Summer is here, and with it, the end of the Legislative session. I’m happy to report that we were able to pass a balanced two-year budget before our July 1 deadline and avert a state government shutdown.
We spent many of the final days wrestling with budget negotiations, dealing with a record-breaking number of vetoes from the Governor and looking for agreement on some highly complex bills like the one rolling back jail consolidation.
We also reached agreement on sending two bonds to voters this November. The first bond is for transportation projects, which is something we send to voters almost every year. The second bond is for housing for Maine seniors, both new units and resources to help winterize existing homes, so that more of our neighbors can choose to age in place.
There will be one more session day on July 16 for lawmakers to address the final batch of vetoed bills, including a measure that would remove most of the Governor’s power to hold back voter-approved bonds.
Many of you have asked me about the controversy surrounding the governor regarding Good Will-Hinkley and Speaker Mark Eves. I am very troubled by the allegations and applaud the Government Oversight Committee for authorizing an investigation into the incident.
As I wait for the results of that investigation, I intend to focus on spending time in my district with constituents and planning for the work the Legislature will take on next session. If the investigation shows that there has been wrongdoing on the part of the governor, we will have to consider the next steps. No option is off the table, and I intend to act in a manner that is consistent with my oath of office. None of my colleagues in the Legislature, Republicans or Democrats, are taking any part of this situation lightly.
As always, please contact me if I can be of any help or if you want to discuss or testify on any legislation.