Maine’s Republican Legislature Divided on LD 1066, Medicaid Expansion Bill

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE: Continuing to dust off past posts regarding Maine Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), as news broke today that he is considering jumping into the GOP primary race for Mike Michaud’s open seat. Here is the clip linked below in the original write up.

*Related: “Maine Senate Floor Debate On Override Of LePage LD 1509 FY 14-15 Budget Veto (June 26 VIDEOS)”

(Originally posted 18 Jun 2013)

Last week saw a clear division among the 126th Legislature’s GOP caucus regarding whether or not to pass LD 1066, “An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding”, as Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) proposed a “sunset provision” amendment that passed that chamber by a 23-12 vote.

Rising to speak against the provision were Minority Leader Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), Sen. Doug Thomas (R-Somerset) , Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) , Sen. Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) , Sen. David Burns (R-Washington) and Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) .

Over in the House, Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) offered a second amendment to the bipartisan Senate approved bill, adding a $100 million dollar fiscal note that was indefinitely postponed by a 88-61 vote.

From her prepared testimony: (shortened dramatically, due to available working space on this post. ~AP)

    “I rise before you today and present an amendment to LD 1066. This amendment seeks to set a clear and distinct priority in our MaineCare program and ensure that its original mission of caring for those who cannot care for themselves is fulfilled….

    Today I speak for the people that we legislators, policy makers and budgeters have shoved into the shadows. Today I’d like to bring them out in the light for you to see. Yes, these are the 3100 people being forced to languish on a waitlist, not receiving essential services because we don’t have the fiscal discipline to make the choices that need to be made in order to fund the care they need… not want… need. Some have been on this list for years….

    This amendment tried to rectify the abuses committed by the legislature and asks that you vote to insist that they begin receiving services by July 1 of THIS year….

    Yes, it will be expensive. This amendment carries a fiscal note of almost $100 million dollars over the upcoming biennium….”

Her colleague Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) rose to speak in support of the amendment:

Then Minority Leader Rep Ken Fredette (R-Newport) spoke in strong opposition, not just to the amendment but to the Medicaid expansion bill as well.

(Later, Fredette would rise again to speak infamously out against the expansion- but, we’ve already covered THAT today!)

Asst Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) then moved to indefinitely postpone the LD 1066 amendment.

When the House took the bill up again, as amended previously by Asst Minority Leader Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec), the vote results revealed some modest gains for the expansion, with 97 voting for enactment.

As expected, Governor LePage vetoed LD 1066 on Monday (now the second time he has vetoed Medicaid expansion), so now it awaits more votes in the Legislature.

Currently, House Majority Leader Seth Berry has moved for the bill to be tabled until later today (June 18) pending reconsideration.

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Maine Senate Floor Debate on Override of LePage LD 1509 FY 14-15 Budget Veto (June 26 VIDEOS)

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

3amigosNOTE: Now that Senate Minority leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) has indicated he is considering entering the #2CD #MEGOP primary fray against former Senate President Kevin (“Third time’s the charm, I tell ya!”) Raye and former Treasurer Bruce (“Which district do I live in, again?”) Poliquin, it’s time to go back through and dust off some posts.

Oh, yeah… Blaine (“I’m running, too!”) Richardson is in the mix there, too- somewhere.

Here’s a goodie- the day Mike Thibodeau vote to sustain LePage’s veto and shut down the entire state government. Ah, good times!


(Originally posted 30 Jun 2013)

Before the Maine Senate voted decisively by a 26-9 tally last Wednesday to override Governor Paul LePage’s Tuesday veto on LD 1509, “An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government, General Fund and Other Funds and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015”, twenty members of that body rose to deliver speeches.

gop vs gopNOTE: Although Maine Republican Senators Assistant Minority Leader Roger Katz (Kennebec), Pat Flood (Kennebec; member of Appropriations committee), Brian Langley (Hancock), Tom Saviello (Franklin), Roger Sherman (Aroostook) and Edward Youngblood (Penobscot) joined Independent Senator Dick Woodbury (Cumberland) and all 19 Democratic Senators in overriding the Governor’s veto hence preventing a disastrous statewide government shutdown, there were no public statements released by their press office.

The closest one can find would be this scathing letter from Assistant Minority Leader and former Augusta Mayor Roger Katz (Kennebec), which was picked up by the Washington Post.

Katz has taken some heat from his own party for the letter:

    Commenters on a well-known conservative website blasted Katz for attempting to compromise on Medicaid expansion. The senator was dubbed a RINO, a “Republican In Name Only.” One commenter suggested that Katz is predisposed to support liberal policies because he is Jewish and an attorney.

Ugly- and indicative of a party very deeply divided indeed.

Here in order of speakers are clips of the full debate. The statements added are from a Senate Democratic press release sent out after the vote. Additionally was this statement from Senate President Justin Alfond (Cumberland).

    “We did what the people of Maine expect us to do— we passed a responsible budget that will keep the state working,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “This is what we came here to do: work together to find common ground and help our state thrive.”

*Related: Maine Senate Debate On LD 1509, FY 14-15 Biannual Budget (June 13 VIDEOS)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Dawn Hill (York)

    “Today’s vote is no longer a vote on whether you like the budget; today’s vote is a vote to either shut down or not to shut down our state’s government,” said Senator Dawn Hill of York, the Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “I’m proud that our Republican colleagues joined us and stuck together to keep our state going, and pass a responsible, balanced budget for the people of Maine.”

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Pat Flood (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Emily Cain (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Brian Kangley (Hancock)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator David Burns (Washington)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator John Cleveland (Androscoggin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Doug Thomas (Somerset)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Tom Saviello (Franklin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Anne Haskell (Cumberland)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Colleen Lachowicz (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Margaret Craven (Androscoggin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Chris Johnson (Lincoln)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Stan Gerzofsky (Cumberland)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Andre Cushing (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator John Tuttle (York)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Geoff Gratwick (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Roger Katz (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Troy Jackson (Aroostook)

“I have voted on six biennial budgets in my time in the Legislature, and this is the budget vote I am most proud of,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “It’s certainly not a perfect budget, but it is a responsible budget. This is what legislating should look like.

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Mike Thibodeau (Waldo)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Seth Goodall (Sagadahoc)

    “While no one got everything they wanted in this budget, everyone got something they needed. That is compromise, and that is what is needed in divided government in order to move Maine forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond. “Today’s vote is a vote for a higher responsibility to put our state on solid footing. It’s also a vote for an opportunity to avoid property tax increases on every Maine homeowner. It’s a vote for an investment in our schools and our children–and it’s a vote to keep the lights on.”

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New Ad Released by Rep. Mike Michaud Focuses on 29 Year Record, Issues

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It’s worth noting that earlier today, Daily Kos moved Mike’s 2CD run from “likely D” to “safe D”:

    ME-02 (Likely D to Safe D): Just because he represents an unusual rural district that always seems to threaten to take a turn toward the conservative, Dem Rep. Mike Michaud often makes various watch lists. But he’s a good fit for ME-02, and public polling has showed him with dominant leads over his GOP opponent, Kevin Raye.

Here is an earlier released ad from a few weeks ago, focusing on Mike’s work for veterans:

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