It’s that time of year again. Students are settling in to a new school year, the Sox and Patriots are playing, and the season is starting to change. Yet, the work in the Legislature is heating up. Many of the State’s task forces and commissions are starting to meet this month. These commissions lay the foundation for important work in the Legislature starting in January.

Maine Teacher of the Year

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of joining King Middle School’s own Karen MacDonald as she was named Maine’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. Karen has been teaching for 33 years, and we could not be prouder to have her teaching in Portland. Congratulations!

Summer Task Forces

During the First Regular Session, we often come across issues that require greater research and work. Sometimes to tackle these issues,  the Legislature establishes task forces and commissions made up of Legislators and experts to dig further into the issues.

Task forces prepare final reports to the full Legislature and then policy committees get to work on their findings.


This year, we established several groups to work on issues of tax expenditure reform, nonprofit taxation, health insurance exchanges, corrections, the criminal code, cancer-related deaths, and the Riverview Psychiatric Facility.


Some of the groups have already started scheduling their Fall meetings

  • Mon, Sep 16th, 8am: Tax Expenditure Review Task Force
  • Mon, Sep 23rd, 9am: Maine Health Exchange Advisory Committee

Other committees will be scheduling more meetings in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing their recommendations.

Consumer Complaints

This week, the Attorney General’s Office released its annual list of Top Ten Consumer Complaints. From renter’s issues to email scams, the AG’s Office works to protect consumers and provide relief for those seeking redress.

The following were the Top Ten Complaints from July of 2012 to July 2013.

  1. Auto Sales (both new and used)
  2. Contests/Sweepstakes/Prize Promotions and similar types of Scams
  3. Landlord-Tenant/Mobile Homes
  4. Nigerian/Grandparent/”Sweetheart” and similar types of Scams
  5. Home Repair/Construction Complaints
  6. Furniture/Appliances/Home Furnishings
  7. Entertainment/Recreation
  8. Satellite TV Sales and Service
  9. Health Services (including over the counter “health” products)
  10. Telecommunications/Slamming/Cramming (Charges added to bill without authorization)

If you have a consumer complaint to report, please contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-436-2131 or 626-8849, or email

You can also find the Attorney General’s Consumer Law Guide on their website,


As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these and other topics. You can reach me at