UMaine’s offshore wind energy pilot project wins initial OK
The decision clears a hurdle for Maine Aqua Ventus in its path to receive electric ratepayer support as it tests new offshore wind technology developed at the University of Maine. Maine Aqua Ventus is a consortium made up of Emera, Cianbro and Maine Prime Technologies LLC, a spin-off company representing UMaine.
Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, told the Bangor Daily News that the vote represents “an important step” for the pilot project, which would consist of two six-megawatt turbines off Monhegan Island.
Alexander Report Released
The Alexander Group has released the much anticipated results of its study of Medicaid expansion in Maine. Among the findings: expanding Medicaid in Maine would cost the state approximately $807 million over 10 years and would end up consuming nearly 39 percent of the state budget. The entire Alexander Report can be seen here: maine.gov/dhhs/Alexander/
Senator James Hamper who is a member of the Health and Human Services Committee talks about the impact of expansion on the state budget in this video.
Maine Legislature Back in Session
AUGUSTA – The Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature began on Wednesday, January 08, 2014.
Legislators will be considering more than 300 bills that are either new or carryover bills from the previous session.
The second legislative session is the shorter of the two and is intended for emergency legislation and budgetary matters. Lawmakers are expected to adjourn in April after completing their work.
Senate Republican Leader Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) expressed optimism about the new legislative session. “The people of Maine are counting on us to put our partisan differences aside and act in their best interests. In order to do that, we have to make certain that as lawmakers, we make the budget of Maine families a priority over the state budget. That means we need to put a stop to the out of control spending that has led to the recently documented abuses of our tax dollars,” Senator Thibodeau said.
Assistant Republican Leader Roger Katz said, “We are all excited to be back. The state continues to face many serious challenges. It is up to us collectively to start finding solutions. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues from across the aisle and the Governor’s Office to make this an outstanding session.”
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By Senator Patrick Flood
During this upcoming legislation session, I hope that the legislative and executive branches will work productively on the difficult issues that come before us. I hope that we will avoid the temptation to hold competing one-sided press conferences and to circulate competing one-sided news releases. It is a nearly daily ritual that has become a symbol of our inability to actually reason with one another. The people deserve better.
I hope that we will discourage unproductive posturing, grandstanding and bickering about unimportant topics and focus intelligently on the tough issues. Reasonable working relationships within state government are important. Lawmaking is not theater, nor is it sport. It’s a civic responsibility of representative government that demands the best that elected officials can offer. It is best achieved when we do our work in a manner that is responsible, intelligent, caring, and forthright. And it requires civil discourse and the willingness to listen.