Lawmakers returned to Augusta on January 8 for the 2014 legislative session that is due to adjourn by April 16.
Balancing the 2014-2015 State Budget, increasing tax burdens on businesses or further reducing state aid to municipalities (revenue sharing), expanding Medicaid as promoted by the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), crafting a comprehensive renewable energy policy, welfare reform, and ideas to promote economic growth will be key policy areas of the 2014 session.
This is an election year with all 186 legislative seats on the ballot and Gov. Paul LePage up for re-election. Legislators will be running in new districts, which will change the electoral dynamics for many candidates. The gubernatorial election is shaping up to be essentially a three-way contest between Governor LePage (http://lepage2014.com), retiring U. S. Rep. Mike Michaud (www.michaud2014.com), and 2010 independent candidate Eliot Cutler (www.cutlerformaine.com).
The elections will cast a large shadow over legislative activities.
No date has been set yet for the Governor’s State of the State address.
Maine Legislature website: www.maine.gov/legis