Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday that she plans to present a “novel” two-part State of the State Address next week in order to focus on the tragic Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston and recent severe storms that have battered the state’s infrastructure.
“This past year – especially these past few months – has been anything but normal for Maine. It has been a period of extraordinary challenge for our state,” Gov. Mills said Friday. “Traditionally, as Chief Executive, I have stood before the Legislature to address a series of high-profile issues, challenges, and opportunities, but these unique times call for a unique approach.”
“I look forward to delivering this year’s address in a novel way and working with the Legislature to address Maine’s challenges,” Mills said.
Rather than a single televised address, Gov. Mills plans to publish a written State of the State Address on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 30, covering “Maine’s long-term strengths, opportunities for growth, and longstanding challenges.”
The written portion of the address will also cover Maine’s budgetary outlook and her forthcoming supplemental budget proposal, which is expected to highlight the state’s lack of affordable housing, the opioid epidemic, and the “need to improve child safety.”
The second part of the address will be a speech delivered before a Joint Session of the State Legislature at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
The speech is slated to cover the mass shooting in Lewiston, as well as “the impacts of recent severe storms,” and the governor’s plan to strengthen Maine’s “resilience to future extreme weather events.”
Maine’s Democratic governor faced backlash for her response to a devastating mid-December windstorm in which she claimed that the National Weather Service (NWS) did not warn her about the severity of the storm.
That claim was quickly rebutted by a NWS spokesperson, who stated that forecasts and briefings on the high rainfall and potential for widespread flooding were provided to local and state officials beginning three days prior to the Dec. 18 storm.