Gov. Mills addresses gathering issue for town, school budget meetings

Wed, 05/27/2020 - 2:45pm

AUGUSTA — During the May 27 daily COVID-19 briefing in Augusta, Governor Janet Mills addressed the issue of gathering for annual town meetings and school budget meetings this summer. 

“We’ve been working on additional executive orders regarding elections and public meetings, trying to gauge things as we go,” Mills said. 

Ultimately, however, Governor Mills hinted annual town meetings this summer will differ than past years. 

“With the gathering rule in effect [...] we don’t want people to have town meetings in the traditional sense,” said Mills. “The legislation that was enacted — the emergency legislation — does allow the towns to carry over their budgets month-to-month.” 

The Governor noted her administration is also working with school administrative district regarding school budgets so that the districts may have referendums on July 14 to shape next school year’s budgets. 

Many school districts have public hearings for their budgets, though the Governor noted the administration is encouraging districts to not hold those as some districts have begun planning for those hearings to be held in large venues. 

“We really don’t want the public to congregate in that manner,” said Mills.

Rather, the administration would prefer districts seek public comment through other means. 

“We’re interested in having the public input through a comment period rather than a hearing where people congregate,” Mills said.