Gov. Janet Mills will discuss her vision of where the state is and how her administration plans to lead it going forward when she delivers her second State of the State address to the Maine Legislature next month.

The Democratic governor will deliver her address in the House Chambers on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

Gov. Janet Mills gives her first State of the State address, on Jan. 21, 2020. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Mills delivered her last State of the State on Jan. 21, 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, upending almost every facet of life in Maine. Her 2020 address focused on improving health care, strengthening the economy and fighting climate change, as well as observations about how different Maine politics were from those in Washington at the time.

“These are trying times. Politics from Washington and beyond are marked by rancor, divisiveness and fear,” Mills said in her 2020 address. “During this volatile presidential election year, the noise is deafening, turning us away from the security and saneness of our own small outpost. Tariffs and trade wars, threats of terrorism, and partisan fighting paralyze the nation’s capital. But here in Maine, we are doing what Mainers have done for two centuries: putting our shoulder to the wheel and working across the aisle to get things done for Maine people. Because we are not Washington. We are Maine.”

Mills will focus this time on the pandemic and how the state is addressing it. She will also outline her administration’s plans to strengthen the economy and tackle other issues as the state and world emerge from one of the most challenging periods in decades.

“While the pandemic has presented unfathomable challenges, Maine people have persevered with characteristic resilience and fortitude,” Mills said in a news release Tuesday. “The strength of Maine people has guided us through these difficult times.

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“Of course, there is no doubt that there are still significant challenges in front of us, from the rising costs of everyday goods because of the pandemic to long standing issues like our workforce shortage made worse by it,” Mills said. “But for the first time in a long time, we are tackling these issues head-on to ensure that as we emerge from this pandemic, we emerge a stronger state, with a more vibrant economy that provides good paying jobs that Maine people can raise a family on in every corner of the state.”

Mills is also expected in the days following the address to release a supplemental budget detailing her administration’s spending priorities. The state is entering its two-year budget cycle with a surplus of $822 million.

Mills has given two state of the budget addresses during her term, on Feb. 11, 2019, and Feb. 23, 2021.

At the time of her first State of the State address, Mills was fresh off her victory over Shawn Moody, a Republican who promised to carry on former Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s legacy. LePage, who had been living in Florida after leaving office, has returned to Maine and is seeking the party’s nomination for the governor’s race this year.


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