AUGUSTA — Gov. Janet Mills is going to deliver a virtual “state of the budget” address that’ll include a salute to the state’s first responders, businesses and regular people who’re fighting to slow the pandemic.

Mill’s remarks will be shown on television on Maine Public as well as streamed online on Feb. 23 in lieu of a traditional address to a joint session of the Legislature, her office announced Wednesday.

Mills said she’ll use the speech to honor those who’ve lost their lives during the pandemic, discuss the impact of the health crisis on the state, and share her vision for economic recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our state, as it has every state, taking the lives of loved ones, separating us from our friends and family, and changing how we go about our everyday lives. But amid these difficult challenges, we have seen the resilience, determination, heart and the goodness of Maine people prevail – people who care for one another and who are rising to meet this trying moment,” Mills said.

Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau formally issued the invitation to the governor to address lawmakers last month. Mills accepted in a letter dated Wednesday.

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