Archive for February 23rd, 2012

LePage Signs DHHS Budget Bill, LD 1816, Not in Augusta- But in Madison

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

While Gov. Paul LePage spent the day touring businesses in Somerset County, the Maine Legislature passed the Supplemental Budget compromise reached by the Appropriations Committee. The committee spent many long hours and days trying to address the shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services, and rather than rubber stamp the draconian cuts suggested by the Governor (which may not have even been legal), came up with cutbacks with as little impact on poor Mainers as possible.

So that the committee could continue its work addressing a projected shortfall in the 2013 fiscal year, a member of the Governor’s staff carried the actual bill to Madison, where a Town Hall meeting was scheduled. The Governor signed the bill there, causing a bit of a delay in the start of the Town Hall. Gov. LePage leaves Friday for a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C.

Legislative leadership in both parties were hoping to have the budget bill signed and behind them before the weekend.

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Tweets from Governor LePage’s Somerset County “Capital For A Day” Town Hall

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Here they are!

1. #LePage announced he signed #DHHS budget bill passed earlier today #mepolitics

2. Joining #LePage at Town Hall Winglass (Labor) Aho (DEP) Beardsley Bernhardt (DOT) #mepolitics

3. Also Mayhew (DHHS) Whitcomb (Ag) Bowen (Ed) Treasurer Poliquin #mepolitics

4. Poliquin doesn’t even wait for a question but bashes #MSHA MaineHousing during his intro #mepolitics

5. Just wrapping up intros 25 minutes into Town Hall – so much for questions #mepolitics

6. 1st Q to Poliquin Will you release your Tree Management Plan? He does not answer #LePage steps to defend him #mepolitics

7. 2nd Q about public funding of religious education #LePage choice should be left to parents Not everybody learns same way #mepolitics

8. Q on innovative schools to Bowen says recreated fund eliminated during Baldacci – funding for it in next supplemental budget #mepolitics

9. Q on E/W highway Bernhardt says will bring jobs #LePage we’ve talked to Canadian ptemiers who favor & Fed now interested #mepolitics

10. Bernhardt adds that E/W highway would cross freight rail lines possible intermodal sites #mepolitics

11. @GriffinClubMerv Ack – I meant USFed interest in E/W highway which current scheme has private financed #mepolitics

12. Q on energy costs #LePage industrial & coomercial elect rates will drop 2¢ kWh Rez drop 1¢ kWh #mepolitics

13. #LePage claims that Maine can buy cheap hydroelect from Quebec then tells audience to not sign Alt Energy petition #mepolitics

14. #LePage says Wyoming has cheap elect cuz they use coal but then complains about polluted air coming from western states to Maine #mepolitics

15. Poliquin says state gov’t doesn’t pick winner or losers How does that fit w/attacks on #MSHA to favor for-profit developers #mepolitics

16. #LePage says NH has avg income $60K compared to Maine $45K #mepolitics If only Maine was next to Boston

17. #LePage says we need to figure out how to tax snowbirds more Says US has 2nd highest corp tax rate in world #mepolitics

18. If you missed it #LePage signed #DHHS compromise budget bill passed earlier today by #meleg #mepolitics

19. #LePage “A forest is nothing but a garden that takes longer to grow.” #mepolitics

20. On school choice Bowen said he had choice of 3 different high schools then mentions that his town didn’t have one #mepolitics

21. #LePage There’s a good reason we don’t pay our teachers enuf We have too many of them oer number of students #mepolitics

1. Ran into Treasurer Poliquin ahead of Madison town meeting. Tried to ask him about my FOA request. He ignored me. #mepolitics

2. Skimpy crowd tonight, especially being this close to Waterville. #mepolitics

3. Also very little press in attendance. #mepolitics

4. Bowen says he wants less of a regulatory department & instead assist great work of schools.Yet he wants to rip system apart. #mepolitics

5. Poliquin worried about taxes going up. His neighbors should be too. #mepolitics

6. Poliquin is once again talking about cutting wasteful spending at MSHA. #mepolitics

7. Labor Commissioner Winglass: plenty of jobs available in social service. #mepolitics #notforlong #didntgethememo

8. First question is about tree growth! Poliquin dodges. #mepolitics

9. Poliquin is dodging the question about his tree growth. #mepolitics

10. LePage communications team in complete disarray. #mepolitics

11. Now LePage is trying to cover for Poliquin… #mepolitics

12. LePage says he wants what is best for students and that they should go where is best for them. Including religious schools. #mepolitics

13. Bowen during question about education says that they are no longer a carrot and stick system. Now all about incentives. Huh?? #mepolitics

14. LePage says we need more cordial people in state government. Governor please listen to your own suggestion… #mepolitics

15. LePage is once again talking about energy costs and how Maine is in trouble. Yet we are cheapest in New England. #mepolitics

16. LePage talking about economic mobility as those who flee to Florida and don’t pay taxes. Doesn’t he own a house in Florida?? #mepolitics

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Marriage Makes the Ballot for November 2012

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Photo of the boxes containing more than 100k petition signatures. ~Andi)

Via press release:

The Maine Secretary of State today confirmed that enough signatures have been verified to place a Citizens’ Initiative allowing same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses on the November ballot.

“Just as my own thinking has evolved on this issue, more and more people in Maine are coming to understand that loving, committed same-sex couples should not be denied the freedom to marry,” said Pastor Michael Gray of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church and the citizens initiative’s lead signer. “We gathered signatures from voters in more than 450 towns all over Maine, and those people signed the petition because they want the chance to vote on this issue again so their gay and lesbian family, friends and neighbors can have access to marriage licenses.”

“Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons other couples want to marry: because they love each other and want to spend their lives together,”
said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. “During the last two years, our coalition has had thousands of face-to-face conversations about marriage with Mainers who have changed their minds about this issue. There’s no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage in Maine.”

“In 2009, our campaign mobilized more than 8,000 volunteers. We believe that number will grow this year as momentum for marriage increases,” said Shenna Bellows, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “People are excited, engaged and willing to work to make sure all loving couples can get married.”

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Keith Welch Announces Candidacy for House District 89 (Farmington, Industry)

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

From his press release:

Keith A. Welch of Farmington, a retired public school administrator, announces his candidacy for the Maine House of Representatives for District 89, Farmington and Industry.

A lifelong Democrat, Mr. Welch describes himself as a creative thinker representing a moderate point of view. His leadership background, developed over thirty years as a school principal and director of programs for the handicapped and disadvantaged, has taught him that progress is best made through consensus and the process of give and take while still representing the historic ideals of his party.

Keith was born in Farmington, graduated from Wilton Academy and completed his studies at the University of Maine at Farmington and at Orono.

He believes that every Maine citizen has the right to a fair and impartial voice in Augusta, and is running for the local seat in the Legislature to represent all Farmington and Industry residents. Mr. Welch further states, “I will be a public advocate for the interests of those who enjoy the privileges and rights afforded all Americans, as well as for those whose voices are not always heard.”

Mr. Welch can be reached at 778-3696 or

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