Maine House Republican Members Outline 2016 Legislative Objectives
From a press release:
“The Maine Legislature must deal with a number of challenges as legislators return to Augusta this week.
Maine is in the midst of the worst drug crisis in state history. Governor LePage requested funding for 10 new MDEA agents immediately to help fight the supply side of this epidemic. That funding has been found within existing resources and the process of recruiting those agents has already begun.
Now it’s time for legislators to turn their attention toward drug treatment and education. This is an issue that requires a thoughtful and thorough process and whatever plan is ultimately brought forward for a vote must be completely vetted by the committees of jurisdiction. We cannot afford to race through this process.
In addition to the drug epidemic, there are several fiscal issues that demand the immediate attention of legislators.
• Tax Conformity: On the heels of the omnibus spending package passed in Washington last month, whether or not Maine complies with these new tax changes could cost roughly $40 million.
• Voter approved changes made to the Maine Clean Elections Program will cost the state an additional $7-$10 million.
• Indigent Legal Services: This program was not funded for the second year of the biennium. This is a constitutionally mandated program and will require $4 million in funding.
• County Jails Issue: A bill to address the situation with the county jails was carried over to the upcoming session. This also has the potential to cost the state additional money.
Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N. Berwick) responded:
- “Every day, more Maine families struggle to save the lives of their loved ones suffering from crippling addiction. While some members would rather posture in front of a microphone, we are focused on using available resources to mount a serious effort to tackle the drug crisis and give families, law enforcement, and treatment providers the tools they need.”