Governor Janet Mills of Maine has proposed a $474 million emergency winter energy relief plan that aims to help struggling residents during the winter season.
The plan includes $450 checks for qualified residents, as well as an additional $50 million for home heating assistance programs and $21 million for emergency housing programs.
The heating relief plan aims to help low-income and middle-class Mainers afford to heat their homes during the winter months, when energy prices are especially high.
In an article published on December 6, 2022, by Portland Press Herald, Mills stated in an exclusive interview that they are seeking to pass an emergency bill to prevent people from dying due to extreme cold in the upcoming months. They emphasized that the primary purpose of government is to save lives and that this is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
This plan needs the support of two-thirds of lawmakers to be implemented. According to an article published by the website of State of Maine on July 29, 2022, Maine is the most heating oil dependent state in the U.S., so this issue is particularly important for its residents.
If approved, the average Maine family would receive a check for $900 by mid-January.
However, Gov. Mills’ proposal has faced difficulties in gaining bipartisan support, with Republican leaders requesting more time to hold a hearing on the proposal and gather information on how it would be funded.
She has emphasized the importance of the emergency bill, stating that it is needed to prevent people from “freezing to death” in the coming months due to high energy prices in the state.