States are continuing to send direct payment to their residents, and the latest to do so is Maine. On April 20, Governor Janet Mills signed a $1.2 billion supplemental budget to send Maine stimulus checks. Eligible residents could get Maine stimulus checks of up to $850 as early as June.
Maine Stimulus Checks: Who Will Get Them?
Earlier this week, Governor Mills signed a $1.2 billion supplemental budget into law to send $850 Maine stimulus checks to more than 850,000 residents. Individual taxpayers with income of up to $100,000 ($150,000 for heads of households and $200,000 for couples filing jointly) will be eligible for the direct payment.
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Recipients will be free to spend the money on whatever they want. To be eligible for the Maine stimulus checks, residents must have filed an income tax return as full-time residents by Oct. 31, 2022 and not be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return. The stimulus checks will account for $729 million of total spending.
“We will begin the work immediately of getting $850 checks into the mailbox of every Maine adult who qualifies, and, as always, will continue to carefully monitor the Maine economy, the wellbeing of Maine people, and Maine’s fiscal health, investing in long-term solutions while maintaining the State’s solid financial position,” Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Kirsten Figueroa, said in a press release.
Mills’ Budget: What More Does It Offer?
Along with Maine stimulus checks, the budget also offers property tax relief for older residents and lower-income homeowners and tenants. Further, the budget also sets aside $20 million to fund two years of free community college for eligible students who graduate between 2020-2023. There is also a $60 million provision to address contamination from so-called forever chemicals, including PFAS.
The budget also offers assistance to child care workers, as well as an emergency housing relief fund to address homelessness. Further, the budget sets aside a $3 million legal fund to support the lobster industry battling the government rules aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic Right Whales.
Mills also offers relief to students in the form of an annual $2,500 or up to $25,000 lifetime refundable tax credit benefit for student loan debt relief. As well, the budget offers $8 million in a one-time General Fund to enable the University of Maine System to keep tuition flat for in-state students, as well as update and renovate campus buildings.
“What this budget shows once again through hard work and good faith negotiation Democrats, Republicans and independents can come together to do what is right for Maine people,” Mills said.
Federal spending and better than expected revenue forecasts has encouraged state lawmakers to return money to their residents. Initially, the budget plan was referred to as pandemic relief, but now, it is called inflationary relief.