Storm Relief And Funding For Programs Related To Maine's Deadliest-Ever Shooting Included In Budget

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills on Monday signed a $127.4 million budget adjustment that includes funding for recovery from storm damage and for several programs sought by the governor after the deadliest shooting in state history.

Mills said she signed the bill even though she remains concerned about flat revenues in the coming year.

“While we will need to keep a close eye on the budget next year in light of flattening revenues, this budget takes important steps forward to address our state’s most pressing problems,” she said Monday.

The governor also signed into law a bill expanding the authority of federally recognized tribes in Maine to prosecute crimes that occur on tribal lands. It also allows the Penobscot Nation to regulate drinking water on its tribal lands. The law provided greater autonomy to the Wabanaki tribes in Maine but stopped short of full sovereignty that they've sought.

The supplemental budget, meanwhile, included $60 million to help communities pounded by severe storms, $21 million for an emergency housing fund and $30 million to build additional housing in the state, among other provisions.

It also contained money for several programs the governor sought after the Oct. 25 shooting that claimed 18 lives in Lewiston.

There is funding for a violence prevention office within the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, three additional crisis receiving centers, creation of mass violence care fund and additional resources for mobile crisis teams. It also includes $442,400 for surging mental health assessments under the state's yellow flag law, which can be used to take guns from someone in a psychiatric crisis.

The additional funding adds to a two-year budget that now totals $10.47 billion. That includes more than $285 million in tax relief per year, the governor said.