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Press releases issued by the Governor's office.



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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.



Governor Signs Order to Keep Oil Trucks on Road and Mainers Warm

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:21:38 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, 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.

"Frigid temperatures have hit Maine early this winter season, and our oil delivery drivers need the flexibility to be on the roads so Mainers can stay warm during these cold 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 18 or until the Governor declares the emergency is over.



UPDATE: Military Families Christmas Party CANCELLED

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:22:57 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 15, 2016 Contact: Barbara Claudel, 207-592-0647

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage will host Military Families for a Christmas Party at the Blaine House on Saturday, December 17, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:00 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. "Many children are faced with the difficult task of a parent leaving home for deployment and being gone over the Holidays. 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."

Any military family who wishes to attend should contact the Maine Army National Guard's State Family Program to register either online at www.jointservicessupport.org or by calling the Child and Youth Specialist at 207-430-5773.



Governor LePage and First Lady to Host Military Children's Christmas Party

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 09:24:38 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 15, 2016 Contact: Barbara Claudel, 207-592-0647

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage will host Military Families for a Christmas Party at the Blaine House on Saturday, December 17, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:00 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. "Many children are faced with the difficult task of a parent leaving home for deployment and being gone over the Holidays. 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."

Any military family who wishes to attend should contact the Maine Army National Guard's State Family Program to register either online at www.jointservicessupport.org or by calling the Child and Youth Specialist at 207-430-5773.



Governor Announces Judicial Nominee

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:06:03 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the reappointment of Hon. Joseph M. Jabar as Associate Justice to the Maine Supreme Court.

Jabar is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Maine School of Law. Following graduation, Justice Jabar served as a federal prosecutor for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. He returned to Maine and served four years as District Attorney for Kennebec-Somerset Counties. For 25 years he was a member of the law firm of Jabar, Batten, Ringer and Murphy of Waterville.

He has served two Governors as Chair of the Executive Clemency Board, served as a Workers' Compensation Commissioner and served two terms as a State Representative. He was Chairman of the Juvenile Code Revision Commission in 1977 and 1978. He has also served on the Board of Governors for the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.

Governor Angus King appointed Justice Jabar to the Superior Court in 2001, and he was re-appointed by Governor John Baldacci in 2008. This is the first reappointment of Justice Jabar by Governor Paul R. LePage. While on the Superior Court, he served on the Family Law Advisory Commission, Criminal Law Advisory Commission, Media and the Courts Committee, and the State Sentencing and Corrections Council. Governor John Baldacci appointed him to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on September 1, 2009.

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



Statement from Governor LePage on Leadership Transition at the Department of Education

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 10:44:55 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the departure of the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education, Dr. William H. Beardsley, from the position effective December 23, 2016, for personal reasons. Dr. Robert G. Hasson will continue to lead the Department as Acting Commissioner.

"Bill Beardsley is a man of tremendous integrity, intellect and service. It has been a great asset to the State of Maine that a man of his caliber and experience returned to serve in our administration," said Governor LePage. "Over the last year, his leadership has reshaped the Maine Department of Education to ensure every decision is focused on the best interest of students and that children from every corner of the state have access to a high-quality public education. Although his departure is a loss for our administration, we are thankful to Dr. Beardsley for his many contributions. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

"I am honored to have served Governor LePage. He truly cares about all Maine students, from every part of the state, from every walk of life," said Dr. Beardsley. "I have the highest respect for my colleagues in the Department and the Governor's cabinet. I have full confidence in Acting Commissioner Bob Hasson, one of Maine's outstanding educators. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Maine and to leave knowing Maine public education is in good hands."

"I am humbled by the trust and confidence that Governor LePage has placed in me," said Dr. Hasson. "The next two years will be critical to addressing major challenges in Maine public education. Over the last six years, Governor LePage has demonstrated a commitment to improving education in Maine, and I firmly believe that we can make great strides to benefit all Maine students by pursuing the regional delivery of backend operations for school districts, closing the achievement gap, and strengthening professional learning for educators throughout the state. I also wish to thank Bill Beardsley for asking me to join the Department of Education and for his many contributions to education in Maine."

Dr. Beardsley has led the Maine Department of Education since 2015, following his service on the State Board of Education from 2012 to 2015. In 2011, Dr. Beardsley was appointed as commissioner of the Department of Conservation until the agency merged with the Department of Agriculture in 2012, creating the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He was president of Husson University from 1987 to 2009. He has previously chaired the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) Board, the Maine Development Foundation Board of Directors, and the Maine Higher Education Council.

Dr. Hasson currently oversees certification, educator effectiveness and higher education for the Department of Education and is the chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine. 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 2013-2015 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.



State Offices to Close at 4 p.m.

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 15:37:28 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 12, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced that all State offices will be closing at 4 p.m. today due to inclement road conditions.

"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."

Please note that all state offices will be closed at 4 p.m., but will reopen during regular hours Tuesday, December 13, 2016.



Opening of State Offices Delayed Until 10 a.m.

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 04:49:04 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 12 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, Adrienne.Bennett@maine.gov or (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Due to inclement weather, Governor Paul R. LePage has announced that State Offices will open at 10 a.m. statewide today, Monday, December 12.

"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."



Revenue Committee Forecasts Strong Conclusion to State's Fiscal Year

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:46:05 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 02, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - The Maine Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) formally submitted their General Fund revenue forecast today to Governor Paul R. LePage and Maine Legislature. The forecast, which comes on the heels of a preliminary report issued earlier this week, is one of two required annually and was due no later than December 1, 2016. As part of their forecast, the RFC projects an increase in General Fund revenues of $34.2 million for the current fiscal year, an increase of 1 percent. The adjusted forecast is realized with revenues above the previous forecast from sales, individual income tax collections, and corporate income tax filings.

"Reducing the tax burden on Mainers continues to prove itself as a good policy decision. Despite cutting taxes for more than half a million Maine families, our structural gap has been reduced significantly, businesses investment and job creation continues and our revenues remain strong," said Governor LePage. "This proves that when you operate government in a business-like and effective manner, policymakers can focus on the issues that matter, such as welfare reform and economic development, rather than constantly scrambling to fill budget gaps."

"This is precisely what makes passage of Question 2 and Question 4 so frustrating," said the Governor. "Despite our success improving the economy and cutting taxes for Maine families, liberal special interest groups are fixated on returning Maine to its damaged past as a laboratory for socialist experiments that have failed in other states and countries."

The Committee also reduced the forecast for the 2018/19 biennium by $31.6 million, a decrease of 0.4 percent, anticipating a decline in automobile sales following more than five year of robust growth.

"The Great Recession resulted in Americans from all walks of life making dramatic changes to their individual finances," said Dr. Michael Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy. "As consumer confidence dipped, households began to limit their discretionary spending and large purchases. Mainers have been aggressive in replacing the automobiles they chose to retain during the recession. The Revenue Forecasting Committee expects that growth to slow in the coming years."

The RFC consists of the Associate Commissioner for Tax Policy, the State Budget Officer, the State Economist, an economist on the faculty of the University of Maine System selected by the chancellor, the Director of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review and another member of the Legislature's nonpartisan staff familiar with revenue estimating issues appointed by the Legislative Council.



Governor Urges Legislature to Consider Consequences of Referendum Questions

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:36:48 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage wrote the following letter to Legislative Leadership and members of the 128th Legislature: (Link to letter is below.)To Legislative Leadership and members of the 128th Legislature: I urge you to lessen the impact of two referendum questions approved by the voters that will cause significant economic harm to restaurant workers, small businesses, successful people and our elderly. Question 2 will increase the income tax to 10.15% on successful Maine households and small businesses, supposedly to boost funding for education, and Question 4 will increase the minimum wage in such a way that it will devastate the restaurant industry, put local shops out of business and push 325,000 elderly Mainers deeper into poverty. Increasing the income tax to the second highest in the nation could actually do the opposite of what the question proposed. Question 2 sought to raise more money for education by slapping successful Maine households with an extra 3% income tax, but this could result in less money for education. Punishing Maine people and small businesses by increasing their income tax by 42% will drive them out of our state and prevent badly needed professionals, such as doctors, dentists, engineers and scientists, from coming here. No one wants to come to a state that will confiscate over 10 percent of their earnings, especially when other states, such as our next-door neighbor New Hampshire, take none. Successful people and small business owners already pay a significant amount of property tax, income tax, excise tax, sales tax, payroll taxes and other taxes and fees. If they go out of business or leave the state and take their income with them, this will create even less revenue for schools and municipalities. Maine needs more population, and we need more trained professionals. Taking a bigger share out of their hard-earned paychecks is not the way to do it. We may as well put up a big sign in Kittery that says: "Welcome to Maine: We'll Tax the Heck Out of You!" As drafted, the minimum wage law is fraught with unintended consequences that will create significant hardship for restaurant workers, small businesses and the elderly. As labor costs rise so rapidly, small businesses will have to absorb the extra expense by laying off workers and raising prices. As the price of everyday staples, such as milk, bread, eggs and coffee, and essential services, like snow plowing, roof repairs and furnace maintenance, increase to cover the higher labor costs, the elderly will be left out in the cold. Low-skilled and entry-level workers will get a $4-an-hour increase in pay, but those on Social Security will get an average increase of just $4 a month in their checks. This fixed income is not enough to cover the inflationary effect on prices this new law will have. As they must spend more of their limited income on higher prices, our elderly will be pushed even deeper into poverty. Restaurant owners say they will have to raise menu prices to cover the new labor costs. Even worse, with the elimination of the tip credit, servers will see their pay slashed by half or more. Servers who now make $25 to $30 an hour will see their income plummet to $12 an hour with little or no tips. Automatically increasing the minimum wage each year with no regard to how the state or national economy is doing could decimate small businesses in Maine. Your local corner store, favorite restaurant or longtime hairdresser cannot handle automatic wage increases when the economy is in a downturn. Although we all agree an increase in the minimum wage is acceptable, most Mainers did not understand the specifics of the referendum ques[...]



Governor Announces Acting Commissioner Hasson to Department of Education

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:36:54 EST

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced Dr. Robert Hasson is appointed the Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, effectively November 24, 2016.

Supportive of the transition, Dr. William Beardsley will continue serving at the Department of Education in the capacity of Deputy Commissioner, "Dr. Hasson is an exceptional colleague and friend, and I cannot think of a better person to serve in the capacity of Acting Commissioner. It is the top priority for the administration that the needs of Maine's students are served well by the Maine Department of Education, and as such he and I will work closely together to ensure continuity and stable leadership at the Department," said Beardsley.

Dr. Hasson currently oversees certification, higher education, and educator effectiveness for the Maine DOE. He earned his doctorate at Boston College, is a Maine native, a former Maine superintendent, and is intimately familiar with the public education landscape in Maine and the issues related to school funding, student achievement, teaching and learning.

A Department employee may only hold the role of Acting Commissioner for six months, according to state statute. Dr. Hasson will replace Debra Plowman, who has been in the position since May. Transition paperwork is filed with the Maine Secretary of State's Office.



Statement on Transition of Energy Director Woodcock

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 09:39:01 EST

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the transition of the Director of the Governor's Energy Office, Patrick Woodcock, from the position effective December 9, 2016. "Patrick Woodcock has done an outstanding job, not just for the State of Maine, but also for the New England region," said Governor LePage. "He has been at the forefront of discussions on how to lower energy for the Maine people and the people of New England. His expertise and his ability to communicate energy policy is unmatched. Although his departure is a sad day for our administration, we are proud of the job he has done for Maine, and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

"It has been a privilege to work for a Governor who is passionate about improving New England's competitiveness and lowering energy costs for businesses in our region," said Patrick Woodcock. "I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with many talented energy professionals on behalf of the State of Maine to reduce heating costs and address our regional energy infrastructure. I strongly believe that sensible policies could transform Maine and this region into the cleanest and one of the lowest energy cost regions in the country." Director Woodcock has held the position since January 2013 and previously worked for Senator Olympia Snowe in her Washington, DC office. During this period, the Administration secured dedicated resources to assist Mainers to convert to modern heating equipment, led a regional effort to expand energy infrastructure, and expanded natural gas distribution service in Maine to key employers, including the Sappi Somerset Mill in Skowhegan.



Governor Issues Statement on Twin Rivers Announcement

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:20:59 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 11, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today issued the following statement regarding the announcement from Twin Rivers:

"The paper industry is not dead. I commend Twin Rivers for its efforts to rebrand the pulp and paper industry. While the need for newsprint and other commodity papers continues to decline, we are beginning to see investments in other products, which our mills can support and remain competitive within the industry.

Now more than ever, it is important to make sure Maine is competitive in attracting new job creators and retaining existing companies by lowering taxes, reducing energy costs and providing a welcoming atmosphere for businesses and capital investment.

Maine is the only New England state in which industry is the largest energy-consuming sector. If the incoming Legislature is serious about strengthening the Maine economy, then it must reject above market energy contracts and seek low cost energy that does not harm the environment. In return, we will help job creators expand, hire more workers and bolster the Maine economy."

Twin Rivers announcement may be found here: http://www.twinriverspaper.com/news/acquisition-burrows-paper/ ###