AUGUSTA – The State House welcomed new and returning legislators today. They were sworn into office and constitutional officers were also selected. Governor LePage used the opportunity to urge both parties to work together, starting with referendum questions that he believes will harm the states economy .
Re-elected Senate President Mike Thibodeau and newly elected Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon were sworn into office Wednesday, and were giving their first order of business. Thibodeau spoke enthusiastically about spending time with family while Gideon jumped right into business, saying she wants to help children and low income members of the community. She also spoke to the women in the House, saying that the 54 women in the Legislature this year make up the highest number of females in the House thus far.
Incumbent Attorney General Janet Mills was elected after a competitive one day race in legislature Wednesday, and Matthew Dunlap remained Secretary of State with no opposing candidate, but before the ceremonial swearing in, Governor LePage urged both the House and the Senate to work together, specifically mentioning Question 2 and Question 4, saying that he’s hoping to alter these referendums.
But it appears it’ll be another long road, because legislators are already disagreeing on the first order of business.
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette begged the quesiton, “Do the Democrats have the political courage to change some of these things which are harmful to the Maine economy ?” while Gideon responded saying “The people said we need this to get done. They spoke loud and clear and were going to honor that”.