Statement from Senate Republican Leaders on Governor’s Closing of Downeast Correctional Facility

“The people of Washington County deserve better than this. Maine Senate Republicans are currently looking at all available options.   “The Maine Legislature’s commitment to keeping this facility open has been consistent. In addition to fighting for funding in the budget, legislators in 2016 reached agreement on a government facilities bond that mandated a correctional facility exist in Washington County. This action appears contrary to the agreement that was reached.”   “Furthermore, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee this week overwhelmingly approved a bill to keep the Downeast Correctional Facility open.   “We remain committed to the people of Washington County.”   Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) Assistant Majority Leader Amy Volk...

Maine Legislature Back in Session

The 128th Maine Legislature resumed its work on January 3, 2016. Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) presided over the opening day of the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature. The Legislature is expected to tackle numerous issues such as tax conformity, Medicaid expansion and marijuana legalization, as well as hundreds of bills that were introduced before the session began or are carryovers from the previous legislative session. The Maine Legislature is scheduled to have its work completed in April....

Legislature Adjourns Until January

The First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature adjourned on November 6, 2017, after convening for a special session to take up items such as ranked-choice voting and implementation of retail recreational marijuana sales. The Second Session of the 128th Legislature will convene on January 3,...

Statement on Passing of Representative Gina Mason

“We are all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Representative Gina Mason. Gina was a tireless advocate for the people she represented in Lisbon, serving in local government and at the State House in Augusta. We will fondly remember her disarming approach to solving problems in Augusta and for her extraordinary efforts in organizing the annual Moxie Festival Parade in Lisbon. “Gina had a close relationship with her entire family. The bond she shared with her son, Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, will be sorely missed in Augusta. Stacy and I join the entire Maine Senate family in sending our thoughts and prayers to the Mason family during this difficult time.” Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau...

Maine Legislature’s Committee of Conference Approves Budget

AUGUSTA – The Committee of Conference appointed by the Maine Legislature to reach a budget agreement tonight approved a proposal to send to the full Legislature. The committee vote was 5-1. The agreement includes an additional $162 million in education funding, achieving the 55 percent state contribution threshold for the first time. It also includes education reforms to put more resources into the classroom, particularly in rural Maine. The proposal also fully repeals the surtax on Maine’s small businesses, which was a top priority for legislative Republicans. Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau said, “This budget incorporates priorities from all legislative caucuses by repealing the job-crushing tax on Maine’s small businesses, providing the largest education increase in Maine history and, for the first time, fulfilling the state’s obligation to fund K-12 education at 55 percent. “A significant portion of the increased education funding will go directly to property tax relief. “It also includes significant reforms to education spending to ensure the increased funding makes its way into the classrooms.” “It also directs additional resources toward services for Maine residents with disabilities. “While I don’t believe this is a perfect document, we are hopeful this will avert the harm that would result from a government shutdown.” Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec), a member of the Committee of Conference said, “While no one will be thrilled with this budget, it is the result of a compromise we hope will garner the two-thirds support necessary for passage. The people of Maine are counting on us to deliver, and I believe we are now in a position to pass a budget.” The budget proposal will...

Senate President Appoints Senators to Committee of Conference to Reach Budget Agreement

AUGUSTA – Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) today appointed three members to a committee of conference in an effort to reach an agreement following an impasse over the state’s biennial budget that begins on July 1, 2017. Joint Rules of the Maine Legislature allow a committee of conference to be convened when there is a disagreement between the House and Senate over a particular bill. According to the rules, the committee includes three members of each chamber who voted on the prevailing side of a bill. Lawmakers, thus far, have been unable to reach a budget agreement that will garner the necessary two-thirds majorities needed to pass a state budget by June 30, 2017. Senate President Michael Thibodeau said, “There are a lot of good people working to make sure we are successful. I am confident that the members of the committee will work tirelessly to find a solution.” The Senate members of the committee of conference are: Senator Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Senator Cathy Breen (D-Cumberland) The committee of conference will begin its work at 7 pm this evening, June 13, 2017, at the State House with an organizational meeting....