Maine ‘State of the State’ Address - Recap / Reactions

State of the State
State of the State(MGN)
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Maine (WAGM) - Governor Janet Mills held her State of the State Address last night in front of the Maine Legislature...Newssource 8′s Corey Bouchard recaps some of the main parts of the speech and has reaction from our state senators.


In her State of the State address to the Maine legislature, Gov. Mills described what she sees as progress and perseverance after enduring two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

GOV MILLS : “We’ve been through some diffucult and dangerous times these past 23 months. this state and this nation have endured a time like none other”

She reviewed many aspects of how her administration handled the pandemic, including the state’s high vaccination rate and low death rate, as well as her work being done to start returning to a form of normal

GOV MILLS " and today we focus not on telling people what they cannot do, we focus on telling people what they can and should do”

A sentiment that was echoed by Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew

Commissioner Lambrew " But I think the Governor used the word Hope, but i think we are hopefully getting to the part of the pandemic where we can expect the unexpected... We still have work to do, we know our hospitals still have patients with COVID-19, our long term care facilities still have people that are stressed”

Another point addressed by the Governor is that the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” has more than doubled during her administration.

GOV MILLS “Half a billion dollars – the highest it has ever been!”

The Governor reaffirmed her idea that has bipartisan support, including from Senator Trey Stewart, to rebate half of the states $822 Million Dollars in checks of around $500 to more than 800,000 Maine Tax Payers

Sen. Stewart " I think that some Direct Payments makes sense, especially given that folks are paying more for goods than they have in the years past.

But direct payments are one of the only proposals the governor made that republicans support, notably staying seated and silent during applause from the democrats on several issues.

Sen Stewart " It’s all about Spend Spend Spend, the inflation rates just came out, theyre at a 40 year high”

One of those plans for spending included expanding broadband statewide, which Governor Mills said was ‘No longer a luxury, but a necessity’

GOV MILLS " I pledge to you tonight that every person in maine who wants to connect to high speed internet will be able to do so by 2024, just two short years from now”

While Senate President Troy Jackson agree’s with the Governor, He’s not quite sure about the timetable.

SEN. JACKSON " Im hopeful, It seems very aggressive in some respects to feel like we can do that in two years, but it’s big time needed, you know to attract people to rural maine.”

Other topics covered by the Governor included ; Expanding Childcare, Free Community College Tuiton, Expanding Affordable Housing, and Working to solve Maine’s Employment Crisis... To watch the Full Speech, as well as read Senate President Troy Jackson and the Senate Republican’s Responses, go to our website, Corey Bouchard, Newssource 8.


“The Education Sustainability Fund – the title sounds great. I don’t know what it does,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kathleen Dillingham of Oxford told Maine Public afterward. “I’d like the details before we talk about that. And certainly comments about high-speed internet by 2024 – wonderful if that can happen, but I’d need to see the details in what we are talking about.”

“The speech she gave tonight, you would think Maine was in the most rosy spot in the whole wide world,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Jeff Timberlake of Turner. “We didn’t hear tonight about the problems that DHHS is having with children, with 31 deaths over the last few years. Transparency has been a real problem. … All of these ideas are good. We look forward to looking at them as a whole package.”

Courtesy of: Maine Public

Senate President Troy Jackson:

“To begin 2022 on solid financial footing with an $822 million surplus marks a huge sigh of relief after the past two years. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean we are out of the woods, nor does it mean that working Maine families and small businesses aren’t struggling to get by. Mainers are counting on us to rein in the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, provide relief for energy and utility bills, invest in good-paying jobs, support our critical care workers and tackle rising property taxes. Sure, we’ve made progress on some of these issues but our work is far from over.

“Tonight, Governor Mills made clear that she is committed to working with all of us — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — to get things done and give Mainers the life they deserve. Tonight, she committed to fully funding school meals, paying our child care workers more and providing relief to Maine people on utility bills. We also heard proposals to invest in our workforce and expand access to education. This must be the start of our work, not the end.

“I know addressing these challenges won’t be easy but these issues are too important to let get caught up in partisan politics. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with Governor Mills, Speaker Fecteau and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to deliver for Mainers.”

Courtesy of: Senate President Troy Jackson

Copyright 2022 WAGM. All rights reserved.