AUGUSTA – The 128th session of the Maine Legislature adjourned sine die after House Republicans voted against an amended extension order presented by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon. The order was for a three day extension, with Gideon providing a work outline and clear expectations regarding outstanding business.
Due to ongoing obstruction by House Republicans, a number of pressing issues remain unresolved. The most urgent item is a reduction in pay for Maine’s direct care workforce as of July 1, resulting in potential group home closures. Other unfinished business includes school funding, a package to address the opioid epidemic, administrative funding for Medicaid expansion, tax conformity, transportation spending and other spending related to bonds.
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:
“Today, the House Republicans chose to go home, relinquishing responsibility and creating uncertainty around the issues that matter most to our people and our economy. They effectively said no solutions to the opioid crisis, broke promises to our direct care workers, refused to provide funding for the healthcare law passed by Maine voters, left uncertainty regarding education funding and failed to move forward on good, bipartisan, work. Bottom line, we just needed to take action. But today, because of unclear motives and an unknown agenda, House Republicans voted against their own values. After eight years of partisanship before progress, I was still so gravely disappointed to watch House Republicans walk away from their responsibilities. I had hoped for more.”
Majority Leader Erin Herbig released the following statement:
“Sixty-six representatives just abandoned thousands of vulnerable Mainers because they refused to continue the jobs they were elected to do. Developmentally disabled Mainers and their loved ones, school and town officials, families desperate for treatment for opiate addiction and countless others were all left behind. The representatives who voted against continuing our work have many to answer to.”
Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden released the following statement:
“There is a reason Mainers and the rest of the country have lost faith in politics, and this is a prime example. It should not be impossible to agree that we have a responsibility to sit at the same table until we can find common ground and get the job done for the people of Maine. Today’s obstructionism by House Republicans sets a new, low standard.”