services, including domestic violence and sexual assault services, and victim witness advocates. Maine lawmakers also are considering a separate bill, L.D. 2084, to fill the federal funding shortfall.

The proposal includes funding to address a recent spate of damaging storms in coastal and central Maine, including $5 million to help communities create local plans to respond to extreme weather through the Community Resilience Partnership, $15 million for disaster recovery costs and $6 million to repair damage to state parks, historic sites and public lands.

The investments are in addition to standalone legislation the governor is proposing to invest $50 million in the Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund to help communities rebuild infrastructure and enhance climate resiliency.


The governor’s proposal also includes previously announced investments in homelessness and housing, child safety and welfare, and funds to address the opioid crisis.

Those investments include $16 million for the Emergency Housing Relief Fund to ensure that warming shelters, lower-barrier shelters, longer-term shelters and transitional housing programs can remain open and operating, and $10 million for the Affordable Homeownership Program, an amount that is estimated to help build more than 130 new homes.


The governor is proposing to create targeted positions to support child caseworkers and has authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to implement additional recruitment and retention payments for child welfare workers this year.

And the budget directs $750,000 in existing state funds to add nine substance use disorder recovery coaches statewide, $1.25 million in federal funds to boost the distribution of the overdose-reversing medication naloxone and $4 million to expand medication assisted treatment in county jails to help people battling addiction.

It also provides for $22.6 million in general purpose school funding so the state can continue to pay the required 55% of education costs and $25 million to support the implementation of a plan to improve Child Development Services.


The governor’s proposal is being referred to the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, which will schedule hearings to consider the bill and consult other committees as needed.

Democratic leaders in the Legislature largely expressed support for Mills’ proposal as a good starting place Wednesday, while Republicans said they need more details and time to study the proposal before weighing in.


“Today we received the governor’s outline for her supplemental budget proposal,” Republican leaders in the House and Senate said in a joint statement. “Similar to her prior budget requests, we look forward to reviewing it once final details become available.”

“This is a supplemental budget that makes good on some of the key commitments the state has made to families, schools and municipalities, which is what Maine people expect and deserve from their government,” Christine Kirby, a spokesperson for Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, said in an email.

“In addition, in response to the horrific Lewiston shooting, the governor has prioritized some key initiatives that will improve access to mental health services, and provide critical funding for victims’ services and disaster relief. These are all good things and responsive to what we are hearing from communities all across our state.”

At the same time, Kirby said Jackson and Senate Democrats are looking to build on the proposal and address emerging issues like wages for teachers, support staff and rural state police troopers, and child care affordability.

House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, was reviewing the budget proposal, a spokesperson said.

“She commends Gov. Mills for her ongoing commitment to vital investments in housing, education and child welfare, but as they negotiate the final spending proposal there are still many urgent needs to be met,” Mary-Erin Casale said in an email.

House Majority Leader Mo Terry, D-Gorham, said in a statement that Mills’ proposal builds on historic investments the Legislature made in 2023 to support working families.

And Assistant House Majority Leader Kristen Cloutier, D-Lewiston, lauded the proposal for its support of victims of violent crimes, including those impacted by the mass shooting in her home city.

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