This week, I’ll provide an update on the omnibus energy bill and discuss the Appropriation Committee’s bipartisan budget proposal.

Community Event – Old Port Fest

This Sunday, June 9th, Portland will host the 40th Annual Old Port Fest, a fantastic event that brings thousands of people to downtown Portland. There will be a kick-off parade starting at 11am at the top of Exchange Street, and festivities will continue into the evening. The Old Port Fest is always a great time, and I hope to see you there!


Click here for the details.

Omnibus Energy Bill

In May, the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee unveiled their omnibus energy bill, a comprehensive measure to protect and increase investments in energy efficiency and reduce pollution while lowering costs for Maine families and businesses.


The bipartisan omnibus bill, which received a 12-1 vote in committee, is a comprehensive measure that helps put Maine on a path to a sustainable and affordable energy future.


Included in the proposal:

  • Increase funding for Efficiency Maine over the next two years;
  • Provide ongoing funding for Efficiency Maine programs to lower home heating costs;
  • Implement reforms to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which will lower the total greenhouse gas emission cap by 45%;
  • Reform the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reduce energy costs;
  • Authorize the PUC to enter contracts for new natural gas capacity into the region;
  • Provide near-term direct rate relief for businesses; and,
  • Increasing the efficiency of street lighting, helping to lower electricity costs for municipalities.

This is a great bill that is a prime example of what we can do when we work together to improve the lives of Maine people.


Click here to read more from the Bangor Daily News.

The Biennial Budget

Early Friday morning, the Appropriation and Financial Affairs Committee came to an agreement on a unanimous two-year budget proposal that will help mitigate some of the damage of the Governor’s proposed budget.

The bipartisan proposal restores funding to Maine’s public schools, and towns, and to programs that help Maine seniors and people with disabilities pay for their care and medicine. It also restores merit and longevity pay as well as retiree health insurance to state workers.

The measures are paid for by temporarily increasing Maine sales tax by a half a penny, closing corporate tax loopholes, and temporarily raising the state’s meals and lodging tax by one percent.

The committee will be taking final votes on the proposal today, and I look forward to digging in to more of the details next week.

Honorary Page Program

There is still time for students to participate in the Maine State Senate’s Honorary Page Program during the Legislative Session.

The program gives students a unique chance to not only observe the state’slegislative process, but to also participate in it. As an Honorary Page, students will deliver messages, distribute Amendments and Supplements within the Chamber, interact with the senators, and most importantly, take part in a real-world, hands-on legislative learning experience. If one is interested in participating in the program, or has further questions, I encourage them to contact the Secretary of the Senate’s office at (207) 287-1540.

It would be my honor to meet with students and their families during their visit to the State House. I look forward to engaging our state’s next generation of leaders!


We’re entering the final stretch of the session, and I hope to hear from you about any issues in front of the legislature.