Release: Maine Policy calls on presiding officers to reconvene the legislature
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2020
Contact: Jacob Posik
Director of Communications
Maine Policy Institute Calls on the Presiding Officers
to Reconvene the Maine Legislature
PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Policy Institute today sent a letter to the Maine Legislature urging the presiding officers to call a special session for the purpose of directing the state’s immediate economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter includes an agenda and emergency legislation for lawmakers to consider upon their return.
“Maine people deserve a voice in the state’s response to this pandemic,” CEO Matthew Gagnon said. “Businesses are closing permanently and jobs are being lost forever due to the governor’s heavy-handed approach. It’s time to restore regular order in Augusta by reconvening the people’s representatives to conduct the people’s work.”
The presiding officers of the Maine Legislature – House Speaker Sara Gideon and Senate President Troy Jackson – have already requested the governor establish a task force for handling Maine’s economic response to the coronavirus. Governor Mills denied that request, making it incumbent upon the presiding officers to take matters into their own hands.
The emergency legislation Maine Policy recommends lawmakers consider includes making permanent the medical licensing and telehealth rules suspended by Governor Mills during the pandemic, repealing Maine’s certificate of need law and enacting Rep. Kathleen Dillingham’s proposal for reforming emergency executive power, among others. The letter also includes recommendations on how to spend the federal funding made available to Maine under the CARES Act.
“It is irresponsible to hold onto CARES Act funding with the hope of Congress relaxing rules on how states can spend it,” Gagnon said. “Instead, we should focus on providing immediate relief to struggling Maine families and business owners whose lives have been upended by the pandemic and our state government’s misguided response to it.”
The full letter sent to Maine lawmakers can be read here.
Maine Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts detailed and timely research to educate the public, the media, and lawmakers about public policy solutions that advance economic freedom and individual liberty in Maine. Learn more about our work at www.mainepolicy.org.