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Maine Governor's Press Releases



Press releases issued by the Governor's office.



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Governor LePage Releases Letter to Justice Jabar Asking Him to Keep His Promise

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:20:35 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA-Governor LePage released the following statement today.

"One of my most important duties is to appoint judges to Maine's district, superior and supreme judicial courts. The Maine people must know our judges are impartial, objective and committed to a fair and honest judicial process," stated Governor LePage. "The Maine people have a right to demand the highest qualifications-intelligence, integrity and good moral character-from members of their judicial branch. Their word must mean something. If a judge fails to uphold these standards, then I believe it is my duty to tell you."

The Governor's letter to Justice Jabar is available at the link below.



Governor LePage Delivers Property Tax Handout to Legislators

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:59:48 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 15, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Yesterday the Office of the Governor delivered the property tax information to members of the Legislature as Governor Paul R. LePage pledged during his State of the State Address on Tuesday, February 13.

In his address he advised taxpayers, "Ask your local officials how much land in your community has been taken off the tax rolls. Ask them how much in tax revenue it would be contributing today to help reduce your property taxes. The desire to preserve land without benefit to the taxpayers or their input is out of control. We must restore balance."

The packet includes the estimated increase in taxes paid annually by property owners and the amount of additional money each municipality would receive if tax-exempt properties were taxed at the rate proposed by the Governor in 2015.

The financial impact numbers the Governor shared are based on information that is provided by Maine towns and cities to Maine Revenue Services and their Property Tax Division.

Individuals looking for a specific property listing in their municipality should contact their local city or town office, which is where such records are kept. A directory of municipal offices is available on the state's website at: http://www.maine.gov/local/ .

A copy of the material provided to legislators is available at the link below.



Governor LePage Recognizes School District Collaboration To Benefit Students

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:39:06 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has issued the following statement recognizing today's State Board of Education vote to accept the scoring for the finalists for the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Educational Facility Pilot Project.

"Communities across Maine are demonstrating that when the state provides them with support and incentives, they will work together to create more opportunities for students in an efficient and effective way," said Governor LePage. "I commend the local superintendents and school boards for putting the needs of their students first."

The Governor added, "Enabling Maine students to benefit from regional and collaborative approaches to education is the right thing to do. When these projects are up and running, they will serve as a shining example of what is possible when our communities work together to benefit students."

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has implemented the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Educational Facility Pilot Project as part of the EMBRACE initiative, providing support and incentives to communities that work together to increase opportunities for students through regional partnerships that enable efficiency and take advantage of scale that the communities could not achieve on their own.

Most recently, Maine DOE announced grant awards of $4.6 million to school districts to pursue more than $10 million in savings through regional projects.



State Offices to Close Wednesday Afternoon Due to Snow Storm

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:36:37 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced that all State will be closing at 3 p.m. today due to inclement weather.

"I urge everyone to drive safely as you commute to your destination this afternoon," said Governor LePage. "Please remember to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles and give plow trucks plenty of room to operate."



Governor LePage Makes Maine State Housing Nominations

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:12:36 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 1, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today the nominations of George Gervais to be director of the Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) and John Gallagher to serve on the MSHA Board of Directors.

"I am pleased to nominate both George and John to these positions," said Governor LePage. "Our administration has made great strides in making Maine State Housing a more effective and efficient organization for the people it serves. George will bring strong management skills to the position from his current position as DECD Commissioner, and John, as the immediate past director, will be an important asset to the board during this transition."

Gervais, of North Yarmouth, prior to becoming Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), served as assistant commissioner, development program manager and business development specialist at DECD since 2008. DECD administers the Community Development Block Grants, which invest about $2.7 million annually in housing efforts statewide.

Prior to joining DECD, Gervais served as senior loan officer at Carteret Mortgage Corp. and Dedicated Mortgage Associates, LLC. He also founded Grill Concepts, Inc., and EVO, Inc.

Gervais holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maine Orono.

"I am grateful to Governor LePage for this nomination. Access to housing is fundamental to a strong economy, attracting and retaining a vibrant workforce, and supporting Maine's senior citizens. If confirmed, I look forward to building upon the strong foundation and implementing the strategic vision that Maine State Housing has established under John Gallagher's leadership," said Commissioner Gervais.

John Gallagher retired as director of MSHA in November 2017 having served since his appointment by Governor LePage and subsequent confirmation in 2012.

Prior to becoming MSHA director, Gallagher served as executive director of Westbrook Housing Authority and president of Westbrook Development Corporation. His past experience includes service as program manager for the Development Division at MSHA. He has more than 20 years of experience in residential real estate.

Gallagher is certified and trained in public housing management, multi-family housing development finance, and housing credit underwriting. He has held seats on the boards of the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors, Residential Initiatives for Maine, the Southern Maine Affordable Rental Housing Coalition, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, and Avesta Housing.






Governor LePage Issues Executive Order Establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 12:55:09 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has issued Executive Order 2018-002, "An Order Establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission."

"I am placing a moratorium on issuing any new permits related to wind turbines until this Commission studies the economic impact that such development would have on tourism in Maine," said Governor LePage. "Tourism, especially returning visitors, is a major driver for the Maine economy. We cannot afford to damage our natural assets in ways that would deter visitors from returning to Maine."

In 2016, Maine attracted more than 35 million visitors who spent nearly $6 billion, numbers that were surpassed in 2017.

The Governor stated, "While out-of-state interests are eager to exploit our western mountains in order to serve their political agendas, we must act judiciously to protect our natural beauty. I urge the commission to take the time they need to develop the right policies that balance tourism, the needs of the communities, the environment and development."

Membership of the commission will include representatives from state agencies and other entities that have substantial responsibilities and/or interests in the siting of wind turbines in Western Maine, including members of the Legislature, municipal officers, advocacy organizations and businesses.

As part of its charge, the commission will monitor compliance with federal and state environmental law, consider the economic impact of previously sited wind turbines in Maine, and develop and propose policies regulating the future deployment and operation of wind turbines in Western Maine.

In addition to today's executive order, Governor LePage announced his intention to introduce legislation to amend the laws governing expedited permitting for wind energy development.

"Current law is too ambitious and overly permissive in areas of the state where we must protect our scenic vistas. While I believe that some expedited permitting for wind is appropriate, my bill will implement constraints on where expedited development can occur to protect our tourism-based economy," he said.

A copy of the Executive Order may be viewed at the link below with a text version available at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov_Executive_Orders&id=776746&v=article2011 .



Governor LePage Names Michael Beardsley Senior Policy Advisor

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:56:43 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 19, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has named Michael Beardsley Senior Policy Advisor in the area of natural resources policy. "I am pleased to welcome Mike to our team," stated Governor Paul R. LePage. "His work experience will be an asset to our efforts this session."

Prior to joining the Office of the Governor, Beardsley served from 2013 to 2018 as the national director of marketing and sales for Santee Risk Managers, which provides insurance products to logging contractors nationwide. He previously served as the executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

He has also held several positions in the fields of banking, insurance, and financial services including time with TIAA, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, MBNA and Chubb.

A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, and a minor in history, Beardsley lives in North Monmouth with his wife.

He began his new position on Tuesday, January 16.



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."