May 30, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the May edition of Senator King’s monthly podcast. This episode highlights the challenges that state and local governments faced during the coronavirus pandemic while maintaining vital services to care for Americans, and the much-needed assistance that came their way through Congress’ passage of the American Rescue Plan – which Senator King voted for. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) joins Senator King in the first segment to discuss negotiations that led to the passage of the American Rescue Plan. Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow joins Senator King in the second segment to lay out the local need for federal assistance and the impact that the American Rescue Plan funds are making on Maine communities.
“From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, state and local governments have gone above and beyond their usual duties to provide vital public services in the midst of a generational crisis,” said Senator King. “These governments faced rising demand for services, and saw expenditures rise as tax revenues declined. Maine municipalities did their best to make ends meet, but it was clear that federal aid was required. As a former governor, I know firsthand just how difficult the balancing act has been, which is why I fought so hard on the behalf of Maine state and local governments in the months of negotiations for the American Rescue Plan. I was proud to vote for this bill in March, which is now sending nearly $1.5 billion in federal assistance to our Maine’s state, county, and local governments. In the days ahead, I will continue fighting to support these governments as they seek to accelerate our state’s economic recovery and continue playing an important role for the people of Maine.”
From the onset of the pandemic, Senator King has strongly called attention to the financial crunch being felt by states and localities, highlighting his concerns in a speech on the Senate floor and joining a bipartisan push for significant, flexible funding to these entities. Senator King voted for the American Rescue Plan’s passage on March 6th, and highlighted the importance of aid to state and local governments in a Portland Press Herald op-ed following the bill's passage.
Since passage of the American Rescue Plan, Senator King has applauded the immense impacts of the legislation being felt across Maine. In April, he announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury will allocate at least $56,234,176 to Maine businesses through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, helping small businesses access additional capital as they work to recover from the pandemic. In March, he commended the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s official announcement that 18 community health centers have received
$40,964,875 in funds through the American Rescue Plan to support their tireless efforts against the largest health threat to face the U.S. in a century. Senator King highlighted the funds as an essential step to bring the virus under control and address the economic and societal costs in his op-ed in the Portland Press Herald following the bill's passage, and emphasized the importance of the legislation’s broadband funding in an op-ed for the Bangor Daily News. Additionally, Senator King applauded the inclusion of a $28.6 billion fund specifically designed to support restaurants struggling due to the pandemic in the American Rescue Plan, a provision that mirrors the fund created in the King-backed RESTAURANTS Act.
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. on almost every last Saturday of the month. The link to the May podcast can be found HERE.