Inside Augusta

Maine Senate Republicans ask the presiding officers to convene the Legislative Council

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The leaders of the minority Republicans in the Maine Senate on Wednesday sent a letter to the presiding officers of the Maine Legislature – Speaker of the House Sara Gideon and Senate President Troy Jackson – asking them to convene the Legislative Council for a meeting between the council and Governor Janet Mills.

Sens. Dana Dow and Jeff Timberlake, along with members of their caucus, want the Legislative Council to hold a meeting with Governor Mills for the purpose of asking the governor questions from their constituents about the state’s coronavirus response.

The Legislative Council is a 10-person body comprised of legislative leadership, including Speaker Gideon and President Jackson, the majority and minority leaders in both chambers, and their assistants.

The full text of the letter can be read below:

“Dear Mr. President and Madame Speaker:

We write today on behalf of our caucus to request that you convene a public meeting of the Legislative Council for the purpose of holding a discussion with Governor Mills on issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our members have many questions to ask the Governor on behalf of our constituents and we believe that an open discussion of these issues will be very beneficial to everyone.

In a crisis such as this, the best course of action is open, transparent communication that reassures citizens. Beyond just the decisions being made, a discussion of the reasoning behind these decisions would foster better understanding between government and the people.

Using the Senate Chamber or, if needed, the House Chamber, surely, we can hold such a meeting while adhering to all of the necessary safety guidelines and using the technological capabilities of these chambers for public broadcast.

Please take steps to initiate this process and let us know how we may help facilitate.

Sincerely,

Sen. Dana Dow
Senate Republican Leader

Sen. Jeffrey Timberlake
Assistant Senate Republican Leader

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at Maine Policy Institute and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at Maine Policy. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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