Release: Maine Policy’s Statement on the Defeat of Emergency Power Reform Bills



June 3, 2021
Contact: Jacob Posik
Director of Communications
Office: 207.321.2550

Maine Policy Institute’s Statement on the Maine Legislature’s
Defeat of Emergency Power Reform Legislation

PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Policy Institute CEO Matthew Gagnon issued the following statement Thursday in response to the Maine House and Senate defeating numerous bills that would reform the emergency powers of the chief executive or require legislative involvement in the extension of emergency declarations:

“Maine’s emergency power law exists to allow the chief executive to respond quickly and efficiently to an emerging threat. Its purpose is not to enable one person to unilaterally dictate the livelihoods of more than one million citizens indefinitely.

“At least 12 state legislatures have acted already on emergency power reform this year, and more states will follow before the conclusion of their current legislative sessions. Unfortunately, Maine lawmakers have failed to stand up for the rights of their constituents and the constitutional separation of powers.

“Governor Mills used emergency executive authority to shutter schools and businesses and separate Mainers from their doctors, dentists and other life-changing healthcare services. She issued rules that had no basis whatsoever in science, like wearing masks outdoors, closing outdoor State Parks and more. 

“Never again should Mainers’ ability to go to work, school or leave their home be subject to the whims of one human in the Blaine House. What we’ve witnessed for more than 15 months is the antithesis of representative government and the separation of powers as prescribed in the Maine and US Constitutions.

“Maine persists under a state of emergency more than 15 months after this all started. There is no emergency in the state any longer, and there hasn’t been for months. We know who is most impacted by COVID-19 and how to protect them. We’ve already deployed our solution in the form of mass vaccinations. The governor and her administration have no ground on which to stand in continuing the emergency declaration.

“It’s past time to end the emergency, restore citizen rule in Augusta and return to normal.”

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Maine Policy Institute is a 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