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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.
 



Next Town Hall To Be in Yarmouth on March 8

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:18:01 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Wednesday, March 08 in Yarmouth where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

AMVETS Post 2, 148 North Rd, Yarmouth is the location for the town hall, which will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Bags, beverages and signs are not allowed in the forum.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's budget proposal, protecting the elderly and strengthening Maine families and economy.



Governor Issues Emergency Declaration to Extend Hours of Service for Delivery Drivers

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:48:03 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - On Tuesday, Governor Paul R. LePage signed an emergency proclamation to ensure heating oil delivery drivers are able to remain on the road longer. "We must ensure our oil delivery drivers can be on the road so that Mainers stay warm," said Governor LePage. The State of Emergency proclamation enables a waiver from the Federal Department of Transportation to allow heating oil delivery personnel to stay on the road longer so they can make heating fuel and bulk petroleum deliveries. The Governor would also like to remind drivers who are picking up extra hours to remain safe on the roadways. "We want to keep Mainers warm, but drivers and businesses should understand their limitations too," said Governor LePage. The order is active beginning on February 14, 2017 through February 28, 2017. The proclamation language is as follows: Governor's Emergency Proclamation for US-DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Waiver WHEREAS, heating fuel and bulk petroleum products in Maine continue to be in great demand due to a number of factors, including cold winter weather; and WHEREAS, much of the heating fuels and bulk petroleum products are being delivered from outside of the State of Maine, adding to delivery time; and WHEREAS, homes and businesses alike are impacted; and WHEREAS, federal motor carrier safety regulations determine the number of hours the drivers of heating fuel and bulk petroleum delivery and transport vehicles may operate; and WHEREAS, many drivers in the State will shortly be approaching their federal limit on hours of operation and may have to cease delivery of heating fuel and bulk petroleum fuels; and WHEREAS, these conditions threaten essential public health and safety services and endanger public property if heating fuels and bulk petroleum products cannot be transported or delivered within the State of Maine; and WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow heating fuels, specifically fuel oil, propane and natural gas delivery and transport drivers to operate additional hours; and WHEREAS, motor carriers that are not directly supporting fuel delivery in the State of Maine, or that have an Out-Of-Service Order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that such a declaration provides under 49 CFR 390.23, NOW THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency within Maine for heating fuel and bulk petroleum delivery drivers as of February 14, 2017 through February 28, 2017. Pursuant to this declaration, I hereby order the following: 1. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this emergency declaration shall require or allow an ill or fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given a least ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty before the driver is required to return to service. 2. Drivers operating under this proclamation shall carry a copy of the proclamation with them as evidence of their direct support to the State of Maine during this emergency period. [...]



POSTPONED: Governor to Visit Yarmouth for Next Town Hall

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:39:08 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - The town hall scheduled for Wednesday, February 15 in Yarmouth has been postponed due to forecasted inclement weather. Governor Paul R. LePage will at a later date hold a town hall to deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

The Office of the Governor intends to reschedule the town hall to be held at AMVETS Post 2, 148 North Rd, Yarmouth in the coming weeks.




All State of Maine Offices Closed on Monday

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 04:46:00 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 13, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced all State of Maine offices will be closed on Monday.

"Travel conditions are expected to remain treacherous throughout Monday," said Governor LePage. "I encourage Mainers to stay off the roads and avoid traveling unless it is an absolute emergency. Avoiding unnecessary travel will keep accidents to a minimum and allow state and municipal road crews to safely go about their work."

Additionally, Governor LePage reminds Mainers to put safety first and help their neighbors weather the storm.

"Watch for the most up-to-date forecast, keep yourself safe, and reach out to a neighbor who might need a helping hand," said Governor LePage. "Our state has a well-known reputation for Mainers helping Mainers, and I expect that this storm will once again bring out the best in our citizens."

Strong sustained winds and gusts will cause blowing and drifting snow, limit visibility, create dangerous travel conditions and are expected to contribute to power outages throughout Maine. During and after the storm:

• Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary, and let the plow drivers do their work. Travel will be extremely treacherous, with near-zero-visibility at times. • Check in with neighbors and friends who may need help during the storm. • If you lose power, use generators or alternate heat sources safely. • Run generators outside only, 15 feet away from doors or windows, with exhaust pointing away from the house. • Ensure all heating vents are clear of any snow to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. • Take care shoveling snow, especially if you have health problems. • After the storm has passed, determine whether excess snow needs to be removed, especially flat or roofs with minimal slope.

For weather information and more safety tips, visit the Maine Prepares web site: www.maineprepares.com.



State Offices to Close Today at Noon Due to Winter Storm Warning

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:41:56 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 9, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced that all State offices will be closing at noon today due to inclement weather.

"I urge all of you to drive safely as you commute to your destination," said Governor LePage. "Stopping on snow or ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. Drive slowly so you can adjust to changing road conditions. Please remember to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles and give plow trucks plenty of room to operate."



Governor to Visit Yarmouth for Next Town Hall

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:18:15 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 09, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Wednesday, February 15 in Yarmouth where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

AMVETS Post 2, 148 North Rd, Yarmouth is the location for the town hall, which will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Bags, beverages and signs are not allowed in the forum.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's budget proposal, protecting the elderly and strengthening Maine families and economy.



Governor LePage Praises Sappi $165M Investment, Encourages Lawmakers to Lower Energy Prices

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:33:52 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement today regarding the announcement that Sappi Limited will invest $165 million at its Skowhegan mill:

"This significant investment is welcome and demonstrates the commitment Sappi has to Maine," said Governor LePage. "Sappi is capitalizing on an opportunity in the packaging market. Our paper mills are not dead, but they do need to reinvent themselves. Sappi has identified new markets and technologies that will ensure the company continues to make superior products and employ Mainers with good paying jobs for many years."

While this news is promising for Somerset County, the Governor continues to encourage legislators to turn their attention to the rising energy costs in Maine. In the Governor's State of the State Tuesday evening he emphasized how high energy prices have a devastating effect on the paper industry and many mill workers have been laid off as a result.

"We have slipped from 12th to the 11th highest energy prices in the Nation. When Maine businesses are forced to pay more for energy and taxes it is less money the company is able to invest in its employees with higher wages and benefits. We must encourage our economy to grow and we do that by supporting good policies that do no harm to Mainers or the environment. We can achieve a balance between the economy and environment when we pass policies focusing on the lowest cost renewable energy resources and the least effect on the environment. It's a win-win for Maine families, businesses and our natural resources," said Governor LePage.



Governor Signs Executive Order Directing Rulemaking Authority for Marijuana Legalization to BABLO

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 14:28:02 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 30, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today signed an Executive Order directing rulemaking authority for the Marijuana Legalization Act to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations (BABLO).

The "Order Regarding Executive Branch Implementation of the Marijuana Legalization Act" authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to direct rulemaking authority granted under the "Marijuana Legalization Act" to the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services for rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. BABLO already has expertise in managing retail sales, licensing and enforcement, as well as the process of rulemaking.

The Executive Order further outlines that no employee or department of the Executive Branch may use funds for the purpose of implementing the Marijuana Legalization Act until an appropriation is made by the Legislature for that purpose.

"The Executive Branch must be provided with the resources necessary to implement this new law," said Governor LePage. "We submitted language to direct rulemaking to BABLO and requested funding from the Legislature to implement it, but the Speaker of the House killed it. The longer Democrat leadership plays these political games, the more they show the Maine people who they really are. If they fail to do the right thing, I will take action to make sure rulemaking for the Marijuana Legalization Act Mainers is done properly and paid for appropriately."

The Executive Order language is as follows:

An Order Regarding Executive Branch Implementation of the Marijuana Legalization Act

WHEREAS, on Tuesday, November 8, the People of Maine voted to approve the "Marijuana Legalization Act" by a majority of the votes given and the Act will be effective beginning January 30, 2017; and

WHEREAS, the 128th Maine Legislature has not yet taken action to ensure the proper oversight of the Act, or appropriated the necessary funds to enable the rulemaking for licensing and enforcement of the Act and will not have taken such action by the time the Act becomes operative; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Branch will be required to expend substantial funds in order to conduct the rulemaking required by the Act; and

WHEREAS, the retail sales, licensing, enforcement, and rulemaking expertise of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services is beneficial and necessary to the development and enforcement of the rules required by the Act;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, hereby order as follows:

1.Pursuant to the "Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act," the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is directed to delegate rulemaking authority granted under the "Marijuana Legalization Act" to the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services for rule-making, which shall rely on the expertise of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

2. No employee or department of the Executive Branch may expend funds for the purpose of implementing the Marijuana Legalization Act until an appropriation is made by the Legislature for that purpose. The effective date of this Executive Order is January 30, 2017.



Governor to Visit York for Next Town Hall

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 09:04:47 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 30, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Tuesday, January 31 in York, where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

Union Bluff, 8 Beach Street, is the location for the town hall, which will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Bags, beverages and signs are not allowed in the forum.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's budget proposal, protecting the elderly and strengthening Maine families and economy.



Maine DHHS Issues Letter to Trump Administration Officials Previewing Forthcoming Medicaid Flexibility Requests

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:29:29 EST

Today the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has notified the federal government of its intent to propose further reforms in its Medicaid program.

In a letter to the incoming Secretary of the federal Health and Human Services, Commissioner Mary Mayhew described her intent to request increased flexibility in the program in order to build upon the current fiscal stability within DHHS and to further the Department's efforts to prioritize our elderly and disabled. This communication with the federal government comes on the heels of liberal efforts to once again push massive welfare expansion in Maine at the ballot box by adding able-bodied adults to Maine's Medicaid program, MaineCare, at a state cost of more than $400 million over the next five years.

"We believe that President Trump and the incoming executive leadership in Washington present Maine and other reform-minded states with a unique opportunity to reshape the Medicaid program to best fit the needs of their citizens," said Commissioner Mary Mayhew. "That means expecting able-bodied adults to work, contribute to the cost of their coverage, and pay a small fee if they miss an appointment in exchange for taxpayer-funded health insurance. Like our other welfare programs, Medicaid should be a temporary hand up, not a lifetime benefit for an able-bodied adult."

"Our programs are on firm financial footing, so instead of dealing with a crisis, we can carefully evaluate how to best use taxpayer money. We are able to ensure Maine's programs prioritize their intended beneficiaries - our poor children, our elderly and our disabled. This focus will help build a better future for our communities and our state," said Commissioner Mayhew.

Commissioner Mayhew and DHHS alerted federal officials of specific changes that Maine will be requesting via an 1115b Medicaid waiver in the coming days. The specific requests include: • Work requirements for able-bodied adults • Time limits for able-bodied adults • Asset tests • Monthly premiums for adults who have the ability to earn income • Nominal fees for missed appointments

"In planning for Maine's future, our focus needs to remain fixed on the disabled and elderly in our states. To make serving them properly a reality, we need a commitment from the federal government that we can tailor our program to best serve our state," said Commissioner Mayhew. "That means allowing us to apply basic guidelines for the able-bodied individuals on our programs to ensure that they are utilizing the program appropriately and that funds are safeguarded for the neediest people in the state. We look forward to working with the Trump Administration on this critical request."

The letter is linked below.



First Lady Ann LePage Kicks off Read to ME Challenge

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 14:17:09 EST

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2017 Contact: Barbara Claudel, Executive Assistant to First Lady Ann LePage, 207-624-7508

AUGUSTA - First Lady Ann LePage announced today that she will launch the Read to ME Challenge sponsored by Maine's Department of Education on February 2, 2017 at the Blaine House. Military children and parents are invited to attend from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. when the First Lady will deliver remarks, followed by a reading to the children. "Reading to a child is such a special time," Ann LePage said. "I am a firm believer that if you teach a child to read and continue reading to them through their childhood, they will become life-long learners."

The Read to ME Challenge is a Maine Department of Education public awareness campaign to promote childhood literacy. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo, and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same. The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2017.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same. The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine. Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts. The First Lady also will visit Gardiner Middle School and Carrie Ricker Middle School in Litchfield on Monday, February 6 to promote the Read to Me Challenge by reading to students. For more information about this campaign please visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/readtome or contact DOE Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen at Leeann.larsen@maine.gov

Military Families who wish to attend may register at www.jointservicessupport.org or call Elizabeth Marcotte at 430-5773. Members of the media may contact Barbara Claudel @ Barbara.a.claudel@maine.gov for interview requests with the First Lady.



Governor to Visit Biddeford for Next Town Hall

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:32:06 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Wednesday, January 25 in Biddeford, where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

Biddeford Middle School, 25 Tiger Way, is the location for the town hall, which will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Bags, beverages and signs are not allowed in the performing arts center.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's budget proposal, protecting the elderly and preventing harm to the economy that could result from citizen initiatives.



Governor LePage Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:10:39 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 13, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage signed today a proclamation declaring Monday, January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. "As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of the many opportunities we have as Americans to give back to our communities and of the social responsibility we have in being positive and productive citizens in our state," said Governor LePage. "Dr. King was dedicated to expanding equality, social justice and opportunity for all, and his teachings continue to guide and inspire us to make our society a better place for everyone." Proclamation language is as follows:

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and opportunity for all, and challenged all Americans to participate in the never-ending work of building a more perfect union; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King's teachings can continue to guide and inspire us in addressing challenges in our communities; and

WHEREAS, the King Holiday and Service Act, enacted in 1994, designated the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Services with leading the effort that has inspired millions of Americans to serve their neighbors and communities on the King Holiday; and

WHEREAS, serving on the King Holiday is an appropriate way to honor Dr. King, meet local and national needs, bring our citizens together, and strengthen our communities and nation; and

WHEREAS, the King Day of Service is the only federal holiday commemorated as a national day of service, and offers an opportunity for Americans to give back to their communities on the holiday and make an ongoing commitment to service throughout the year; and

WHEREAS, King Day of Service projects are being organized by a wide range of non-profits in the State of Maine.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, proclaim January 16, 2017, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

throughout the State of Maine, and call upon the people of Maine to pay tribute to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through participation in community service projects on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and throughout the year.




Statement of the Governor on Linda Bean

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:44:29 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 12, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage released Thursday the following statement regarding the shameful treatment of Linda Bean by a progressive group trying to destroy her reputation and damage her family's company:

"Linda Bean is a great friend of the First Lady and I, and the L.L. Bean brand is impeccable. This company is not only an iconic brand in our state, but it is also a world-renowned retailer that represents the best of Maine and the U.S.A. The First Lady and I want to thank Linda for all she has contributed as a citizen and business woman to the State of Maine. It is reprehensible how progressives have bullied her and her family's company, and I encourage Mainers and customers around the globe to continue their strong support of L.L. Bean."



Governor Announces Two Judicial Reappointments, One Appointment

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:52:23 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the reappointment of two District Court judges and the appointment of one judge to the District Court.

The Governor has reappointed the Hon. Beth Dobson of Falmouth and the Hon. Daniel F. Driscoll of Biddeford to the District Court and appointed attorney Michael A. Duddy of Cape Elizabeth to the District Court.

Judge Dobson, who was appointed to the Maine District Court in 2009, formerly served in private practice with Verrill & Dana, concentrating in administrative law and regulatory compliance in health care and banking. She previously served as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland, as a grants coordinator in the Governor's Office and in the Maine State Planning Office. A graduate of University of Maine at Orono, she earned her law degree from University of Maine Law School.

Judge Driscoll of Biddeford was appointed to the Maine District Court in 2009. He previously served as a family law magistrate in the Portland District Court. Prior to that, he was Assistant Attorney General in Portland. In private practice, Driscoll was an attorney at Verrill & Dana in Kennebunk and Smith, Elliot, Smith & Garmey in Saco. He also worked as assistant general counsel for Springfield Terminal Railway Company in North Billerica, MA. Driscoll is a graduate of University of Maine School of Law.

Michael A. Duddy, an attorney with Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman in Portland, has assisted health care organizations with compliance and risk management. He has also familiar with immigration law, employment and labor law and business and corporate law. Serving in private practice since 1993, he worked at Eaton Peabody & Veague in Bangor and Kozak Gayer & Brodek in Bangor. He received a bachelor's degree from University of Maine at Orono, a master's degree in public policy and management at University of Southern Maine and his law degree from University of Maine Law School.

A veteran of the United States Navy, Duddy attained the rank of Lt. Commander as a Surface Warfare Officer.

The Judiciary Committee of the 128th Legislature will hear all Judicial nominations, and the Committee will schedule public hearings.