Direct Checks for Mainers Part of Legislatures Emergency Heating Assistance Legislation
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Heating assistance will be a top priority for Maine’s legislature when they convene on Wednesday, Newssource 8′s Corey Bouchard learns more about what those plans may consist of, including direct payments to Mainers.
Senate President Troy Jackson says " We have an opportunity to do something that I think everyone realizes is really important in swearing in day and what we are trying to do is get money back out to people who need assistance.”
Senate President Troy Jackson says the need for action is dire, that’s why both Democratic and Republican Leadership has been meeting with Governor Janet Mills to come to an agreement on an estimated $447 million Emergency legislation, and Jackson says those conversations are positive.
” I would say the conversations have been going fine but i think we need to knuckle down and get everything ready for wenesday and do it”
The Legislation would include around $50 Million for Heating Assistance Programs, $15 million for Emergency Housing and Shelters and direct relief payments to individual Mainers.
President Jackson added ”They’ll definitely be less than what we did earlier and less people would be effected by it but we’re talking anywhere from $400-$500 going out and that’s based on what we have for extra revenue coming in”
While this plan is not finalized or approved yet, if guidelines remain similar to a leaked draft version of the plan, people would be eligible for the payments if they make less than $75,000 as someone who filed their taxes as single or $150,000 if they filed as married filing jointly. Jackson says if they are able to pass the legislation on Wednesday, payments could start arriving pretty quickly.
” My best estimate is 2-3 weeks I wouldn’t want to lock the state in that but i think that would be a real goal that they could get out in 2-3 weeks”
If the legislature isn’t able to pass the emergency legislation on Wednesday, they would need to wait until january when the legislature returns before they are able to hold another vote, Corey Bouchard, NS8.
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