Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. If you would like more specific information regarding an item in this newsletter or related to government relations, please contact a member of our Government Relations Practice Group: John Delahanty, or Andrea Cianchette Maker

Augusta Quiet Until Legislature Returns Next Week

At 1:05 a.m. on Friday, April 18, the Legislature adjourned to May 1, having completed action on virtually all the bills pending before it. The Legislature will reconvene on May 1 to consider any bills that have been vetoed by Governor LePage and to wrap up its work for the year. 

When the Legislature adjourned last week, there were roughly 100 bills on the Governor’s desk, which he must act on between now and May 1. As a result, the only new developments in Augusta this week have been related to the Governor’s growing list of vetoed bills. As of this report, the Governor has vetoed just over a dozen bills, including legislation touching upon:  metallic mineral mining; the process for utility reorganizations; Maine’s TANF program; and funding for provider of last resort services. There are a number of bills with widespread implications that remain under review by the Governor, including a roughly $30 million supplemental appropriations bill, another proposal to expand Medicaid, as well as a package of six bills that cumulatively propose $50 million in new bonding authority. 

Republican State Convention This Week

Since 2014 is an election year, Maine’s two major parties plan to hold their state conventions this spring, to rally supporters and to conduct party business.  The Republican Party is holding its convention this week on April 25 and April 26 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.  The Democratic Party is holding its convention on May 30 and May 31 at the same venue. 

This week’s convention will involve plenty of speeches, including an address by Senator Susan Collins and an address by Governor Paul LePage.  Dixon Pike, a member of Pierce Atwood’s Environmental Practice Group, and Avery Day, a member of Pierce Atwood’s Government Relations Practice Group, plan to attend this weekend’s convention as delegates.  Avery will be providing updates throughout the weekend via Twitter. You can follow him @averyday.