Feb 26, 2022

Senator King and Governor Mills Discuss Historic Investments Coming to Maine in February Podcast

Senator King was joined by Governor Janet Mills and Maine Connectivity Authority’s Andrew Butcher to discuss benefits from the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

You can listen to the podcast here: https://www.king.senate.gov/newsroom/multimedia/audios/senator-king-and-governor-mills-discuss-historic-investments-coming-to-maine or on Apple Podcasts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the February episode of Senator King’s “Inside Maine” podcast outlining the needed investments coming to Maine from the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Senator King was joined by Maine Governor Janet Mills, and Andrew Butcher, President of the newly-formed Maine Connectivity Authority responsible for expanding Maine broadband using funding from the federal legislation. During the conversation, Senator King and his guests highlighted the impacts of the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill being felt across Maine’s communities, how the historic legislation is supporting proposals announced Governor Mills’ State of the State address, and the importance of the broadband investments for the state’s 21st century economy.

“Years from now, I believe we'll look back on American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill as two of the most significant investments of the 21st century,” said Senator King. “From support for small businesses and health care centers, to funding for broadband and local workforces, the American Rescue Plan has stabilized Maine and America’s economy in record time – creating millions of jobs, helping working families, and getting shots in arms to help reduce the virus’s damage on our communities. We then built on these historic investments with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which is strengthening the fundamental building blocks that tie our communities and economy together. It was a pleasure to discuss the importance of both pieces of legislation and hearing firsthand how they’re helping build a better Maine in the 21st century with Governor Mills and Andrew Butcher – I look forward to our continued work together to support our state and our communities.”

“The American Rescue Plan has provided much-needed support to Maine people, businesses, and communities as we recover from the widespread effects of the pandemic. Here in Maine, ARP has formed the backbone of my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, which is now investing nearly $1 billion to support small business, rebuild our workforce, expand access to child care and affordable housing, invest in our vital heritage industries, and more.” said Governor Janet Mills. “Taken with the bipartisan infrastructure law, these historic and unprecedented investments in Maine people will help us build a stronger state and a better economy to provide people with good paying jobs, the opportunity to put down roots, and an unmatched quality of life. I thank Senator King for his crucial work on and support of these two laws.”

“The infrastructure funds established in the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are nothing less than transformational, enabling the Maine Connectivity Authority to build from a legacy of innovation towards a future of universal, affordable connectivity for all Mainers,” said Andrew Butcher, President, Maine Connectivity Authority. “We are all-in to get every Mainer online and these historic funds will make it possible.”

Andrew Butcher is the President of the newly-formed Maine Connectivity Authority that is tasked with overseeing and distributing the Maine broadband funding from the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. He previously served as the Director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and the director of Innovation and Resilience at the Greater Portland Council of Governments. He also co-led the successful effort to pass Governor Mills’ 2020 $15 million bond proposal to expand Maine broadband.

Senator King worked to negotiate and pass both the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. His vote was crucial to the 50-49 passage of the American Rescue Plan which has given Maine the resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and help local economies recover. It included $4.6 billion for the state, including more than $128 million to expand Maine broadband, nearly $1.5 billion in aid to Maine’s state, county, and local governments, and over $56 million in assistance for Maine’s small business community. You can find a full overview of the American Rescue Plan’s impact on the State of Maine HERE. As a member of the bipartisan G22, a group of 22 Senators from both parties heavily involved in the negotiation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill – and the leader of a bipartisan Oval Office meeting early in the process – Senator King worked hard to include funding for broadband, energy storage technologies, roads and bridges, and more in the historic package.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is Governor Mills’ plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.

The “Inside Maine Podcast with Senator Angus King” is a 30-minute program that aims to help keep Maine people informed about issues of the day, how they affect life in the state, and how they factor into Senator King’s work as one of two independents in the U.S. Senate. Senator King’s podcast builds on his existing radio show that airs on Newsradio WGAN in Portland, Maine between 10 and 11 a.m. typically on last Saturday of the month.

To listen to the February edition of Senator King’s podcast click HERE or find it on Apple Podcasts.