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Maine Governor's Press Releases



Press releases issued by the Governor's office.



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Governor LePage Hails Trump Administration Decision on Medicaid

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:59:23 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 11, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage hailed the decision by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow states to institute work requirements for able-bodied adults.

"Most people have something to contribute to their community through either work or volunteering, and people who can contribute should do so," stated Governor LePage. "Although the details on Maine's waiver request still must be worked out, this decision by CMS is a critical first step."

The Governor added, "Under our proposal, people who receive Medicaid and are able bodied will need to work, be training for a new career, or volunteer. We want to see the same successes that Maine's TANF beneficiaries have realized. These work-oriented activities end isolation, build relationships, improve quality of life and help move our economy forward."

On Thursday CMS issued a letter to state Medicaid Directors, providing guidance aimed at supporting efforts to engage able-bodied Medicaid recipients in work or community-engagement activities. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awaits a final decision on its demonstration waiver application under section 1115 (a) of the Social Security Act, filed in the fall of 2017.



Governor LePage signs another emergency declaration to ensure heating fuel deliveries continue

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:33:33 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a new emergency proclamation to ensure Maine residents receive heating oil deliveries during the extended period of cold weather the state is experiencing.

Many fuel-delivery drivers will shortly be approaching their federal limit on hours of operation and may have to cease delivery of heating fuel and bulk petroleum fuels. The emergency proclamation will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow drivers delivering and transporting heating fuels, specifically fuel oil, propane and natural gas, to operate additional hours.

"Our oil delivery drivers need the flexibility to be on the roads so Mainers can heat their homes over the next several days," said Governor LePage.

The Governor also reminds drivers who are picking up extra hours to remain safe on the roadways. "We want to keep Mainers warm, but drivers and business owners should understand their limitations too," said Governor LePage.

The order is in effect until January 14 or until the Governor declares the emergency is over.

The proclamation can be viewed here:

http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/news/news_display.shtml?id=775527



Governor LePage Thanks Chief of Staff for His Service

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:56:24 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 8, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

*Holly Lusk to serve as chief of staff*

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that John McGough, his longtime chief of staff, has stepped down effective January 8, 2018 to accept a position with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"John has been with me since I first ran for governor in 2010," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "I have appreciated his leadership the past several years, and I congratulate him as he continues his career in public service at the federal level."

McGough has been Governor LePage's chief of staff since the Governor first took office, and during the 2010 campaign he served as deputy chief of staff and policy director. Prior to joining the campaign, McGough was the director of human resources for the City of South Portland.

His prior experience includes serving as the assistant city administrator/human resources officer for the City of Waterville. He was also the former chief of staff for the House Republican Office of the Maine House of Representatives.

McGough holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Public Administration from the University of Maine system. He resides in Brunswick with his wife Jillaine and daughter Molly.

Governor LePage has appointed Holly Lusk as his chief of staff and legislative director, effective today. Lusk has served as deputy chief of staff since rejoining the LePage administration in November 2017. An attorney, Lusk is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maine School of Law.



All State of Maine Offices Are Closed Today

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 04:32:18 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 04, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Due to a winter storm, Governor Paul R. LePage has announced all State of Maine offices will be closed on Thursday.

"Travel conditions are expected to be treacherous," 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."



Adjutant General Farnham Promoted to Major General

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:49:10 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today presided over the promotion of Maine's Adjutant General Douglas Farnham from brigadier general to major general. General Farnham also serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.

"I am pleased to recognize General Farnham during this promotion ceremony," stated Governor LePage. "Having earned his well-deserved second star as major general, he is Maine's highest-ranking reserve component officer, leading 3,000 of Maine's National Guard Airmen and Soldiers."

General Farnham was appointed Adjutant General on December 29, 2015 and unanimously confirmed by the senate on January 17, 2016. He was promoted to brigadier general on January 21, 2016, and is responsible for managing the activities of Maine's Army and Air National Guard, Maine Veterans' Services and Maine Emergency Management Agency.

General Farnham joined the Maine Air National Guard in 1991. He has served in various operations and command positions in the 101st Air Refueling Wing. He also deployed as United States Central Command Deputy Director of Mobility Forces. Prior to assuming his current position, General Farnham commanded the 101st Air Refueling Wing in the Maine Air National Guard.



Governor LePage Issues Emergency Declaration Ensuring Heating Fuel Deliveries Continue

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 13:58:13 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 29, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has signed an emergency proclamation to ensure Maine residents receive heating oil deliveries without delay and throughout the holiday weekend.

"The Northeast is experiencing a lengthy cold snap with record low temperatures. Our oil delivery drivers need the flexibility to be on the roads so Mainers can heat their homes over the next several days," said Governor LePage. The State of Emergency proclamation will enable the granting of a waiver from the Federal Department of Transportation to allow heating oil delivery personnel to stay on the road longer to make sure homes and businesses stay warm.

The Governor also reminds drivers who are picking up extra hours to remain safe on the roadways. "We want to keep Mainers warm, but drivers and business owners should understand their limitations too," said Governor LePage.

The order is in effect until January 5 or until the Governor declares the emergency is over.

A copy of the proclamation is available here: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/news/news_display.shtml?id=774860 .



Governor LePage Nominates Suzanne J.M. Krauss as Director of MEMA

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:30:01 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 21, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated Suzanne J.M. Krauss of Brunswick to serve as director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval War College with a master's degree in National Security and Strategy Studies, Krauss has served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve for 22 years. She was a Navy pilot who was trained in helicopters, multi-engine prop aircraft and unmanned systems.

Experienced in leadership, strategic communication and organizational risk management, she has earned several awards and medals, including the Navy's Meritorious Service Medal, a Life Saving/Rescue Award and awards for Best Proactive Media Relations program in the Navy and for excellence in the strategic communication plan for the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Most recently, Krauss worked as director of strategy and change management at Custom Composite Technologies in Bath and as business relations coordinator at Midcoast Regional Development Authority in Brunswick.

Krauss, who attended high school in Brunswick and Prescott, Arizona, has a B.A. degree in International Relations from Boston University. She lives in Brunswick with her family.



Governor LePage Thanks State Employees for Reaching an All-time High in Charitable Giving

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:00:10 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 15, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage thanked state employees for their generosity in donating to the Maine State Employees Combined Charitable Appeal (MSECCA). The 2018 goal was $420,000, and the state employees donated more than $558,000 in payroll deductions and one-time gifts, an all-time high.

Governor LePage stated, "2018 will be a safer, warmer, healthier and happier year for many in Maine and beyond, thanks to the generosity of Maine State Employees. I am pleased and proud that you have raised more than $558,000 for MSECCA this year, shattering the goal and making it the most successful MSECCA campaign ever."

The amount is the total contributions as of close of business on December 14, the deadline for payroll deductions. Additional one-time donations may be made through the end of the calendar year.

"I also challenged our employees to give to hurricane relief and I would match those donations up to $50,000. Maine state employees not only met my $50,000 challenge, they exceeded it by nearly $10,000. This means more than $106,000 will be going to hurricane ravaged areas in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Thank you for your outstanding generosity," said the Governor.

He continued, "I thank all the agency coordinators and volunteers for their incredible work on this year's campaign, and I especially commend Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt and his team at the Department of Transportation, who have done an exemplary job promoting this year's MSECCA campaign and working with all employees to make it the most successful ever."



Governor LePage Thanks Veterans Administration for Improving Services for Maine's Veterans

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:20:58 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage thanked the Veterans Administration (VA) for approving additional staff to address suicide prevention, drug addiction and other issues facing Maine's veterans.

"I thank Secretary Shulkin and Deputy Secretary Bowman for listening to our veterans and providing this needed support," stated Governor LePage. "My administration has placed a priority on serving those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, and I know that the Trump Administration places the same importance on honoring and supporting our veterans. The approval of these key positions sends the message to our veterans that we are here for you."

Staff of the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services (BVS) have been involved with the Veterans Treatment Court and other transitional programs for Maine's veterans. They have brought renewed federal attention to issues involving justice-connected veterans and their post-incarceration transition back into civilian life, including the lack of a dedicated, full-time health care for re-entry veterans specialist.

In response to Maine's requests, the VA conducted additional analysis, including a review of the homeless population rate, incarceration issues, the veterans crisis-line call volume, and other co-existing risks that are evident in a rural state, such as the propensity for isolation, and concurred that Maine needed additional resources to serve veterans in crisis.

As a result of these ongoing efforts, in addition to a recently approved suicide prevention coordinator, Maine has received approval for a veterans justice outreach specialist and a health care for re-entry specialist.

"Coordination with the Veterans Treatment Court and justice-connected vets has been and will continue to be a major priority for our office," stated BVS Director Adria Horn. "We are thrilled that our advocacy on behalf of the veterans justice outreach coordinator position will bring much-needed resources to our state. Secretary Shulkin has made Veteran Suicide a priority; it's refreshing to see action being taken to address that priority."

Governor LePage reminded veterans, "Some veterans avoid taking advantage of the benefits they have earned thinking that they should be reserved for another, more-deserving veteran. However, you and your families have earned these benefits through your service, and I encourage you to contact our own Bureau of Veterans' Services if you ever have questions about your benefits or if you want to connect other veterans with resources in the state. The Bureau is here to assist all veterans in Maine - and that includes you, your family, and your friends."

Veterans can go to http://www.maine.gov/veterans/ to access the benefits they have earned.



Governor LePage Sends Letter to Legislative Leadership Outlining Principles of Medicaid Expansion

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:28:50 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 11, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Today, Governor Paul R. LePage sent a letter to the leadership of Maine's legislature outlining the principles he will follow in the expansion of Medicaid as passed by the voters on November 7, 2017.

"The Legislature must now step up and identify a way to fund this, and it is their duty to the people of Maine to identify a way to pay for expansion that is both fiscally prudent and sustainable," stated the Governor.

"Implementation and funding of Medicaid expansion must be based on the cost estimates of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and must meet four basic principles. Following these principles will avoid the havoc caused by the previous expansion, which nearly destroyed the state budget and created a $750 million debt to our hospitals," the Governor noted.

The Governor's principles are as follows: 1. No tax increases on Maine families or businesses. 2. No use of the Budget Stabilization Fund or this year's money that will be directed to the fund with the goal of reaching $300 million; diversion of these funds would drain a key budget stability resource and only provide funding on a one-time basis. 3. No use of other one-time funding mechanisms or budget gimmicks. 4. Full funding of our Section 21 and 29 waitlists and no reduction of services or funding for our elderly or disabled populations and prioritization of our fiscal obligations, including Riverview.

A copy of the Governor's letter is available at the link below.



Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage to Host Military Children's Christmas Party

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:14:35 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 7, 2017 Contact: Barbara Claudel, 207-624-7508

**The Governor and First Lady invite children of military families to the Blaine House for a Christmas celebration**

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage will host Military Families for a Christmas Party at the Blaine House on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Children and their families will enjoy Christmas cookies and hot cocoa with the Governor and First Lady and with special guests, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

"Maine's military service members, and their families, make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of all of us," said Mrs. LePage. This is an opportunity for the Governor and me to show how much we sincerely appreciate their sacrifices while spending time together enjoying some Christmas cheer."

This event is not open to the general public; however, any military family who wishes to attend should contact the Maine Army National Guard's State Family Program to register either online at https://www.jointservicessupport.org/ or by calling the Child and Youth Specialist at (207) 430-5773.



Governor LePage Submits Federal Disaster Relief Request for Storm Damage

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 15:31:23 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 30, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage requested today a Presidential Disaster Declaration for federal assistance to repair $4.7 million in public infrastructure damages throughout 13 counties caused by the severe storm that slammed Maine with high winds, rain and flooding from October 29 through November 1, 2017.

"The strong winds and heavy rains caused extensive damage as trees, many still in full leaf and weakened by drought, snapped or uprooted in rain-saturated soil," Governor LePage said. "The falling trees pulled down wires, snapped more than 1,400 poles, and left many roads impassable, causing widespread power outages greater than those of the 1998 Ice Storm. Several communities spent days clearing debris that created life-safety issues from public rights-of-way. The cost for that clean-up work will be considerable and will cut deeply into public works budgets. This devastating storm has placed a financial burden on towns and counties."

Based on the magnitude of damage, the impact on state and local budgets and the fact that the costs of damages for Maine and its counties far exceeded the threshold needed for this request, the Governor has sent a letter to President Trump to request the disaster declaration.

This is a request for public assistance, not for individual assistance. Although an Individual Assistance Declaration is not being sought, a Small Business Administration Administrative Declaration is being requested to assist affected businesses. More than 200 small businesses reported loss of revenue, damage to products and damage to buildings and equipment.

In addition, the Farm Service Agency in Maine has submitted an Administrator's Physical Loss Notification request for assistance to its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, due to the storm damage affecting several thousand farms in the state.

The request is available at the link below.



Governor LePage Names Holly Lusk Deputy Chief of Staff

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:21:49 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has appointed Holly Lusk to be his deputy chief of staff and legislative policy director. She will replace Kathleen Newman, who stepped down in October after seven years of service to the administration.

"Holly previously served as my Senior Advisor for Health Policy, and I am pleased to welcome her back to my staff," stated Governor Paul R. LePage.

An attorney, most recently Lusk practiced at Preti Flaherty in the firm's government affairs, health law and litigation groups. In her previous tenure in the Office of the Governor, she advised Governor LePage on issues relating to health, welfare, insurance, professional licensing and financial regulatory matters.

Lusk holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in International Relations and French Studies, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in Harpswell with her husband and children.

She began her new position on Monday, November 27.



Governor LePage Issues Statement on Medicaid Expansion

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 08:25:30 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has issued a statement in response to Mainers approving a referendum that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to give "free" health care to working-age, able-bodied adults, most of whom do not have dependents.

"The last time Maine experimented with Medicaid expansion in 2002 under then-governor Angus King, it created a $750 million debt to hospitals, resulted in massive budget shortfalls every year, did not reduce emergency room use, did not reduce the number of uninsured Mainers and took resources away from our most vulnerable residents-the elderly and the intellectually and physically disabled," said Governor LePage.

"Credit agencies are predicting that this fiscally irresponsible Medicaid expansion will be ruinous to Maine's budget. Therefore, my administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families, raiding the rainy day fund or reducing services to our elderly or disabled."



Governor LePage Extends Emergency Proclamation for Power Restoration

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:24:09 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 6, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has extended the emergency proclamation that allows drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to operate additional hours. This extension will expire at midnight, Thursday, November 9, 2017. "This extension will allow the crews to continue to work around the clock to bring power to the last few thousand customers who have been without electricity since last week's storm," said Governor LePage. "I thank the crews for their tireless efforts to turn the lights back on for almost 500,000 Mainers. The remaining outages are largely the most difficult to address, involving multiple trees and damaged poles that must be replaced." Text of proclamation follows. State of Maine Governor's Emergency Proclamation for Electricity Restoration Efforts WHEREAS, the State of Maine is experiencing the effects of high winds and storm conditions that have impacted transportation routes and put thousands of Maine homes and businesses out of power; and WHEREAS, work crews will have to work many hours to clear roads and restore power; and WHEREAS, power restoration crews have been requested from other service areas as well as Canadian provinces to assist in power restoration; and WHEREAS, federal rules determine the number of hours the driver of an electrical line repair vehicle may operate; and WHEREAS, drivers of such vehicles must cease operations when they reach the federal limit on hours of operation, and therefore would have to cease power restoration; and WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger the property of Maine homes and businesses; and WHEREAS, these conditions are expected to extend through October 30, 2017; 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 drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to operate additional hours, and WHEREAS, motor carriers 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 as of October 30, 2017 through November 9, 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. Paul R. LePage Governor [...]