Last night during her State of The State address, Maine Governor Janet Mills made mention of the state's projected $822 million surplus, and her tentative plans for the money.

Part of the Governor's plan is to return some of the money immediately back to Mainers. Though the population of the State is just over 1.3 million, there are an estimated 800,000 current Maine taxpayers. These are the people that would qualify for the $500 checks per person.

According to the Kennebec Journal, Mills made mention to her 'friends across the aisle', crediting Maine Republicans with the idea of sending the money to Maine taxpayers. Though it's currently just a tentative plan, early indications are that the State Legislature would quickly approve the measure.

After $500 checks go out to the Maine taxpayers, there would be about $411 million left in the surplus. Mills laid out a plan that would pump a majority of those funds into things like childcare assistance, high speed internet access and potentially up to two years of free community college.

During her speech Mills also made reference to the progress Maine has made during the COVID-19 pandemic saying,

“Our presence in this chamber tonight is a sign of progress, of recovery – a step forward in our march towards normalcy and stability, especially from where we have been. We have arrived at yet another inflection point in this winding pandemic, a hopeful moment as we welcome downward trends and declining hospitalizations; a warmer, brighter spring as we emerge from a cold, dark winter.”

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