Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House 9-27-13

by Pierce Atwood LLP

Augusta, ME

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, Andrea C. Maker, or Avery Day.

Maine’s Hospital Debt Paid Off

Last week, Governor LePage delivered on a campaign promise by paying off the State’s debt to Maine hospitals. More than $490 million was paid to 39 Maine hospitals as the result of legislation enacted this legislative session. This proposal to securitize revenues from the State’s wholesale liquor contract to pay off Maine’s hospital debt was one of the bigger initiatives enacted this year. In recent weeks, bonds were sold to make these payments possible.

While the Governor and other members of his Administration used this opportunity to highlight the fulfillment of a campaign pledge, activists used the events surrounding the announcement of these payments as an opportunity to call for an expansion of Maine’s Medicaid system.

LePage Administration Considering Interesting Economic Development Incentive

The Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, George Gervais, recently discussed an economic development incentive that the Administration is considering pursuing that would involve making the one Maine county with the slowest economic growth exempt from State taxation. Under this concept, counties would be evaluated by unemployment rate, poverty rate, population change and private sector share of personal income and the county with the lowest ranking would then be exempt from personal income, corporate income and sales taxes in order to boost economic growth.

This concept would need legislative authorization before it could become a reality. Democratic legislative leaders, according to reports in the Maine press, have been cool to this proposal. This idea is very likely to be part of the Legislature’s deliberations during the upcoming session.

Governor Vows No Supplemental Spending Bill Next Session

We are only a few months into the State’s current fiscal year and revenue predictions have already fallen below expectations by a few million dollars. It is not unusual for economic forecasts to be off and for the State to make mid-year corrections to its budget in order to keep its fiscal house in order. This fiscal year may be a bit different, however, as Governor LePage, last week, said he will not propose a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year.

The Governor maintains that since the Legislature refused to adopt the biennial budget he proposed, the Legislature is responsible for any shortfalls over the remainder of the biennium. Should the Governor follow through on his promise not to submit a supplemental budget, the Legislature can craft its own proposal, but it is highly unusual for the Executive Branch to not propose the first version of a budget bill.

Study Groups and Committees Working Throughout the Fall Various study groups and committees have begun to meet to start the process of drafting reports and suggested legislation for next session. In the past two weeks alone, a group charged with examining tax expenditures and identifying $40 million in budget savings, a solid waste task force and a study committee examining health insurance exchanges have all met.

Looking ahead, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee will meet on October 2nd to consider a number of ongoing, budget-related matters. Perhaps, the issue with the largest policy implications on the Committee’s agenda is a report from the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management regarding budget savings during the current biennium. This Office was directed to find $33 million in savings over the next two years as well as identify 100 State positions for possible elimination. This Office will make its report on these initiatives to the Committee on October 2nd and these recommendations have the ability to affect almost any aspect of State government.

Written by:

Pierce Atwood LLP

Pierce Atwood LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.