Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature

Arata Header


Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Supplemental Budget

L.D. 220, “Act To Make Supplemental Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2021

Background -- Despite higher than anticipated revenues and revised revenue forecasts, the State still faced an estimated revenue shortfall of $150 million in FY 2021.  Maine’s Constitution requires that the State budget be balanced in each fiscal year of the biennium, thus the shortfall meant a supplemental budget would be required.  While most supplemental budgets propose additional spending in response to higher revenues, the proposal needed to reduce appropriations in the current fiscal year. 

On March 4, 2021, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee voted on the supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2021 to balance the budget. 

As passed, the supplemental budget:

  • provides tax relief to 160,000 unemployed Maine people and 28,000 Maine businesses;
  • continues more than $220 million in curtailments and efficiencies;
  • prevents $95 million in taxes from being imposed on Maine Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) beneficiaries;
  • exempts up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation from Maine income tax – keeping $47 million in Mainers' pockets;
  • requires legislative approval of any expenditure of discretionary federal COVID-19 funds proposed by the Governor;
  • invests $2.5 million to develop a new Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System;
  • makes available up to $9.7 million in retainer and supplemental payments to medical and behavioral health providers;
  • transfers $8 million to the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund;
  • allocates $2.5 million in funding to provide early college opportunities to public high school and home-schooled students; and
  • makes $2.9 million available to a COVID-19 response fund.


Maine State Parks and Public Reserved Lands Expect to Attract Crowds for Spring

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry's Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) expects the popularity of its outdoor destinations to continue this spring and urges guests to anticipate crowded parking areas and trailhead bottlenecks.

The BPL broke its record for recreation visits during 2020.  Despite the pandemic, the BPL's State park system welcomed a total of 3,067,112 people.  During spring 2020, overcrowding and a lack of respect for COVID-19 guidance at the BPL's ten coastal beach State parks caused temporary closures.

The goal for spring 2021 is not to repeat the closure experience.  With planning and cooperation, this goal should be achievable.

During 2020, the BPL implemented routine and on-demand communications to help guests plan their visits.  In the face of potential spring crowding, the BPL aims to continue sharing helpful planning information.

Everyone venturing outdoors to Maine State Parks and Public Reserved Lands is reminded to keep these factors in mind.

  • COVID-19 precautions, including physical distancing and face coverings, remain in effect; read the latest guidance. Remember to pack hand sanitizer.
  • State park staffing is limited during the spring season, so be patient in parking areas, and please comply with signage and respect staff requests.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Have a backup plan. If your destination is crowded, utilize Maine Trail Finder or consider visiting a nearby wildlife management area or a less-trafficked State parkpublic reserved land, or local land trust.
  • Park safely and legally, and avoid muddy areas.
  • Be prepared for outdoor vault toilets only, with no running water (use the bathroom before leaving home). Pack toilet paper, and practice Leave No Trace, including cleaning up after your pet, so be sure to bring a disposable bag to carry out any waste.
  • With colder temps forecasted, trails may be icy - prepare with proper footwear and gear.
  • Get outside earlier or later in the day to avoid peak times, and please keep your visits brief.
  • Stick to easy trails to avoid injuries and further stress on healthcare resources.
  • Remember to take precautions to prevent exposure to ticks by wearing light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and applying EPA-approved bug repellent.


2021 Economic Impact Payments

Find when and how your 2021 Economic Impact Payment is sent with the Get My Payment tool.


Find help with this tool -- Frequently Asked Questions.

Get My Payment updates once per day, usually overnight.  Do not call the IRS.  Phone assistors do not have information beyond what is available on

Previous payment information is no longer available in Get My Payment.  See First and Second Payment Status.

When the IRS Will Send Your 2021 Payment

The first batch of payments will be sent by direct deposit, which some recipients started receiving as early as March 12.

Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card.

Status Messages

You will see one of these messages when you use Get My Payment.

Payment Status

  • A payment has been processed, a payment date is available, and payment is to be sent either by direct deposit or by mail. Note, mail means you may be issued an EIP card or a check.
  • You are eligible, but a payment has not been processed, and a payment date is not yet available.

It will not show the amount of your 2021 Economic Impact Payment.

Payment Status Not Available -- Your payment has not been processed yet, or you are not eligible for a payment.

Need More Information -- Your payment was returned to the IRS because the U.S. Postal Service was unable to deliver it.  Only people who get this message can use the tool to provide bank account information.

Get help with this tool in Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions.

First and Second Payment Status

The first and second Economic Impact Payments no longer appear in Get My Payment.

For information on these payments, view or create your online account, and check your mail for IRS Notices 1444 and 1444-B.

Did Not Get the First and Second Payments? Claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.

If you did not get the full amount of the first or second payment you were eligible for, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return even if you are not required to file.  The third payment will not be used to calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.


Maine Maple Sunday -- Sunday, March 28, 2021

Always the fourth Sunday in March!

Farm, Food, and Promotion Update

Join others in supporting Maine agriculture year-round!   Find farms, agricultural products, and opportunities to support Maine agriculture at

Please note that planning progress varies for 2021 agricultural events due to the ongoing public health efforts regarding COVID-19.  Currently, impacts, resources, and contingencies are being assessed.  For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s COVID-19 resources Web page.

Visitors and Supporters

Please consider subscribing to the Department’s email list, follow its blog, and learn how you can support sugar shacks, maple producers, and farms year-round at