June 30, 2020

Legislative Alert: Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee Update

The Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee met on Friday June 26th to hear reports from the Chairs of all six subcommittees. In the reporting on Friday the biggest monetary ask was from the Infrastructure committee. They had only one immediate recommendation for $60 million in grants for broadband and $5 million for mapping the greatest need for connectivity. So far subcommittees have asked for CARES ACT funding for broadband, education at all levels, non-profits, housing, new Mainers, public health infrastructure, and hospitality.  Specific numbers were only mentioned for broadband. I believe the most controversial of the recommendations will be hospitality asking for ending the 14 day quarantine and testing requirement, and for grants for businesses. Every subcommittee is clear that support for broadband, education and childcare is essential.

The support staff was to create a compilation of all the recommendations that should have been sent to the entire committee on Friday afternoon. The direction to the committee members was to vote on a 5 point scale one’s support or opposition to each recommendation. Very Supportive, Supportive, Neutral, Opposed, Very Opposed. The committee members had until 10 am Monday to return their votes to Josh Broder and Laurie LaChance, the Co-Chairs of the full committee. Laurie and Josh will review the votes this morning.

It is not completely clear when they will go over this document with the entire committee. Here is a link to the decision making protocol they are supposed to use. It suggests that they are to attempt consensus and there will not be “majority” and “minority” recommendations.

There are subcommittee meetings scheduled this week and the entire committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday. We will continue to monitor these meetings and ask for the process and related information to be made public as necessary.

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