Legislative Leaders Discuss Legislative Goals with Pierce Atwood Clients  

On March 2nd, Pierce Atwood hosted a breakfast with four members of legislative leadership, where they discussed their priorities for the legislative session.  Senate President Thibodeau, Speaker of the House Eves, Senate Democratic Leader Alfond and House Republican Leader Fredette responded to questions addressing topics including tax reform, workforce development, combating drug addiction and bonding.  The breakfast provided an opportunity for clients to ask questions of legislative leaders and to hear first-hand how issues are unfolding at the State House.  This was part of Pierce Atwood’s Inside Policy Series, where we invite policymakers at all levels to join our clients for discussions on policy agendas. 

State of Education Addresses Delivered to the Legislature 

On March 3rd, the House and Senate met in a Joint Convention to receive State of Education Addresses.  The entire Legislature heard from James Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System, Derek Langhauser, Interim President of the Maine Community College System, and William Brennan, President of the Maine Maritime Academy.  This was an opportunity for the leaders of these institutions to discuss their accomplishments and to outline their future goals, paying particular attention to those matters that intersect with legislative policy.   

Special House Election to be Held Next Week 

A special election to fill the vacant House District 93 seat (Rockland and Owls Head) will be held next Tuesday, March 10th.  This race features four candidates:  Democrat Anne Beebe-Center, Republican James Kalloch, Green-Independent Ron Huber and Libertarian Shawn Levasseur.  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 is being followed closely in Augusta. 

Taxation Committee Sets Aggressive Schedule to Consider Tax Reform Package

This week, the Taxation Committee released its work plan for considering the Governor’s tax reform package that is part of the biennial budget.  This Committee recently met jointly with the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee to hold over a week’s worth of public hearings on the tax package.  Now the Taxation Committee will begin to formulate its recommendations to the Appropriations Committee regarding this package.  The Committee has scheduled five full days of deliberations on the tax package, though additional work seems likely given the size of this proposal.  The Taxation Committee hopes to complete its work before the beginning of April.