A woman stands on Jan. 14 between large boulders from a sea wall that got tossed onto Fortunes Rocks Road in Biddeford near a home that is leaning down toward the beach after having its foundation undercut by storm surge. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Gov. Janet Mills hopes to accelerate her $50 million proposal to help Maine communities rebuild infrastructure and enhance climate resiliency in the wake of devastating, back-to-back-to-back winter rainstorms.

Mills announced Friday that she plans to introduce legislation soon – separate from and in advance of the forthcoming supplemental budget – that will invest $50 million in the Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund.

The cash infusion would come from Maine’s record-high Budget Stabilization Fund, also aptly known as the Rainy Day Fund, which stands at $968.3 million, the maximum allowed by statute.

Mills said she decided to introduce the proposal as a standalone bill so it may move more quickly through the legislative process and provide more immediate relief to the communities.

“Communities hard hit by the recent storms are in need of help, and we want to deliver that help as soon as possible,” Mills said in a statement.

Mills announced the funding proposal during her recent State of the State address. It will be co-sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross.

The Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund, created by the Mills administration and the Legislature in 2021, provides grants for significant infrastructure adaptation, repair and improvements that support public safety, protection of essential community assets, and long-term infrastructure resiliency.

Eligible projects include working waterfront infrastructure, culverts, storm water systems, water system upgrades, and other interventions that support reducing or eliminating climate impacts, especially coastal and inland flooding.

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