Last week, the Legislature was called into a special session to consider bonds and address the issues at the Riverview Psychiatric Facility.

Our Newest State Senator

Last week, voters in Sagadahoc County and Dresden held a special election to replace former Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall. In a close election with high turnout, voters elected Eloise Vitelli to serve for the next fifteen months.

Eloise was sworn-in Thursday morning in a small ceremony in the Governor’s office, and took her seat for the special session we held. I look forward to working with Senator Vitelli over the next year-and-a-half.

Infrastructure Bonds

Last Thursday, the Legislature approved five bond proposals, totaling $149.5 million. These investments will create jobs and strengthen our economy. The package includes $100 million for infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, ports, and working waterfronts, including Portland.

There are also three education bonds totaling $35.5 million that will fund infrastructure upgrades to classroom and science labs at the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, and Maine Maritime Academy. The package also includes $14 million for armory maintenance and renovations


While Democrats had hoped to include needed investments in research and development, this package was the result of laborious compromise, and we have received a promise from the Governor and legislative Republicans to take up an R&D bond in January of next year.


The $149.5 million bond package will be on the ballot this November, and I encourage everyone to support these important investments.

Riverview Psychiatric Center

Also on Thursday, the Legislature unanimously passed a bill to address some systemic problems at the Riverview Psychiatric Center. Recently, Riverview has come under fire from the federal government regarding Riverview’s response to safety concerns. Riverview was at risk of losing its certification and federal funding.
The bill, LD 1515 is a small step forward in addressing the problem. As passed, the measure expands a mental health unit at the Maine State Prison and formed a committee to develop a long-term fix to the problems at Riverview.

Supplemental School Budget Vote

On Wednesday, voters across the city approved the supplemental school budget of $1.9 million for the next school year. These funds are available due to the work we did on the biennial budget to restore and increase funding to public schools.
The bulk of that money will go towards covering teacher retirement costs that were shifted from the state to cities and towns. In addition, Portland will restore eight positions that had been cut under the previously approved budget.


I hope everyone enjoys the last few weeks of summer! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can reach me at