AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 29. Traditionally, AFA has met during the off-session to discuss and receive updates on matters related to its jurisdiction. The committee will also monitor the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on essential government functions funded by public dollars. The meeting will be broadcast over the Legislature’s audio system. Additional organizational details will be released in a separate message.

Speaker Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“Whether in Augusta or from our communities, the Legislature has been hard at work on behalf of our constituents to address their concerns and find solutions that balance the economy and public health. As we look forward, we know the anticipated economic downturn will create incredible hardships across the State. Our Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee must take the lead and work to ensure we have the tools necessary to both secure and support our recovery. I strongly believe that we will be better served if we continue our work together to face this historic challenge.”

Senate President Troy Jackson released the following statement:

“All across the state, Maine people are reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. I know because I’ve spent every day since the Legislature adjourned talking to constituents, small business owners and local officials. With an economic downturn around the corner, Mainers are scared and rightfully so. Fortunately, in the last year, my colleagues and I put together a bipartisan budget that put money aside for savings, growing our Rainy Day Fund to historic levels. While none of us saw this crisis coming, Maine is in a stronger position to weather the storm. This week, the Legislature’s budget committee will roll up their sleeves and begin laying out a way forward.”

Senator Cathy Breen, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee released the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put the health and safety of our family, friends, and neighbors in jeopardy, as well as our economy. However, Maine has learned from the 2008 recession. We’ve passed strong, responsible, bipartisan budgets, and we’ve built up healthy reserves for this moment. Now that Maine has a better handle on the public health crisis, it’s time for the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee to meet. Together, we will review the latest economic report, take stock of our finances and savings, and look at how we can leverage federal funding to support Maine people, small businesses, and communities.”

Rep. Drew Gattine, House Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee released the following statement:

“Mainers across the state are feeling the impact of this public health crisis and it is critical that our state government be on the best possible financial footing to respond to the needs of our neighbors. We know that the downturn in economic activity will result in a sharp reduction in state revenues. It is our job to track state spending, monitor revenue collections and support efforts to help our communities begin the long process of economic recovery. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee and with the Mills’ Administration to put Maine on track to a full recovery from this crisis and a prosperous future.”

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