United States: Legislature Completes Its First Week; Majority Party Discusses Its Legislative Agenda; New Constitutional Officers Sworn Into Office; Federal Decision Issued Regarding Maine Care Enrollment (Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House 1.11.13)

Last Updated: January 15 2013
Article by John D. Delahanty, Andrea C. Maker and Avery T. Day

Legislature Completes Its First Week 

The Legislature has completed its first week of the session. With a couple of exceptions, this was a fairly quiet week in Augusta. At this point, only four bills have been printed, giving committees little substantive work to do. The Legislature met twice this week and some committees held an initial meeting. Most of the activities at the State House, however, have been geared toward new member orientation. Many legislators took part in the Maine Development Foundation's Policy Leaders Academy, which involves a bus tour for legislators to different regions of Maine to help educate them on Maine's economy and the impact policy decisions have on the economy. This tour, connecting legislators with businesses, educational institutions and research facilities, began on Wednesday, January 9th, and runs for three days, meaning little was scheduled for the second half of the week.

There are, of course, exceptions to the quiet at the State House. On January 9th, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, along with the other Democratic members of the Legislature, held a press conference in the Hall of Flags to announce the majority party's legislative agenda. Further, the January 11th due date for the Governor to release both of his supplemental budget and biennial proposals arrived this week. At the time of writing, these budget bills have not been released but analysis of both of these proposals will be forthcoming.

Majority Party Discusses Its Legislative Agenda

On January 9, 2013, members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, led by Senate President Alfond and Speaker of the House Eves, held a press conference in the Hall of Flags to announce their legislative agenda. While this event was short on details, Democrats did indicate those areas that will be a priority at the State House. They include:

  • Workforce development (including the formation of a Joint Select Committee to examine this issue)
  • Early childhood education
  • Reduced energy costs (including support for energy efficiency and alternative energy)
  • Reduced healthcare costs (including revisiting an overhaul of Maine's health insurance market that was enacted by the last legislature and examining care management for MaineCare members)
  • Investments in the State (including bonds for infrastructure and research and development)

New Constitutional Officers Sworn into Office 

On January 7, 2013, Governor LePage swore Maine's three new Constitutional Officers into office. Maine is unusual in that our Constitutional Officers (i.e., Secretary of State, Attorney General and State Treasurer) are elected by all of the members of the Legislature in a joint convention. Last month, the new Democratic majority elected Matt Dunlap as the new Secretary of State, Janet Mills as the new Attorney General and Neria Douglass as the new State Treasurer. Upon being sworn into office, State Treasurer Neria Douglass called upon Governor LePage to issue over $60 million is general obligation bonds that have been approved by Maine voters, an issue that has been simmering for sometime in Augusta. Shortly after Janet Mills assumed office, the LePage Administration announced that outgoing Attorney General William Schneider is joining the Administration's newly created Office of Policy and Management as that office's Deputy Director.

Federal Decision Issued Regarding MaineCare Enrollment

During the last legislative session, the Legislature enacted budget language affecting MaineCare enrollment that was projected to reduce access to MaineCare for over 30,000 people. The LePage Administration began the process of implementing this legislative change in the summer of 2012, which involved requesting a State Plan Amendment from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Because the State's budget assumed that these reductions would be made in the fall of 2012, the implementation date of these changes played a factor in keeping the State's budget in balance. Due to both the policy and politics of these changes, a response to the State's request was significantly delayed. Just this week, the State was notified that two of the four proposed initiatives to reduce enrollment would not be permitted, leading some to call this decision a "draw." Because of the delay in implementation of those measures that can proceed and the rejection of half of the proposed measures, the Governor's supplemental budget proposal must make up for unanticipated spending. This, however, is just one component of the Supplemental budget, which will seek to fill an even larger budget hole at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Charter School Commission Rejects Four of Five Applications

On January 8, 2013, the Maine Charter School Commission voted to reject four out of five applications for new charter schools. Under a recently enacted charter school law, only 10 charter schools are authorized for the first ten years of the law. Four schools have already been approved by the Maine Charter School Commission and those interested in creating new schools are now competing for diminishing slots. The Commission met this week to consider five applications and, ultimately, rejected four of these applications. The Commission's decision was soon criticized by Governor LePage, who spoke to the press about the Commission's decision the day after it was made. The Governor's strong criticism of the Commission's decision and Commission members has now become a news story in itself.

Pierce Atwood Hosts Members of the LePage Administration

On Monday, January 7, 2013 the Government Relations Group at Pierce Atwood connected its clients and friends with Kathleen Newman, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Governor LePage and Michael Cianchette, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor for a lively discussion about Maine's fiscal and policy landscape. The event, part of our Inside Policy Series, attracted nearly 50 individuals from various industries including business, healthcare, education, real estate and development, banking, technology and professional services. Topics covered included proposed curtailments, the supplemental and biennial budgets, debt owed to hospitals and education. The Government Relations Group will continue the conversation on Maine's fiscal and policy landscape on January 16 when the firm hosts members of the legislative leadership for its next Inside Policy Series event.

Pictured (from left to right): Andrea Cianchette Maker, Michael Cianchette, Kathleen Newman, John Delahanty, Avery Day, James Erwin

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Avery T. Day
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions