Maine’s rainy day fund grows despite pandemic

July 21, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s so-called “rainy day” fund has grown to nearly $500 million, the highest total ever recorded, despite the pandemic, Gov. Janet Mills said.

Republicans previously said the Democratic governor would drain the fund, but she announced a $224 million deposit on Tuesday. That brought the stabilization fund to $491 million, or more than double where it was when Republican Gov. Paul LePage left office in 2019.

Even during the pandemic’s darkest days, Mills never dipped into the rainy day fund despite a curtailment package, spending cuts and use of money generated by overperforming state liquor contracts.

“This sound fiscal management has positioned us well to continue our economic recovery and to send a strong message to bond rating agencies about our financial stability,” Mills said.

The state’s budget situation was greatly aided by an enormous federal response in the form of nearly $9 billion in aid that’s flowed to Maine from the Congress during the pandemic.