tv Maine Governor Delivers the State of the Budget Address CSPAN February 25, 2021 7:24pm-8:01pm EST
>> erica armstrong dunbar, sunday 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> you are watching cspan2, a unfiltered view of government. cspan2 brought to you by these television companies who provide cspan2 to viewers as a public service during his state of the budget address main governor talked about covid-19 testing and vaccine distribution. you know there's never been a better time than a may 19 look at the stars. man from ashley look like gary cooper show me to it find an orion television series the
discovery channel sought a map at that memory of my grandfather's loving voice. his outstretched arms to point to young eyes to the deep sky. it's not google alone will shows how to live today. not facebook, instagram, twitter will teach us how to love, will teach us wisdom and compassion. it is experience, resilience, and importantly, perseverance. the perseverance of a farmer prevents through a lot these past few months you and i am perseverance will see us through these times to matter who we are or where we live. our entire state has been through so much this year. our whole country. we have been tested a deadly terror invaded our nation and indeed the globe. our border with canada worlds
longest closed for the first time ever. cruise ships canceled, classrooms close, graduation celebrated large open, weddings postponed were eight paper or in broad daylight, threaten the lives of hundreds of livelihoods of thousands. lunchrooms and popular restaurants were limited to take out and curbside pickup. hotels restores operated unheralded losses. souvenir shops, water slides, annual fairs, auto races, church services basement games, football contest all dramatically and drastically modified and transformed or canceled. at the same time law enforcement officers in minneapolis laying a firestorm of protests across the country including many here in maine,
proclaiming loudly that black lives matter. a general election challenge authority to adapt and brought out the largest turnout in maine history with more than 62% voting absentee in advance. including one that had to-year-old of rockport who is now seen her 26 the presidential election. and on the national level a presidential contest seem to test our sanity, even the durability of our democratic institutions. everything we have known, everything that seems familiar and so much canceled, modified restricted. we had new words to define it bible, cohort, flatten the curve, super spreader, surge, social distancing, positivity right other words of taken on new meeting his popularity like pivot, variance, you are
on use, and of course his doom. more importantly however, now i have to million americans have died with covid-19. nationally those lies include notables like herman cain, charlie pride, john prine, annie glenn, larry king, and the newly elected speaker of the house in new hampshire, dick hinch. in maine we lost more than 650 people. friends, loved ones, neighbors. each with a life that had meaning, purpose, people like rhonda johnson, father of five former major league baseball player, coach, manager of the sea dogs. people like kirk kelsey member of the historic wash born family that includes israel washburn, governor at the start of the civil war. dozens of named veterans, gunmen, mechanics died without
family never set their bed site, without color guards or taps played at their memorial services. here's like ron fleury, 94 years old who served in the navy in world war ii. and doctor jim also world war ii veteran dropped out of high school to join the war effort and later enjoyed the big dance banners on orchard beach. period another great hero died this year. hank aaron the right fielder who broke a babe ruth's home run record in 1974 pretty holds the record for the most pics. but a year later he broke another equally important record. surpassing babe ruth in rbis, ending his crew runs batted in , that baseball great to grip at a family too poor to buy a baseball bat, a black man who face hate and adversity did not just revel in the solo performance of rome homerun hitting in the limelight, no,
his greater accomplishment i think was rewarding to bring his teammates home one after the other, a home run, win a ballgame once in a while but more often it's the steady work of ace hit after base hit. it effort driven by many rather than just one that wins the games. wheat to our team of multitalented players, some known for the homerun hitting power or timely base hits. others for tracking down the deep flyball or pinch running the bases. but all in their own ways contribute to the success of the team. one team of many some face adversity day after day the contribute to our success. nurses, bus drivers, cna, teachers and add text
>> bruits and distillers have made craft distillery shipping hand sanitizer and others produce facemask land face shields. we have produced public service as a public health precautions. and internet devices for needy schoolchildren. the main association started fishermen feeding program to buy fish directly from fishermen handing it off to cut in package and freeze to feed hungry people and the state was happy to help with that effort.
i applied the 3000 hospitality workers offered by the main community college system to protect maine visitors and people alike. innovation keep us safe and ingenuity and perseverance. this is maine people working together. my administration is helping with the legislature to rally the forces necessary to help people suffering job losses. getting food to schoolchildren and building our team of health professionals to protect maine families from this dangerous virus. my administration implemented public health and safety measures scaling up and down when we believe the circumstances demanded it.
we directed people to wear masks in public or safety protection in a paper mill and watch gathering and you did. we then went to work to distribute the main economy and aid maine people who are in desperate need. we distributed more than 255 million and avoid large tax hikes to small businesses. 600-dollar payments to 40000 unemployed people who are about to lose benefits. $20million rental assistance to preventive action. nine.$3 million at home learning devices hotspots and wi-fi for 21000 students to bemoan one - - to learn remotely without access.
local broadband providers built out broadband infrastructure to deliver high-speed internet to more than 700 students in rural maine. $20million of federal he spends an 18 million and farmers and food banks partnered with towns and cities allocating 13,000,004 they keep maine healthy program with the educational initiatives. including beach ambassadors who kept maine people safe during beach season. these are working. hhs adjusted for population maine second lowest in the nation and covid hospitalization, third lowest of cases, fourth lowest of deaths of covid-19. seven to the nation the positivity rate is second lowest in the country. and right now maine is in the
top tier of states of the distribution vaccine. and that has compelled us to make hard choices. like nearly every state with healthcare professionals and through police firefighters and other first responders to when the emergency response is to remain strong. if we have another surge life-saving professionals would be there for us and then each state must consider which unique circumstances.
the lowest of any in the country and though people are exposed to the public to a large extent the larger people are much more likely to get sick and die if they contracted the virus. was easy to verify the status. our fundamental goal is to protect our most vulnerable and that's why we do it by vaccinating those 70 and older. thinks due to hhs, maine health, hospitals, healthcare providers, more than 200,000 people have received their first dose of vaccine. 15 percent of the population and those that have literally than not out of the house in months not hug degree in child or had coffee at their best friend in the sense of relief
they have is palpable. now maine is among the top 20 states in the nation for shots and arms. it hasn't been easy with the greatest vaccination in history especially in a rural state. the road ahead is still difficult but now we are in a race between vaccination and the emergence of more contagious variant and then to welcome all children back to the classroom and to restaurant stores and stadiums and auditoriums in theaters and museums and playing fields. as always we start with facts and science and base decisions how we can accomplish the most groups for the most people. with all things covid to the
hardest working smartest and most ethical professionals i have ever worked with. hhs commissioner and cdc director. the pandemic has hit the economy pretty hard. but it is recovering building supplies and consumer sales and operating sales, retail sales are up. home sales reaching record high in 2020 and maine is one of the safest states in the nation. they know we have a strong public health focus was some of the best covid-19 statistics in the nation as well as the lowest violent crime rate of the lowest property crime rate low prison rate, unmatched national resources and quality of life that is the envy of many. housing sales rose 31.5 percent the median sales
price jumped 15 percent since december 2019. one out of three sales went to out-of-state buyers. maine four.6 percent growth of construction during the pandemic according to the associated general contractors of america. the increase of construction was at highest in the nation. we bring highest of all new england states to returning to pre- pandemic economic activity according to cnn back to normal index. all the welcome news some are still hurting and persevering. there is much more to be done starting with the state budget that carries forward the work we began two years ago on healthcare, education and the economy in response to public health needs exacerbated by the pandemic. from the beginning my
administration works to make more healthcare affordable to see a doctor, medications and support families. from the beginning we focused on improving public education so every child no matter the zip code has the same chance of success. we focused on expanding economic opportunity for people across the state. those priorities were strongly reflected in the first budget to rebuild public health infrastructure protecting safety and voter approved medicaid expansion providing health care to 70000 people and investing in public schools to raise minimum teacher salaries. we increase our ability to protect children from abuse and neglect budgeted for the most vulnerable and focused on economic development to attract good paying jobs to
maine. this hasn't changed those priorities but underscore the importance and the importance of our investing in them now is the time to maintain these investments like many states, last spring we faced a significant budget shortfall caused by the pandemic. back crafting a budget was challenging. we curb spending without sacrificing aid to education or laying off state employees, without diminishing the basic social safety net or hampering covid-19 response. it worked. as a result of those actions we took early on, with the help of several funds that senator collins and keying in a representatives deserve great credit, we close the gap m presented comprehensive
knowledge one - - balanced budget proposals to the legislature. they have basic goals to beat back the pandemic to keep people healthy and saving lives, fund education, to maintain a stable economy getting people back to work. the budgets continue cost-saving measures while protecting the vital services of which mean people rely. this includes $3 million for health and environmental testing lab maine immunization program, public health emergency response program.
$5million covid-19 testing, vaccine, support services for people and quarantine. 45million of additional funds k-12 making progress to a minimum teacher salary of $40000. helping school districts manage in-person remote and learning options during the pandemic. if approved this increase will be the highest level of funding for education never. $6million function 29 with adults disabilities and 29 million medicaid stabilization fund to protect basic healthcare during the strata challenging time. increases for nursing facilities, residential facilities for children and adults those with intellectual disabilities and other providers seven.5 million for substance abuse and mental health community mental health, $2 million for the options initiative so we can dispatch mobile response teams to communities with high rates of drug overdoses more
important than ever before given the increase of overdose death during the pandemic and $82 million of tax relief are all means small businesses that have the paycheck protection program including complete relief 99.1 percent and significant impartial relief for the left and those that got more than $1 million. in all my budget proposal will hold steady during the pandemic and to maintain the states relationship with county and administrative units to receive more than one third of all appropriations. i heard the calls of those who say we should enact sweeping budget cuts. i agree they cannot be all things to all people and cannot solve all of our
problems or just the needs of all people. but history has shown we cannot cut our way to prosperity. people depend on us to protect children to safeguard education and protect the most vulnerable of our citizens. i will not walk away or abandon in their time of greatest need especially out of work through no fault of their own because of a worldwide pandemic. i have heard also the calls of those who say spend more even dipping into her savings. this i also believe we should not do. when you have a fever you don't say now get up and run a lap and do 100 push-ups. recovery, getting back into shape is not immediate and the course is not always predictable but the budget
provides basic continuity and consistency and stability. something our state needs at this time it is focused on recovery. there is more to do. during the pandemic the focus on healthcare education and the economy. i went to diversify provide good paying jobs in every corner of the state an opportunity for all families every maine child see it simply not as vacationland is a great place to live year-round and work and raise a family i will young people to know they don't have to leave the state to get a first-class education or find work that is gratifying and financially rewarding and useful were to give us more plumbers and carpenters and nurses and entrepreneurs that work with ai or design without having to leave the state for
silicon valley. we will build back maine and a bigger and brighter future. where do we start? our ten year economic development plan along the recommendations that i convened last year point the way we need a strong vibrant skilled workforce here in maine throughout good paying jobs intellectual plumbing work construction and manufacturing and healthcare life sciences and clean energy jobs are going unfilled. we have to connect the worst force with those jobs and make an investment at the same time that's why my administration will lay out a back to work bond asking for $25 million party hearing with the education centers and committee colleges to provide equipment and train skilled workers in high-growth
industries including manufacturing and clean energy. i have set a goal to double the clean energy jobs in the next ten years and in the coming weeks we will set up a key recommendation of the ten year economic plan. the main career exploration program. launching a program to provide scholarships and paid internships to local students to local employers. this will provide real world experience and trade in healthcare connecting maine kids to the economy and putting them on the path to good paying jobs here in maine. the goal is to expand statewide that 100 percent of maine students have the option six month paid internship between junior year of high school and one year after graduation. that timeframe is now.
maine was built by farmers and foresters and fishermen. we have carved our livelihoods out of the rocky coast in the fields in the pines. these industries are the foundation of our economy and they are central to our future. we must help them through the time of hardship and transition and fight against regulations against the rule to threaten their success. in the back to work proposal we asked $50 million to increase local infrastructure and improve access to markets to allow companies to modernize and add value to products that are grown and caught in cultured and mean here in maine. we know what the future looks like. last week lp building
solutions based out of tennessee announced it is investing $150 million to convert to advance engineering. because of the work ethic and would supply and utilize local suppliers with good paying jobs and a stronger economy. and shuttering the madison paper mill it is on track to become the first north american producer of home and building insulation made from wood fiber. it is just really things of the past with the economic engines of our future broadband and childcare in particular the stories are all
around us and then to connect to wi-fi to get their homework done and then during remote telehealth sessions one high school student missed 16 days of school because of dropped connections. and yes even the governor of maine who could not connect to the public health media briefing at the state capital. it seems like everyone has a story of no internet and sometimes it seems like that's the way things are or will always be. i don't believe that. either do you. roads and bridges demand attention in the major focus of bonding during historically low interest rates.
high-speed internet is as fundamental as heat and electricity and water and to connect with others in the 21st century the modern equivalent of rural electrification with interstate highway system in the fifties. so we will get there with the buildout of the transmission line still have the advantage of new fiber infrastructure and $10 million in grants for connections for all host communities so asking for $15 million to expand broadband last year more than a decade and you are approved now an additional $30 million for seniors and businesses and workers across the state.
on every child who cannot learn remotely this year because they could not zoom into a classroom. every entrepreneur who could not get online. i'm asking for the father and mother who wanted the child to zoom with a grandparent but couldn't do it. every person considering moving to maine but wondering if they can work remotely. and moving from boston to maine in july they found a place where they can work remotely. we know if we build it they will come. reliable high speed internet is what people need affordable and accessible childcare is another. one mother in cherry field told her she was on a waitlist more than a year and a half for child care. another in sydney started looking when she was five months pregnant calling more than 40 facilities after having the baby and was
finally able to have a slot in a home-based childcare 30 minutes away. 5000 maine children with working parents do not live close to a child care provider. millions of working women nationwide have bent out on - - forced to leave during the pandemic because they didn't have reliable childcare. my back to work proposal seeks $6 million for no or low interest loans to renovate and expand and construct childcare facilities to increase the availability of childcare slots half of the money going to the underserved communities in rural maine. knowing your child is taking care of is key to stay in the workforce to provide for your family progress someone who raised five daughters and a grandmother of two little girls i know how precious that peace of mind is.
will have more to say on the back to work proposal in the coming weeks investments with roads and bridges, research and development and water and energy efficiency. this will strengthen the economy particularly and rural maine. will use every tool we have with the budget and back to work bond proposal other legislation with the help of the legislature and partnerships with the private sector. just as we rose to meet the challenge we will rise to meet that challenge to restore the economy never resting until we are stronger than ever before. i received hundreds or thousands of handwritten notes from the t12 people this year i read from their stories and
hopes and heartaches. son has stayed with me long after. one young mother rights every week she's busy keeping her family going treating the dog she watched fellowship of the ring and wrote me about that and told me the scene "i wish the ring had never come to me. i wish and of this had happened"and gandalf response so far all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. all we have to decide is what we do with the time that is given to us. she felt there was a lesson in there for her children and the people in the state of maine we don't wish to see the times we have seen the last 12 months and with the time that
has given to us we were delta band hit last year but you're pushing through all that we have learned and all we have saved so that courage in the that values community and those that persevere that is us now it's time to get the state back on track to focus and aim for the stars last friday and american-made rover nicknamed perseverance operated remotely landed on mars we rooted with pride just as we did 50 years ago when they first stepped foot on the moon with a fiery entry through the atmosphere was
made possible by heat shields materials by company in maine. the next rover would have a deceleration system invented by engineers at the university of maine at the composite center. one day commercial rockets with fuel may take to the skies and for now perseverance has put maine on the map and for now perseverance is a prerequisite for the future the path to success and to get the state back on track. as he look up at the stars tonight to tell americans about ingenuity and maine place in the future and the beauty of our world and state and perseverance of our people. with that perseverance, our state will prevail.