Gov. Janet Mills has proposed a $20 million plan to pay for up to two years of community college for qualified students who were part of high school graduating classes from 2020 through 2023.
The proposal was described to the Press Herald Thursday afternoon by a state official with direct knowledge of the governor’s plan and it was mentioned by Mills in her State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday night. The plan is expected to be included in Mills’ supplemental budget, which will outline her plans for an estimated $822 million surplus projected through mid-2023. It would need to be approved by the Legislature and would be funded through a one-time transfer to the Maine Community College System.
It comes after First Lady Jill Biden announced that a proposal to provide free college tuition at community colleges nationwide was being stripped from the Build Back Better bill. That plan would have provided $45.5 billion to states to fund two years of community college for a five-year period.