Governor to Deliver State of the State Address
On February 3rd at 7:00 p.m., the Maine House and Senate will meet in a joint convention to hear Governor LePage deliver his State of the State Address. This Address is typically a platform for the Governor to explain and promote his agenda for the legislative session. It is expected that the Governor will use this opportunity to discuss his biennial budget proposal, particularly the tax reform measures within it.
Nominations Advance at the Legislature
On January 29th, the Maine Senate confirmed Carlisle “Carlie” McLean as a Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission. McLean will leave her position as the Governor’s Chief Counsel on February 6th to assume her new role at the Commission.
That same day, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee voted unanimously in support of Richard Rosen's nomination by Governor LePage to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. Rosen’s nomination will now proceed to the full Senate for its approval.
Special Election in House District 93 Set
A special election to fill the vacant House District 93 seat (Rockland and Owls Head) has now been set by the Governor for March 10th. Party candidates must be selected via local party caucuses before February 9th. Republicans plan to select their candidate on February 2nd. Democrats have not yet determined when their caucus will be held. While the outcome of this race will not affect control of the Maine House, the partisan margins in the House are quite close and this election will be followed closely in Augusta.
Winter Weather Disrupts Legislative Schedule
This week’s snow storm resulted in a rather slow week for the Maine Legislature. Tuesday’s House and Senate sessions and committee meetings were canceled due to the weather and Wednesday’s committee meetings were also postponed due to the storm. As a result, many committees will continue with their preliminary orientation work next week. A handful of bills are scheduled for public hearing next week, but committees are still a long way from an aggressive hearing schedule. As more bills are printed, the pace of committee work will pick up.