Governor Mills Acted Alone on Her Plan to Restart Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Augusta, ME) — Our main objective in serving is to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all Maine citizens.

On March 17, the Maine State Legislature, gave Governor Mills an extraordinary amount of power and authority—perhaps more than has ever been granted to a Maine governor outside of wartime. This was a remarkable measure of trust from one co-equal branch of government to another. In return, our constitutional system of checks and balances warrants, at the very least, regular, in-depth communication from the Governor, concerning the progress of her use of these powers and its benefit to the Maine people.

The legislature provided the Governor with the authority to make executive decisions in a time of crisis, but we did not cede our own responsibility to act on behalf of our constituents. We, too, are inundated with requests from troubled citizens about issues like long-delayed unemployment benefits, for example. In response to our inquiries on their behalf, the Governor has forbidden the Department of Labor from interacting with legislators and staff who have questions from frightened and desperate Mainers looking for answers.

This is not respecting the constitutional role of the legislative branch. It is acting as if the Governor is the sole source of authority in state government.

On Tuesday, Governor Mills released a fourteen-page booklet and a nine-page checklist containing her plan for “Restarting Maine’s Economy.” This was the first any of us had even heard of these documents or their contents. It was released to the public less than 24 hours after she had informed us that the legislature could offer advice on reopening the state, not to the Governor or her staff, but to an online suggestion portal through the Department of Economic and Community Development.

In the most condescending way, she offered an entire branch of government a suggestion box. “It is unlikely that we will be able to incorporate every idea,” she told us, but she would take a look at some point.

Two weeks ago, the state press corps admonished the Governor for holding briefings with state legislators, either by herself or through her cabinet members. Since then, rather than simply making these briefings public—a principle she enforced against the previous administration when she was attorney general—she has not briefed the legislative branch on any of her actions or ideas, much less included us in her development of policies and actions.

While the Governor has shut out the legislature from her planning and implementations, she has also held back important information from the Maine people.

For weeks, the Mills administration refused to release detailed data on the growing outbreaks of COVID-19 in Maine’s nursing homes, citing vague “privacy reasons” not raised in other states. Not until the federal government ordered these facilities to release this information themselves did the Maine CDC begin providing it to the media.

When the Maine press asked for a list of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by city and town, something the CDC likely already has listed on a spreadsheet—or if not, it should—they were told it would take six months for the administration to organize and provide this data. It is very difficult to have faith in any governmental administration that cannot or will not reveal such basic information to its citizens or even explain why it will not do so.

As a former attorney general of our state and a past legislator herself, Governor Mills is keenly aware of the role of the various branches of government and the responsibility of maintaining transparency and accountability toward the people.

In response to her decision to ignore the constitutional role of the legislative branch or to act promptly and transparently on behalf of Maine citizens, we will soon decide whether it is necessary for the state legislature to convene in order to begin making state government more responsive and responsible to its citizens. The legislature has the authority to pass a Joint Resolution to end the State of Emergency that Governor Mills has declared, and we need to consider every available option.

Our main objective is always to keep Maine citizens safe and informed. We have faith in Maine people that we all get through this together.

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9 thoughts on “Governor Mills Acted Alone on Her Plan to Restart Maine

  1. PLEASE rescind your permit to the governor to hold Maine hostage. She is ill-informed and the power has gone to her head!

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  2. Please, end this closure that Mills has placed on our state. We need to open up and end these egregious restrictions on our freedoms. Let the people make the decision on whether they want to go out and about on their own and do not order them to stay home. Maine is not effected by COVID the same as other areas. We need to open the state back up, now!

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  3. typical sneaky democrat. she has broken the law and disregarded people’s constitutional rights. NO one person should be able to make their own decisions for our state. it should have been a decision by all parties not just one. I believe this whole pandemic has been blown up by the democrats to get mail in voting so they can cheat at any way possible to get rid of the best president ever.more people have died from the regular seasonal flue than covid 19 and people don’t think twice about the regular seasonal flue. the democrats are obviously using the covid 19 for their own agenda.the democratic party has changed and for a bad way. they are going to destroy our state and country. Mills needs to be held accountable for her actions. she needs to be removed from office before the hard working people of maine have had enough and take our government back.

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  4. Mills has communist tendencies. She’s holding Mainers hostage in hopes of more Fed. Funds for her pet projects. If we had an honest media we would not be in this pickle.

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  5. Let us open we can take care of ourselves.we need the business to open for their ownresons it is so ridiculous.i will take my chances.my sister lost her husband this week after 59 years of marriage she is in lock down so we couldn’t go be with her not even one of her daughters could go be with her. That is not right.thank you senators..

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  6. It’s Time to reconvene the legislature
    And make the right choices.

    open Maine today.
    People add are ready to go back to work . More have died from the flu we have a vaccine for .

    It’s sad to see the coast of Maine in such a lockdown for little reason except a few .

    C. Riley

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