Subscribe: Maine Governor Baldacci Press Releases
http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/rss.php?tid=6
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
budget  emergency  government  governor lepage  governor paul  governor  health  lepage  maine  paul lepage  shutdown  state 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Maine Governor Baldacci Press Releases

Maine Governor's Press Releases



Press releases issued by the Governor's office.



Copyright: Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.
 



Governor LePage Announces Departure of MEMA Director Bruce Fitzgerald

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:52:27 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, (207) 287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced Bruce Fitzgerald, Director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), will step down from his post mid-September to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Fitzgerald has served as director since March 2014.

"Bruce provided professionalism and leadership while at MEMA, and he was a trusted advisor in all areas of emergency management and homeland security," said Governor LePage. "On behalf of the citizens of Maine, I thank him for his years of dedicated public service. I am sorry to see him go, but wish him all the best in the next chapter in his life."

The Governor has named MEMA Deputy Director Peter Rogers as the Acting Director until a permanent appointment is made. Rogers, who has been the Deputy Director since 2014, previously served in the Maine Army National Guard and has directed MEMA's Homeland Security Division. He has also served as Deputy Director during his time with the Agency.

Fitzgerald, who resides in China, says he is tremendously grateful for the faith the Governor has shown in his ability to take the emergency management role for his Administration.

"I have been honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Maine, and I am extremely appreciative of the support by both the Executive and Legislative branches that our agency has enjoyed," he said.

Prior to his appointment as the director of MEMA, Fitzgerald served as the deputy director and homeland security division director. He has been with MEMA for more than 14 years and worked to improve Maine's preparedness and response capabilities for natural and man-made disasters. He served in the State Emergency Operations Center through multiple statewide events, such as the Patriot's Day and Mother's Day storms, Aroostook County flooding and many other weather-related events.

Fitzgerald served as a member of the U.S./Canada International Emergency Managers Group, served on the Board of Directors and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Assistance Compact Committees for the National Emergency Management Association and was the chairman of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisors Council and the State Emergency Response Commission. He deployed to New York City in support of the relief effort to Hurricane Sandy and managed one federally declared disaster as director.



Governor LePage announces Madeline Malisa to serve as Deputy Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:36:37 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, (207) 287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today the appointment of Madeline Malisa as his Deputy Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor. As a Senior Policy Advisor, Malisa counsels the Governor on a variety of policy areas, including regulations and legislation related to labor, workers' compensation and professional and financial licensing and oversight.

"I'm pleased that Madeline has joined our team, and I expect her to be instrumental in continuing the good work and planning further reforms at the Maine Department of Labor, Department of Professional and Financial Regulations and Workers' Compensation Board," said Governor LePage.

Prior to joining the administration, Malisa was in the private practice of law in Portland. As a civil litigator, her expertise included insurance defense, workers' compensation and family law.

Malisa is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and the University of Maine School of Law. She is admitted to the bars in Maine and Massachusetts.



Governor LePage issues statement about former Senator Mitchell's support of Medicaid expansion

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 11:40:29 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 4, 2017 Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, (207) 287-5086

Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement today about former Senator George J. Mitchell's support of Medicaid expansion, which would be financially ruinous to the State of Maine.

"Senators Collins and King are simply proving my point that they are sadly out of touch with everyday Mainers who are suffering from high premiums, high deductibles and inadequate access to high-quality health care under ObamaCare," said Governor LePage. "Instead of focusing on the needs of hard-working Mainers, Senators Collins and King recruited another out-of-touch former Senator, who had no experience with the disastrous effects Medicaid expansion had on our state, to criticize me.

"I am the one who had to clean up the financial disaster Senator King left as governor, including his $1 billion structural gap and Medicaid expansion that resulted in a $750 million debt to Maine's community hospitals. Another Medicaid expansion will cost the Maine taxpayers at least $400 million over the next five years. Senators Collins, King and Mitchell are three peas in a pod, preaching to struggling Maine citizens from the polished corridors of Washington, D.C. while they enjoy luxurious health care benefits lavished on them as members of the world's most exclusive club."

"The Senate bill was far from perfect; that's not the point. By voting against it, Senator Collins killed debate on reforming the crushing effects of ObamaCare. Senators Collins, King and Mitchell should just be honest with the Maine people: they want to expand Medicaid at taxpayers' expense to give free health care to able-bodied people who are capable of working and contributing to the cost of their own health insurance."



Governor LePage announces Maine's participation in FirstNet project

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:44:36 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 4, 2017 Contact: David W. Maxwell, FirstNetME, (207) 624-9793

Governor Paul R. LePage signed a letter today indicating his decision to have Maine participate in the national FirstNet project. FirstNet is an independent authority within the Department of Commerce to develop, build and operate a nationwide, broadband network dedicated for use by emergency first responders throughout the United States and participating territories.

The Maine Interoperable Communications Committee (MICC), an advisory panel made up of representatives from first responder agencies at the state, county and local levels, met with federal FirstNet representatives and its vendor, AT&T, on two occasions to review the draft FirstNet plan for Maine and to make suggestions for how the plan should be improved. The federal FirstNet team responded by significantly increasing proposed coverage in Maine.

"Maine is proud to take this important step for first responders in our state," said Governor LePage. "The decision to join this network means that FirstNet and its partner, AT&T, will deliver a highly secure, federally funded, next-generation solution for our public safety community."

"Governor LePage's decision to join FirstNet will enhance public safety communications throughout the State," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "This network will connect first responders operating across Maine, from the population centers of Portland and Augusta, to the state's popular vacation destinations, to remote areas near the border with Canada. FirstNet and AT&T are pleased to have delivered a plan that meets Maine's unique needs, and we look forward to bringing this network, dedicated to public safety, across the Pine Tree State."

Patricia Jacobs, President of AT&T New England, praised the action. "Governor LePage is putting public safety first," she said. "His decision to opt-in to FirstNet will bring Maine's first responders access to the innovative tools and technologies they need to operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. FirstNet will benefit the wellbeing of Maine's first responders, residents and visitors alike-all without costing the state anything to build, operate or maintain."

More information regarding FirstNet is available at www.firstnet.com and www.firstnetme.gov.



Governor LePage selects Alec Porteous as next Commissioner of DAFS

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:18:47 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 4, 2017 Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, 207-287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today the selection of Alec Porteous as the next Commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS). Porteous, who now serves as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, will transition to DAFS as Deputy Commissioner for Finance on August 14.

He will serve as Acting Commissioner until a formal nomination is submitted to the legislature for consideration and confirmation later this year. David R. Lavway, who has served as Acting Commissioner since June 13, will continue at DAFS in his role as Deputy Commissioner for Operations.

"Alec has a diverse background in the private and government sectors and has been integral in guiding DHHS to stable financial footing and efficient operations. He will continue to be a strong, reform-minded leader within state government," said Governor LePage. "I would like to thank Dave Lavway for his steady leadership during this interim period, including his support across all of state government during the recent government shutdown."

Porteous joined the LePage Administration in May 2014 as Deputy Commissioner of Finance for the Department of Health and Human Services. As Deputy Commissioner of Finance, Porteous oversaw the Department's $3.6 billion budget, which is 46 percent of the total state budget. He led the Department's two most recent biennial budget submissions, which drove efficiencies and implemented numerous reform measures, and he has been instrumental in bringing sound financial management and fiscal discipline to a Department that was plagued by massive shortfalls under previous administrations.

"It's an honor to serve in the LePage Administration. I am grateful to Governor LePage for the opportunities that he has given me to serve the people of Maine. It has been a privilege to work with so many dedicated public servants at DHHS," Porteous said. "Over the past three years, I have also worked closely with DAFS professionals. I have been very impressed with their intelligence, work ethic and commitment to good governance of our state, and I look forward to working with team members across the Department."

Porteous previously worked as a policy advisor for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., focusing on financial services issues and congressional investigations. He also worked as an associate in the investment banking division at Lehman Brothers, where he served on teams providing strategic and financial advice to firm clients. Prior to joining DHHS, Porteous was a vice president at Harpswell Capital Advisors in New Gloucester, Maine.

He also served from 2011 to 2013 as state office representative in Portland for U.S. Senator Susan Collins and as a member of her legislative staff in Washington, DC from 2002 to 2005. Porteous received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College in 2002 and his Master of Business Administration from Cornell University in 2007. He is a trustee of the Portland Museum of Art and serves as co-chair of the museum's Contemporaries Steering Committee.



Bracy and Ingram Promoted within Office of the Governor

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:05:08 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today promotions of two staff members within the Office of the Governor. Sean Ingram has been promoted to senior policy advisor from legislative policy coordinator, and Andrew Bracy will move from deputy director of boards and commissions to legislative policy coordinator.

Sean Ingram will serve as Governor LePage's senior policy advisor on a wide range of issues, including regulations and legislation related to corrections, information technology, public safety, defense, veterans and emergency management.

In 2014, Ingram joined the Office of the Governor as the deputy director of boards and commissions responsible for reviewing all gubernatorial appointees and the coordination of more than 200 personal and confirmable appointments. In January 2016, Ingram became legislative policy coordinator. Prior to joining the administration, Ingram worked in field operations for multiple campaigns, including Governor LePage's 2014 re-election and Virginia Congressional campaigns.

Ingram is originally from Alabama, where he attended Bevill State Community College. He now resides in Augusta.

Andrew Bracy joined the administration in February 2017 as the deputy director of boards and commissions. He has been promoted to legislative policy coordinator, where he ensures the Governor and staff are fully informed about all legislative matters and acts as a liaison between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. Bracy will track legislation in progress, handle legislative inquiries and communicate with legislators and legislative staff regularly.

Prior to joining the Office of the Governor, Bracy worked for the Town of Scarborough as a public safety dispatcher. Bracy has a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Maine Orono, where he also minored in political science and Maine Studies and Legal Studies. Bracy resides in Portland.

Both transitions are effective immediately.



Governor LePage Announces Nick Adolphsen to Serve as Senior Health Policy Advisor

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:22:23 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 13, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced Nick Adolphsen has joined the Office of the Governor as his Senior Health Policy Advisor. As Senior Health Policy Advisor, Adolphsen counsels the Governor on health care and health insurance-related legislation and regulation.

"I have been very pleased with the expertise Nick has brought to our office already and expect him to continue to play a significant role in health care policy moving forward," said Governor LePage.

Adolphsen previously served as Director of Government Relations and Policy for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), where he worked from 2011 managing and developing legislation, budget proposals and implementing newly approved public laws. Adolphsen replaces David Sorensen, who now serves as speech writer for President Donald J. Trump in Washington, D.C.

Adolphsen will assist Governor LePage as he continues to be engaged in health care policy on a national level during debate in Congress over the American Health Care Act. Of particular importance to the nation and Maine is a proposed prohibition on further expansion of Medicaid. "If Maine were to choose to expand Medicaid today, it would cost an estimated $375 million over the next 5 years, saddling Maine's taxpayers with a significant increase to our General Fund budget," said Governor LePage. Prior to his work at the Department of Health and Human Services, Adolphsen served the Maine House of Representatives Republican Office, where he worked on behalf of 13 State Representatives as a point of contact for constituents, resolving constituent matters involving various state agencies and local government officials, and provided detailed information on legislation. Adolphsen also was campaign manager for Maine State Senate candidates in 2010.

Adolphsen has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Maine, Orono.



Governor LePage Announces Departure of Adrienne Bennett, Thanks her for Public Service

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:50:38 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced his long-time press secretary Adrienne Bennett will step down from her post at the beginning of August to take a position in the private sector. Bennett has been the primary spokesperson for Governor LePage and his Administration since January 5, 2011.

"Adrienne has been a vital part of our team since the day I took office, and we will miss her greatly," said Governor LePage. "With her tenacity, experience and insight into the media business, she was able to handle a very difficult job with poise and composure. She maintained grace under fire from a hostile media that was more interested in sensationalism than the many important policy goals we have achieved. I will miss Adrienne's guidance and advice - even if I didn't take it all the time. On behalf of our administration and the people of Maine, I thank her for her years of dedicated public service. We are sorry to see her go, but we wish her all the best in this next well-deserved chapter in her life."

Bennett will return to the private sector as Vice President and Marketing & Communications Director for Kennebec Savings Bank, headquartered in Augusta. Her last day at the Office of the Governor will be August 2.

Bennett, who resides in Augusta, says she is tremendously grateful for the faith the Governor has shown in her ability to take the leading role in public communications for his Administration.

"It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve our Governor and the people of Maine. The past seven years have been simultaneously the most challenging and the most exciting years of my life," said Bennett. "While it was certainly demanding, this job has been an incredibly rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime experience, mainly because of the leadership within the Office of the Governor and the people I encounter every day. Make no mistake, through sheer force of will Governor LePage has forever changed Maine's political and historical landscape. As Governor, he will leave a lasting legacy for our great State, as well as for the people of Maine he has worked so hard for. I am proud to have served a small role in his remarkable journey."

Previous to her work at the Office of the Governor, Bennett was the Waterville bureau chief reporter from 2007 to 2011 at WABI TV5. She also held positions at the station as executive producer and videographer, beginning in 2002. Bennett has also volunteered for the Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center in Winthrop since 2005 and is a member of the Maine Domestic Violence and Abuse Commission.




Republicans Stand Strong, Eliminate Tax Increase from Budget; Government Shutdown Ends

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 01:13:02 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - A three-day state government shutdown ended early Tuesday morning with a signature from Maine Republican Governor Paul R. LePage on the biennial budget for fiscal years 2018-19.

Negotiations on the budget went late into Monday night as the Governor hosted multiple meetings in his Cabinet Room with House Speaker Sara Gideon, Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette and other House Republicans.

"I thank legislators for doing the right thing by passing a budget that does not increase taxes on the Maine people," said Governor LePage. "I especially thank the House Republicans for standing strong throughout these very tough budget negotiations to protect Mainers from an unnecessary tax hike. I am pleased to announce state government will reopen and resume normal operations. Since it is the Fourth of July, Ann and I hope all Mainers enjoy a wonderful day with families and loved ones in celebration our great country's Independence Day."

The pace of budget negotiations quickened after Governor LePage met Monday afternoon with House Republicans and pledged to sign a budget that eliminated an increase in the lodging tax from 9 percent to 10.5 percent. Legislators voted on the bill early Tuesday morning with the House voting 147-2 and Senate 35-0.

Governor LePage's Executive Order directing state government to shut down was terminated Monday night by Executive Proclamation.



Governor takes action to give state employees Monday off with pay

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 21:22:19 EDT

For Immediate Release: Sunday, July 02, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Since the Legislature has still failed to put a budget in place, Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will allow state employees to take administrative leave with pay for Monday, July 3.

This is the same authority the Governor exercises in administratively closing non-emergency state offices the day before Christmas or Thanksgiving so employees can enjoy an extended holiday with their families and loved ones.

In addition, the Governor will provide employees already working as designated emergency personnel on Monday with compensatory time off for the work they perform on that day.

"Speaker of the House Sara Gideon is intent on prolonging the state government shutdown and making it uncertain whether state employees who have been forced out of work will get paid for Monday," said Governor LePage. "It is unconscionable for state workers to lose a day's pay because of the Legislature's repeated failure to put a budget on my desk."

Assuming the Legislature does the right thing and funds state government operations from July 1 forward, these employees will get paid.

"I encourage our state employees to spend their day off Monday enjoying our state parks and all the wonderful summer activities Maine has to offer," the Governor said. "Hopefully, Speaker Gideon will ensure the Legislature is working hard tomorrow to pass a budget while our state workers enjoy a much-deserved day off with pay."




Governor Declares Civil Emergency Effective Midnight, Ensures Mainers Receive Benefits

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:11:39 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 30, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - In the event no budget is signed into law by the end of the fiscal year, Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a proclamation (see attached) declaring a civil emergency and an Executive Order directing state departments and agencies to take the necessary steps for a state government shutdown. The Order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2017 and remains in effect until the state of emergency is terminated by Executive Proclamation or until 5 p.m. on July 3, 2017, whichever is earlier. "This is not about today or tomorrow," said Governor Paul LePage. "This is about the future of Maine. The Maine people are taxed enough. I will not tax them anymore and in my budget overall taxes were decreased. Maine has plenty of revenue to fund state government without raising taxes." Governor LePage submitted his budget in January to the Legislature. Even after six months of inaction, Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) extended the session twice during the past two weeks. "We do not want to harm state employees or any other of the 1.3 million Mainers who live in our great state," Governor LePage said. "They should not have to pay more taxes just because the Speaker of the House and Senate President want to go home for the weekend." The LePage Administration announced Friday it will continue to pay most benefits administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. "We are very fortunate as a State to be in the position to pay welfare and unemployment benefits during a shutdown," Governor LePage said. "This is only because of the strong fiscal management we have implemented over the past seven years. Previous administrations lived day by day, ran huge deficits and could not make it through a shutdown. Because of our strong fiscal responsibility and financial discipline, we have enough in our accounts to make sure we can provide these payments." The Office of the Governor will continue to review requests as necessary. If the state of emergency still exists by 12:00 a.m. on July 3, 2017, the Order will be reviewed and revised accordingly. Additionally, Governor LePage continues to review designations of emergency personnel on a case-by-case basis and he has already designated the following functions as emergency during a state shutdown to provide for the health and safety of the public and protection of state property, including revenues. State facilities and programs that remain open include: Department of Health & Human Services: • TANF, SNAP and MaineCare payments will be made. • The Office of MaineCare Services will execute the scheduled July 5 MaineCare cycle process, ensuring there is no disruption to claims payments in Maine's Medicaid program. The Department's ability to make this payment is due to the LePage Administration's disciplined financial management of taxpayer resources that fund the MaineCare program. • The Office of Child and Family Services will execute the scheduled July 5 child care subsidy and child welfare payments, ensuring there is no disruption to Maine's child care and child welfare programs. The Department's ability to make these payments is due to the LePage Administration's disciplined financial management of taxpayer resources that fund these programs. • The Office for Family Independence will make July payments for the TANF and SNAP programs. Program beneficiaries have access to their respective benefits as previously scheduled. The Office for Family Independence would continue to accept and make eligibility determinations for MaineCare, TANF and SNAP. • The Office of Child and Family Services will remain operational. Central Intake will be staffed on a 24/7 basis to receive cal[...]



Legislature's Failure to Act on Budget Forces Governor to Prepare Civil Preparedness Emergency Order

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 13:00:30 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 29, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage is prepared to issue a Civil Preparedness Emergency Order as a result of the State of Maine Legislature's failure to deliver a budget by the end of the fiscal year, which would prevent a government shutdown.

"The Legislature has had six months to address the budget I sent to them. Now we are in the eleventh hour and liberal Democrats have still refused to budge, which will lead to a government shutdown," said Governor LePage. "These Democrats are not interested in a budget that benefits hard-working Maine taxpayers. They are being controlled by labor union bosses and radical activists at the Maine People's Alliance."

Preparing for the likelihood and severity of government shutdown, Governor LePage last week directed commissioners of every department, as well as the Treasurer, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Attorney General, to determine which employees will work and which services are provided during the duration of a Declaration of Civil Emergency.

"The Executive Branch and the Judiciary are making plans and taking every precaution to ensure there is minimal impact on Mainers during a government shutdown," said the Governor. "However, the Legislature is not working with the Executive Branch and does not appear to be making any preparations."

While Governor LePage continues to review designations of emergency personnel on a case-by-case basis, he has already designated the following functions as emergency. Commissioners have taken planning steps to ensure that the following functions continue during a potential state shutdown to provide for the health and safety of the public and protection of state property, including revenues:

DOC: All correctional facilities

DHHS: Psychiatric hospitals (DDPC and Riverview)

Law enforcement / First responders, including: • DPS: State Police, Capitol Police, MDEA and Fire Marshal • IF&W: Warden Service • DMR: Marine Patrol • ACF: Forest Protection (on-call basis)

State Parks, including: • ACF: All State Parks • Baxter State Park • IF&W: Maine Wildlife Park, Swan Island

DAFS / Maine Revenue Services

OIT: limited operations to support emergency functions and protect infrastructure, with on-call support, as needed

All other requests that commissioners have submitted to the Office of the Governor will continue to be reviewed.

If a Declaration of Civil Emergency is issued, the Order will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2017, and remain in effect until the state of emergency is terminated by Executive Proclamation, or until 12:00 a.m. on July 3, 2017, whichever is earlier.

If the state of emergency still exists by 12:00 a.m. on July 3, 2017, the Order will be reviewed and revised accordingly.



Governor LePage Supports Effort to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 17:15:18 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA -Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today about Republican efforts in Washington. D.C. to enact meaningful health care reform.

"I fully support the President's efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which has been disastrous for our nation, with real reform that lowers costs and provides the American people with high-quality health care," Governor LePage said. "If the Senate's version of the health care bill includes a couple of improvements, I would be glad to endorse it. First, Medicaid expansion should be frozen. If states have not already expanded Medicaid, they should not be allowed to. As Maine's experience has already proven, Medicaid expansion is ruinous to a state's fiscal health. Second, invisible risk pools must be included as a way to reduce premiums and increase access to health insurance. This reform has the potential to drive affordable health insurance for the entire nation."

Governor LePage met this morning with U.S. Senator Susan Collins in Washington, D.C. to discuss his concerns with the Senate's proposal for health care reform. His concerns are outlined in the attached letter to Senator Collins. The Governor also sent a letter to Senator Angus King.

"Rather than seeking a starring role in Washington's latest hyper-partisan drama, Senator King should focus his efforts on doing what is right for the Maine people he was elected to represent," said Governor LePage. "So-called ‘scandals' concocted by Washington politicians come and go, but reforming health care is vital for the lifelong health and well-being of Mainers."



Governor LePage Answers Shutdown-related Questions as Democrats Fail to Agree on Budget

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:59:34 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - As Democrats continue objecting to a fiscally responsible budget and keep threatening a government shutdown, Governor Paul R. LePage has provided answers to the most common questions asked by State of Maine employees. (See attached document below.)

"Our Administration does not want a shutdown, and we are not fueling the hysteria whipped up by the media, labor unions and Democrats to scare state employees," said Governor LePage. "However, we are taking every precaution to prepare for a government shutdown in case the Legislature fails to do its job."

Without a budget in place by midnight June 30, 2017, all non-emergency state services will end temporarily. The LePage Administration is prepared to designate emergency personnel in the case of a Declaration of a Civil Emergency. "House Republicans are willing to negotiate and invest additional education funding, but the Democrats are still dug in," the Governor added. "Instead of voting on a budget to benefit the Maine people, Democrats are bowing to the demands of labor unions, radical activists at the Maine People's Alliance and extremist environmental organizations. Democrats should have the courage to compromise in the best interest of the Maine taxpayers and residents who will foot the bill for the budget. If state employees are concerned about a potential shutdown, I urge them to call the Speaker of the House and tell her to pass a fiscally responsible budget today."

The Governor sent this message to all Maine state employees:

Dear Maine State Employees:

As you know, there has been a flurry of media attention lately regarding the status of ongoing budget negotiations. At this moment, the State of Maine does not have an approved budget in place for the biennium that begins on July 1, 2017.

With each passing hour, it seems as though the preparations our administration has made over the last two weeks are less an exercise in caution and more likely plans that may need to be implemented. While I have no desire to see state government shut down, good governance requires our administration be prepared for the possibility that July 1 may arrive without a budget.

Attached to this email is a memo to all employees about the possibility of a state government shutdown. It is intended to provide guidance on the process of a shutdown and answers to questions that have been fielded by departments and agencies across state government.

As you know, since becoming governor of Maine, I eliminated furlough days, insisted on bringing parity to the wages paid to state employees, and restored merit and longevity raises. I appreciate all you do for the people of Maine and regret the burden that may be placed upon you and your families in the event of a shutdown.

I encourage each of you to reach out to your legislators and ask them to pass a budget that can be signed into law immediately.

Sincerely, Paul R. LePage Governor



Governor calls on Democrats to stop holding the budget hostage

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:27:30 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Governor Paul R. LePage is calling on Democrats to stop holding the budget process hostage just to appease union bosses at Maine Education Association, radical activists at Maine People's Alliance and extremist environmental organizations.

"I have been negotiating in good faith," said Governor LePage. "I have even gone beyond the spending limit of $6.8 billion in my budget and agreed to a $7.05 billion budget. But Democrats are still refusing to budge. They want to pour hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars into new education spending with no accountability and no reforms to our school systems. I have agreed to spend every penny of the revenue forecast to increase education spending by $125 million, as long as some of our common-sense education reforms are included. But Democrats are still demanding more, more, more. They do not care how much it costs the Maine people, they do not care if their tax-and-spend policies are driving people out of Maine and they do not care about the future fiscal health of our state."

"If Democrats are truly concerned about reducing property taxes, they are looking in the wrong place," said Governor LePage. "They have ignored my reasonable proposal to stop giving away property tax exemptions to rich land trusts and other wealthy non-profits that hold large tracts of land. They have taken hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of conservation land off the tax rolls, which increases local property taxes. I have suggested taxing this land to lower property taxes for all Mainers. But Democrats are more interested in kowtowing to wealthy environmental organizations, like Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Coast Heritage Trust, than protecting the Maine taxpayer."

The Governor said a shutdown can be averted if the Democrats agree to the fiscally responsible budget proposed by House Republicans. "House Minority Leader Ken Fredette and the House Republicans put a budget on the table, and the Democrats ignored it," Governor LePage said. "If they agree to that budget, I will sign it."