Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan aligns investments with the 10-year Strategic Plan and the recommendations of the Economic Recovery Committee
On Wednesday, June 9, Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, presented the following testimony in support of LD 1733, An Act To Provide Allocations for the Distribution of State Fiscal Recovery Funds, before the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. We are reprinting it here for your review and consideration.
“Senator Breen, Representative Pierce, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs: My name is Dana Connors, and I am President of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. I am pleased to stand before you, representing a network of more than 5,000 businesses across the state of Maine, to speak in support of LD 1733, An Act To Provide Allocations for the Distribution of State Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Maine is very fortunate to have already had a 10-year Strategic Plan in place when the Coronavirus pandemic arrived in March of 2020. We were further advantaged by Governor Mills’ commissioning of the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) to address the impact of the pandemic, with a goal in mind of sustaining Maine’s people and continuing to grow Maine’s economy.
The 37-member Economic Recovery Committee, comprised of business leaders, economists, and legislators, was tireless in its efforts to create recommendations to move Maine forward. The ERC used the 10-year Strategic Plan’s guiding principles to implement these recommendations with the intended goal of serving our people and our economy both today and in the future. Those guiding principles include innovation, talent attraction and development, internet access, early childcare and development, and housing—to name a few.
We applaud the work of the Economic Recovery Committee. It is clearly work that cannot be dismissed or denied. While we understand that some changes may need to be made, we support the recommendations that have been brought forth.
We urge the committee to approve Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan in such a way that will ensure a two-thirds’ vote before the full legislature that recognizes the immediate need and assures the expediency of getting the funding into the economy as quickly as possible. As a State, we must keep in mind that prior to the pandemic the number one issue was supply and demand of workforce. The pandemic has worked to exacerbate existing workforce problems and quick action is required.
Continued progress is essential in getting our state back to what we describe as normal. This plan is essential to our state’s progress. Therefore, we must have a sense of urgency in putting Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to work, aiding in faster recovery for our state, our economy, and Maine’s people.”