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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.

Governor LePage releases statement on Maine's lowest unemployment rate since 1976

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:40:32 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 21, 2017 Contact: Peter Steele, communications director, 207-287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement today on Maine's unemployment rate reaching the lowest it has ever been since the current statistical system was established in 1976. Maine's unemployment rate for March was only 3%, which is down from 8% when Governor LePage took office. The national average is 4.5%.

"Maine now has the lowest percentage of government employees in the workforce since 1976 and the highest number of jobs in the private sector ever," said Governor LePage. "This shows that our efforts to lower taxes, reform welfare and bring fiscal responsibility to government are working. Liberals are trying to reverse all the progress we have made by raising taxes and expanding welfare. We must work even harder now to continue our progress and stop the liberals from harming the economy with their tax-and-spend policies."

The unemployment rate has been below 4% in 14 of the last 17 months-only the third such period in the last 41 years, according to the Department of Labor. The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate of 623,000 for March was up 5,300 from one year ago, reaching a new all-time high.

The private-sector jobs estimate of 523,200 also was a new high. The percentage of government jobs is the lowest share on record.

Governor to visit Fort Kent for his next Town Hall

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:28:09 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 20, 2017 Contact: Peter Steele, communications director, 207-287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall meeting on Monday, April 24 in Fort Kent, where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

Fox Auditorium at the University of Maine at Fort Kent is the location for the town hall, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Bags, beverages and signs are not permitted in the forum.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's budget efforts to reform education funding, reduce taxes for all Mainers and lower energy costs for consumers and job creators.

LePage Administration Introduces Legislation to Reduce Barriers to Entry for Regulated Professions

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:06:22 EDT

##Licensing reforms make it easier for employers to find workers, Mainers to break into careersAUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage and Commissioner Anne Head of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (DPFR) on Wednesday highlighted bills proposed by the Administration during this year's legislative session that would make it easier to hire and work in Maine.DPFR oversees Maine's professional licensing boards, which regulate who may obtain or maintain a license to work in certain professions, including engineering, medicine, building trades, cosmetology and many more."One of the biggest challenges Maine businesses face is finding the qualified professionals they need to do the work that needs to be done," said Governor LePage. "For Mainers and people thinking of moving here, one of the biggest barriers to starting work is the regulatory wall they must scale in order to become licensed to practice their trade here. To keep our economy moving, we have to make it easier for people to work in Maine and for businesses to hire in Maine."Three bills introduced by DPFR and its associated professional boards would remove barriers to professional entry for engineers, electricians, funeral practitioners and pump installers. Measures include allowing boards more discretion to license professionals from out of state, simplifying the process of professional examination, allowing experience to substitute for formal education and removing residency requirements.Another bill focuses on veterans, allowing the director of the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation to waive or amend licensing requirements at her discretion, under the consultation of the board, for veterans with military training and experience comparable to those required by civilian licensure boards."The state strives to be a helping hand, not an obstacle, for professionals trying to practice their trade in Maine and businesses trying to hire them," said Commissioner Head. "We will be working with lawmakers to emphasize the importance of streamlining our licensing laws to make it easier to live, work, and run a business in Maine. We are facing a severe shortage of qualified workers in many professions and this legislation will help to reverse that trend."**Highlights of Proposed Legislation***LD 1165: An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Licensure for Professional Engineers*• Requires the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers to grant licensure to applicants from other jurisdictions who have been licensed in good standing for at least 10 years and whose qualifications are substantially equivalent to those required by the state. • Provides for temporary licensure for practice by nonresidents. • Removes the requirement for four years of engineering work experience prior to taking the national exam, allowing them to take the exam at any time they're prepared.• Removes the requirement for individuals who fail the exam three times to reapply and provide proof of further experience or study. They may take the exam three times, and all that matters is that they pass.• Removes the requirement for 30 hours of continuing education every two years. *LR 763 - An Act To Amend the Electricians' Examining Board Licensing Laws*• Reduces the required years of licensed experience in the electrical field prior to board appointment from 10 to 5 years. • Expands the board's authority to license applicants licensed in other states that do not require electrical education if the applicants can document comparable work experience in substitution of electrical education. • Reduces the minimum number of work hours that a journeyman licensed in a reciprocal state must show to obtain a journeyman or master license in Maine in order to allow a journeyman licensed as such in a reciprocating state to be credited for those hours of work experience. *LR 764 - An Act To Update Professional and Occupational Licensing Laws*• Removes a residency requirement for licensed funeral practitioners a[...]

Governor LePage Nominates the Hon. Barry J. Hobbins to Serve as Public Advocate

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 10:16:52 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 14, 2017 Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, (207) 287-5086

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated the Hon. Barry J. Hobbins of Saco to serve as the Public Advocate, a position that represents the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, including issues regarding electricity and natural gas prices. The Office of the Public Advocate also supports Mainers on matters related to telecommunications, including accessibility to broadband internet.

Hobbins, a lawyer in private practice for 39 years, has concentrated in telecommunications law, real estate, municipal and administrative law, land use planning, business and corporate law, criminal and family law.

A well-known and respected legislator, he was first elected in 1972 as the youngest member of the 106th Maine Legislature. He also served in the 114th Legislature, then the 122nd through 125th Legislatures. During his time in the State House, he was a member of many Committees, including Business Legislation, Labor and Judiciary, and served as both House Chair and Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.

While serving on the EUT committee, he developed a thorough knowledge of energy issues and was in charge of overseeing the Office of the Public Advocate as it related to wholesale electricity markets, interstate electricity transmission and interstate gas transportation. He also became familiar with the workings of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates interstate communications of radio, television, satellite and cable systems.

A lifelong resident of Saco, Hobbins is a graduate of Thornton Academy. He earned a B.A. degree from University Maine Orono and his law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, now known as the New Hampshire School of Law.

"Thanks to the misguided energy policies of the past that have been thrust upon us by wealthy special interests, Mainers are now burdened with the 11th highest energy prices in the nation. The high cost of doing business in Maine, especially in our high-tech, agricultural, manufacturing and forest products industries, is a huge jobs killer," said Governor LePage. "We must have a public advocate who understands the challenges companies are facing because of high energy prices and who is strongly dedicated to helping Maine compete for good-paying jobs in the domestic and global markets."

Governor LePage Announces Chief Legal Counsel

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:27:45 EDT

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

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced Brent Davis will serve as his Chief Legal Counsel. Former Chief Legal Counsel Avery Day stepped down in December to establish a private law practice, leaving the Governor's Office position vacant.

Prior to joining the Administration, Davis served as First Assistant District Attorney in the Somerset and Kennebec County District Attorney's Office. Since 2006, he has focused on litigation in Somerset Superior Court. From 2000 to 2006, Davis served as Assistant District Attorney where he worked on litigation in Skowhegan District Court and Superior Court. Davis currently serves on the Governor's Judicial Selection Committee.

Prior to attending law school, Davis served the public as a law enforcement officer from 1993 to 1999 with the Rockport Police Department. He also previously worked with the Cianbro Corporation as a pipe welder.

Davis is a 2000 graduate of University of Maine School of Law. Additionally, he holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine and an A.D. in Criminal Justice from University of Maine Augusta.

Governor LePage and First Lady to Host Blaine House Food Drive on Saturday

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:11:33 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 20, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - The Blaine House will be open to the public on Saturday for a food drive in an effort to help fellow Mainers who are less fortunate.

In 2011, Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage began the food drive to collect non-perishable items to stock pantries and shelters across the state. Since then, thousands of pounds of food has been collected and distributed to Maine families.

Mainers will have an opportunity to bring a food donation, receive a tour of the Blaine House led by Governor LePage and enjoy light refreshments.

"Our family has been blessed, and this is our opportunity to give back in a very meaningful way," said Governor LePage. "It is heartwarming to see our neighbors, friends, co-workers, students and various groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts dropping off donations year after year. Mainers are generous people, and in times of need we come together for a greater cause."

The Good Shepherd Food-Bank will accept all donations brought to the Blaine House. Good Shepherd Food-Bank will determine which communities need the food most and distribute the donations.

Doors will be open at the Blaine House between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Governor LePage Encourages Maine Legislature to Unite and Pass Real ID to Help All Mainers

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:18:11 EDT

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

AUGUSTA - While vetoing one bill relating to the REAL ID law, Governor Paul R. LePage today requested Maine legislators to pass a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond (D-Windham), LD 306, "An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines," which would help all Mainers, including veterans adversely affected by REAL ID. Currently, Maine is one of four states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID law.

Governor LePage encouraged Maine lawmakers to unite in order to help all Maine citizens, "While there appear to be reasonable arguments on both sides of the REAL ID debate, due to the federal insistence on enforcing its harsh terms, and a complete lack of interest or perhaps will in Congress to amend or repeal the REAL ID Act, I believe we, as elected state officials, must unite in going forward with implementation."

REAL ID, enacted by Congress in 2005, prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official purposes driver's licenses and identification cards issued by states that do not meet the law's standards for secure issuance and production. In a veto letter by Governor LePage due Friday, the Governor explained why he cannot support LD 213 "An Act To Provide Funds for Access for Veterans Seeking Health Care." Governor LePage is discouraged our veterans are adversely affected by Maine's lack of compliance with REAL ID.

"Though I agree with the sentiment to help veterans seeking medical care, we cannot forget all the other groups that have experienced problems due to REAL ID. I respectfully urge the Legislature to not provide case by case carve outs for groups being effected by REAL ID. Rather my advice to the Legislature is to speedily pass LD 306, "An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines" which would help all Mainers adversely affected by REAL ID," Governor LePage wrote. "Because this bill proposes only a limited fix to a much larger, much more complex issue, I cannot support it. For this reason, I return LD 213 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it," he concluded. Brigadier General Douglas A. Farnham Adjutant General, Maine National Guard and Commissioner for the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management said, "While appreciative of the Legislature's desire to help Veteran's obtain REAL ID compliant passport cards, the bill calls for Maine Bureau of Veteran Services to make financial hardship determinations and gather data from HIPAA protected federal medical facilities, processes that are currently not established. This is an access issue for all Veterans and Maine citizens. We need to pass LD 306 and fix the REAL ID problem for all Mainers.

In February, Governor LePage wrote to the Trump Administration requesting an extension in order to alleviate some of the problems veterans are experiencing with Maine's noncompliance of REAL ID and more time for Maine to adhere to the law.

Governor LePage Advocates for Life of Dakota the Dog

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:07:08 EDT

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

AUGUSTA - As the President of the United States pardons a turkey every November, Governor Paul R. LePage today announced a pardon in an effort to shed light on the case of Dakota the Dog. The request issued on Thursday describes Dakota the Dog, was involved in a proceeding before the Augusta District Court, during which the dog was sentenced to death.

"I have reviewed the facts of this case and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon," said Governor LePage.

Governor LePage was made aware of this case, by a board member of the Humane Society Waterville Area. A letter to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney was provided to the Governor explaining the situation regarding Dakota the Dog, a huskie, who had been involved in alleged aggressive behavior with other dogs. The incident involved a former owner and Dakota was eventually dropped off at the Humane Society as a stray. According to the letter, Dakota was a model resident, extremely friendly, social with other dogs, and easy to handle. Animal Control determined Dakota could be placed up for adoption and was adopted shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, there was a court hearing related to Dakota and her former owner. The new owner who adopted Dakota was unaware of any such court proceeding. Subsequently, the court ordered the dog be euthanized based on incidents occurring when the dog was owned by its previous owner.

The letter indicated, "They have not been given due process. The new owners were not aware of the more recent court case, nor the date for it, and therefore were not involved with the proceedings." To read the letter, click here.

A court hearing concerning the fate of Dakota the Dog is expected to take place tomorrow in Augusta District Court.

Governor LePage Announces District Attorney Rushlau to Maine District Court

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:38:13 EDT

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

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the nomination of District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau to the Maine District Court.

"As Governor, I have the utmost respect and have been impressed with the high quality work of the Judicial Branch. In choosing judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor, and integrity of the candidates, not politics. All of my nominees reflect these priorities," said Governor LePage. "I am confident that Mr. Rushlau will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges."

Geoffrey Rushlau, a resident of Dresden, is one of Maine's longest-serving prosecutors. He is currently serving his sixth consecutive term as district attorney for Prosecutorial District 6, which includes Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties. Prior to that, he was the Assistant District Attorney for Districts 6 and 3 (Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties).

Rushlau is a member of the Maine Prosecutors Association serving twice as President (1998-2000; 2006-2008). He is also a member of the National District Attorneys Association, Criminal Law Advisory Commission, Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Advisory Board.

Rushlau is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.

Governor LePage, GOP Governors Urge Yes Vote on Amended AHCA

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:23:46 EDT

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

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today joined twenty other governors signing a letter to Congressional Republican leaders, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging the passage of the American Healthcare Act. The pending vote is expected to occur today.

The letter is linked below.

Governor LePage Calls Out Liberals for Falsely Attacking American Healthcare Act

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:50:48 EDT

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

Maine and other states already mandate "essential services"

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage is calling out liberals who are attacking the American Healthcare Act by falsely claiming "essential services" are not included in the bill. Liberals are mounting a last-ditch effort to push these patently false talking points before the vote by the United States House of Representatives, which is expected today.

"The liberals are desperately trying to ensure the AHCA fails so they can maintain their massive web of expensive and inefficient federal regulations that have devastated our healthcare system under ObamaCare," said Governor LePage. "The AHCA seeks to return more health insurance regulation to the states-where it belongs-to create more affordable and accessible coverage for all Americans. Liberals think only Washington knows what insurance plans are best for Maine. But long before ObamaCare, Maine guaranteed that essential benefits were covered by insurance plans sold in our state."

Essential services, including maternity benefits and health insurance coverage of children, are regulated by the states. For example, in Maine, maternity benefits were enacted in 1975.

Please see below a link to all MAINE mandated coverage of "essential services:"

Governor LePage Sends Senators Letter to Support Amended AHCA

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:05:32 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 23, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage on Wednesday sent Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King a letter encouraging each to support the amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) supported by President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan.

Governor LePage wrote in the letter, "Under my administration, Maine is leading the nation on Medicaid reform. I'm urging you to join us in the effort to repeal, replace and reform ObamaCare once and for all. The people of Maine elected you to a place on the national stage, but they expect you to represent them-not the residents of some other state. Their economic future, as well as the long-term financial stability of our state, is at stake."

When the Governor traveled to Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, he had three simple messages for Congress and the Trump Administration. A conservative ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill must include a freeze of Medicaid expansion at least for states that haven't expanded, a work requirement for able-bodied adults on Medicaid, and block grants instead of per-capita-caps for state Medicaid programs. The amended version of the American Health Care Act, announced earlier this week, meets these simple and commonsense requests.

Governor LePage added on Thursday that while the amended AHCA is not a one-size-fits-all solution it is a "work in progress." Governor LePage believes the bill is a start Congress can work with in order to fix ObamaCare, which resulted in America's broken healthcare system.

The letters are linked below.

Question 2: A Tax Hike Maine Cannot Afford

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:36:50 EDT

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 20, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Today, the Governor's Office of Policy and Management (OPM) formally submitted their economic impact analysis of Maine's new 10.15 percent tax rate to the members of the Maine Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs and Joint Standing Committee on Taxation.

The report, which was delivered as the Tax Committee prepares to hold public hearings on several bills related to the Question 2 surtax, comes after OPM released the report's executive summary earlier this month.

"The results of my office's analysis indicate that the new surtax will have a decidedly negative impact on Maine's economy," said OPM Director Jonathan LaBonte. "Regrettably, we will witness these effects through reductions in employment, population, gross domestic product, and income at a time when Maine has seen improvement in all of these areas."

OPM staff estimate that in the first year of the new policy: • Maine's population will be negatively impacted by 800-1,400 • Private sector employment will be negatively impacted by 2,400-4,300 • GDP will be negatively impacted by $40-$160 million • Real disposable incomes will be negatively impacted by $400-$600 million

"Maine's economy had its best year since the Great Recession in 2016," continued Director LaBonte. "If there is one message that policymakers should take away from our economic impact analysis, it is that Maine cannot afford Question 2's tax hike."

Last November, Question 2 passed narrowly at referendum and imposed a new 3 percent surtax on Maine's top rate, effective January 1, 2017. At 10.15 percent, the new rate, a marginal tax hike of 42 percent, applies to individuals, families, and businesses with taxable income in excess of $200,000 a year. The new 10.15 top rate is the second highest in the country and the highest at this level of income.

New Federal Ruling May Provide Additional Benefits to Maine Veterans

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:22:09 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

The Department of Veterans' Affairs to provide disability benefits as a result of contaminated water supply

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage joined the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this week to announce expanded support for veterans affected by contaminated drinking water at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.

The VA has pledged to provide disability benefits for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. This ruling is similar to the latent Agent Orange ruling that now provides disability benefit compensation and healthcare to Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange herbicide while serving in and around Vietnam.

Governor LePage expressed concern about how Maine veterans affected by this ruling will be cared for and informed of this information. "Since there's no way of truly knowing how many veterans and family members currently living in Maine have been affected by the contamination at Camp Lejeune and now may have access to treatment under this new ruling, I strongly encourage anyone who was stationed at Camp Lejeune to contact the Bureau of Veterans' Services."

The VA has identified eight additional diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply. They are:

• Adult leukemia • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes • Bladder cancer • Kidney cancer • Liver cancer • Multiple myeloma • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma • Parkinson's disease

The area included in this presumption is all of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, including satellite camps and housing areas.

Adria Horn, the Director of the Bureau of Veterans' Services stated, "For veterans whose claims have been denied, are appealing the VA's decision about their claim, or who are awaiting a decision on a pending claim, I strongly encourage you to make an appointment with a Veteran Service Officer to personally review your claim. If you have never filed a claim, but suspect that you or your family member may be affected by the water at Camp Lejeune, please come see us or visit your local Veteran Services' Organization. This ruling and these presumptive conditions have been long in the making and there are many veterans no longer here today who paved the way for this ruling."

The VA's recent ruling complements the health care and disability compensation already provided for 15 illnesses or conditions as part of the "Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012". The Camp Lejeune Act requires the VA to provide health care to Veterans, who served at Camp Lejeune, and to reimburse family members - or pay providers - for medical expenses for those who resided there for not fewer than 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.

In the early 1980s, volatile organic compounds, trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, as well as benzene and vinyl chloride, were discovered in two on-base water supply systems at Camp Lejeune. The contaminated wells supplying the water systems were shut down in February 1985.

For full text of the press release, please visit Please contact or call 207-430-6035 for additional information.

Governor Nominates Dr. Hasson to Lead Department of Education

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 09:08:31 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 16, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the nomination of Dr. Robert G. Hasson, Jr of South Portland to serve as Commissioner of Education. Dr. Hasson has served as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education since November 24, 2016.

"Bob Hasson has demonstrated that he understands the one thing that matters most in education: every decision should be made based on the best interest of our students," said Governor LePage. "As long as I am Governor, we will do everything within our power to reshape the education system in Maine to center around students, push more of the dollars spent on education into the classroom and remove barriers to educational opportunities. I thank Dr. Hasson for his willingness to lead and advocate for Maine students and teachers."

"I am grateful to Governor LePage and the State Board of Education for their confidence in me and for the opportunity to serve," said Acting Commissioner Hasson. "I have had more fun leading the Department these last several weeks than at any other time in my career, except for when I was teaching first grade. This is an important moment for our State to recommit to our students, to empower our teachers and leaders and to bravely dream about new possibilities that we wouldn't have dared to imagine. It is an exciting time in Maine education. I am especially committed to ensuring that the State of Maine finds new ways to serve our disadvantaged youth and prepare them for lifelong success."

A former teacher, principal and superintendent, Dr. Hasson served as the Superintendent of Schools at MSAD 51 (Cumberland / North Yarmouth) from 1993 to 2013 and as the Deputy Executive Director of the Maine School Management Association from 2013 to 2015 where he was the Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association. Dr. Hasson holds a BS in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph's College, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Fitchburg State University and a Doctorate in Education from Boston College.

In a letter to Governor LePage dated March 9, 2017, the State Board of Education evaluated the strengths that Dr. Hasson will bring to the position of Commissioner. On behalf of the Board, Chair Martha Harris wrote: "The Board enthusiastically supports Dr. Hasson for the positon. Bob is eminently qualified to be Maine's Commissioner of Education. The Board looks forward to working closely with Dr. Hasson for the next two years (and perhaps beyond). He will make an outstanding Commissioner. He has the background, skills and leadership style to move our state forward."

Dr. Hasson comes from a family of educators. A math teacher, his father taught and coached at Oxford High School. In addition, he taught for the South Portland public schools, the Long Creek Youth Development Center and Southern Maine Community College. Also a teacher, his mother taught at the elementary level for South Portland public schools. Dr. Hasson's wife Sue is a teacher at Holy Cross in South Portland, and his daughter Megan is an Ed Tech at Acadia Academic, a public charter school in Lewiston.

Under Maine law, the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs must hold a confirmation hearing no later than 30 days following the nomination by the Governor.