AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Cities and towns in Maine would be able to get access to federal coronavirus aid under a pandemic law change.

The Maine Legislature on Wednesday passed a proposal to set up an account for the state to receive and distribute federal funds for the municipalities via the American Rescue Plan. The proposal, which was a governor's bill, is now before Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson said the money is important for Maine cities and towns to “work to rebuild local communities and economies.” The American Rescue Plan allocated funds to Maine municipalities based on their populations, the Maine Legislature Office of the Presiding Officers said.

Every town in the state will receive money, Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce said. That will result in more than $600 million going into the communities, she said.

In other coronavirus news in Maine:


The daily coronavirus caseload continued to dip in Maine.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 422.57 new cases per day on April 14 to 296.71 new cases per day on April 28. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 1.43 deaths per day on April 14 to 1.86 deaths per day on April 28.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been more than 61,000 positive cases of the coronavirus and 784 deaths since the start of the pandemic.



The organizers of Maine's summer and fall agricultural fairs are planning for a full slate of events this season.

The coronavirus pandemic closed more than 20 agriculture fairs last year. This year, the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs is planning a slate of 26 fairs from Acton to Houlton.

The slate of fairs includes popular events such as the Common Ground Country Fair and the Fryeburg Fair.

The fairs are slated to begin on June 17 with the Monmouth Fair and run through October 10 with the Fryeburg Fair.