AUGUSTA – All eyes were on Augusta Tuesday as the Maine State House got ready for Gov. Janet Mills’ first State of the State address.
Mills will deliver the State of the State address at the state house at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
At an event Monday, the governor hinted on what her speech to state lawmakers would include.
“No surprising themes I think,” she said. “We’ve done so much this past year alone. We’ve accomplished a lot. I think we’ve got Maine on the right track – looking at healthcare.”
Ahead of the address, leaders in the legislature talked about what they would be listening for and where they want to see Maine go for its bicentennial year.
“Not necessarily just talking about new programs and expansion of government, but maybe look at funding some of the pieces we currently have that we believe are priorities such as our infrastructure,” said House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, R-Oxford.
Republican leadership, not surprisingly, is concerned about spending and government expansion. And also mentioned keeping nursing homes from closing.
On the other side of the aisle, they’re hoping the governor details plans for health insurance, broadband, and workforce development.
“Those are the things that we hear a lot from constituents across Maine and certainly things that I know have been a priority of hers in the past, and I‘m hopeful that that’s what we’re going to be focused on together as a legislature,” said Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash.
He said despite some disagreements, the state government has worked well together.
“We’ve had far more consensus with the governor than disagreements,” said Jackson.
Republicans we spoke with had a similar sentiment.
“It’s been fine, it’s been cordial, it’s been civil. We have the ability to have access to the governor and be able to have discussions about our differences,” said Dillingham.
It’s a busy road ahead for this legislative session. Dillingham said there are more bills than they’ve ever had for a short session.