Rep. Kenneth Fredette In the News
December 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Monday called attention to the recently-released data for fourth quarter 2013 small group health insurance renewals in Maine. This data is the last batch of numbers that reflect Maine's health insurance market under PL 90, the health insurance reform law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011. As of January 1, 2014, small group renewal numbers will reflect not only PL 90, but also the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.
Among its many change...
December 4, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Tuesday called attention to the failure of Democrats to balance Maine's budget. The biennial budget established two task forcesone to find $33.7 million in spending cuts and another to find $40 million in additional tax revenues by way of eliminating tax credits.
The group responsible for finding spending reductions was the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), and Democratic appropriators in early October flatly rejected the spending cuts that they...
November 22, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Christian Civic League of Maine has awarded Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) their 2013 Minuteman Award for his work in the Maine Legislature this year. Rep. Fredette serves as the House Republican Leader and represents Corinna, Exeter, Newport, Plymouth, and part of Corinth.
According to the Christian Civic League, the Minuteman Award is presented to legislators or other state leaders who effectively and courageously advocate for life, religious liberty, and traditional value...
November 22, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, on the solemn anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, praised positive news about Maine's economy.
According to the Maine Department of Labor, the state's unemployment rate reached a 5-year low of 6.7 percent in October. The percentage of unemployed Mainers is down from 6.9 percent in September and 7.2 percent one year agoa full half-point. Maine's unemployment rate is lower than the national average, which sta...
November 21, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democrats on Maine's Legislative Council late Thursday morning killed all three of House Republican Leader Ken Fredette's welfare reform proposals.
One bill would have required able-bodied welfare applicants to look for a job before receiving a welfare check. Another would have eliminated catch-all "good cause" excuses to nonparticipation in the ASPIRE work search program. A third bill would have established a feasibility study for creating a tiered welfare system whereby recipie...
November 19, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today voiced support of the LePage Administration's decision to contract with independent Medicaid experts to help improve Maine's welfare system.
The Alexander Group, which will conduct the review, was founded by Gary Alexander, a former head of welfare departments in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. His consultancy will undertake a complete review of the cost and efficiency of all welfare programs within Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (...
November 19, 2013
AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport spoke to the Leadership Council of The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges at their offices at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on Monday, November 18.
Rep. Fredette, along with Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland), was invited by the community colleges' board of directors to speak about ways Maine's community colleges can contribute to a strong workforce and a growing economy in Maine. Former ...
November 15, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport today warned that the special committee established in the biennial budget to cut tax deductions and credits for Maine businesses will not have his support if its focus is on increasing Maine's tax burden.
The Tax Expenditure Review Task Force will meet Monday to work on its proposal to eliminate $40 million worth of deductions and credits.
"There were parts of the budget that Republicans disagreed with, and this is one of th...
November 15, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Friday pointed to the latest in a continual line of bad news as just another reason to avoid the costly disaster that would be Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.
President Obama, facing a wave of criticism amid the ongoing failure of the federal takeover of health care, yesterday apologized repeatedly for the failed law while offering a legally-questionable Band-Aid fix that will actually make the health law's problems worse.
The President and Congress...
November 12, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today warned Mainers against the fiscal dangers of expanding medical welfare to thousands of able-bodied adults when alternative options exist and while Americans are already suffering as a result of the federal government's broken promises.
Throughout the process of passing the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama stated no less than 36 times that if Americans like their health insurance plans, they can keep them. Yet in the face of an estimated...
October 30, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislative Council - the panel of six Democratic and four Republican members of legislative leadership - on Wednesday screened bill proposals submitted by various lawmakers. One of them was LR 2254, "An Act To Authorize Public Safety Personnel and Members of the Military When Visiting Schools in Their Official Capacity To Wear Their Uniforms," sponsored by Rep. Mick Devin (D-Newcastle). The bill was unanimously approved by the Council.
A bill introduced by Governor P...
October 30, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Wednesday expressed disappointment with Democrats on the Maine Legislature's Legislative Council for bending the legislature's rules to simultaneously ram welfare expansion through the legislature for a third time and kill commonsense, bipartisan measures to reform Maine's broken welfare system. Joint Rule 217 of the legislature prohibits the introduction of the same bill twice in one two-year legislative term.
"Democrats bent the rules in order to pus...
October 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette joined Governor LePage, Senate Republican Leader Michael Thibodeau, Speaker Mark Eves, and Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Anne Haskell in a meeting Thursday morning to discuss the Governor's decision to exercise his constitutional authority to declare a civil emergency in order to better manage fallout from the federal government shutdown.
"Judging by the Democrats' reactions, it's as if the meeting never happened," said Fredette. "After...
October 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today reacted with surprise to the emergency meeting of the legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Committees called by Democratic leadership.
"We had no idea this was happening," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "It's customary for majority leadership to discuss legislative hearings with minority leadership, but we've seen repeated lapses in communication with the Speaker's Offic...
October 2, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport has introduced two pieces of legislation designed to reform Maine's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash welfare program. Both bill proposals have been submitted to the legislature's Office of the Revisor of Statutes, where legislation is printed. The Revisor's Office is currently working on language for the bills.
The first proposal would institute an up-front work search requirement of job-ready TANF applicants. M...
September 27, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leaders on Friday pointed to the newly-released Forbes Magazine ranking of the "Best States for Business" as a call to implement more pro-growth Republican reforms. Maine placed 50th for a fourth year in a row despite recent free market reforms and the study's preference for factors such as low taxes, simple regulations, and right-to-work laws.
"Business Costs," "Regulatory Environment," "Economic Climate," and "Growth Prospects" are four of six sub-rankings tha...
September 20, 2013
AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leaders are calling on Democrats to stop attacking Republican reforms with phony jobs numbers. Since Pew Charitable Trusts in June released numbers stating that Maine was one of three states to lose jobs from April 2012 to April 2013, Democrats have been holding up the statistical tidbit even in the face of historic reforms to state government, reduced unemployment, higher wages, and less poverty.
Yesterday, the Portland Press Herald reported that the Bur...
September 17, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today emphasized the need to reform Maine's broken budget and stop the welfare overspending that would come with yet another expansion of the state's massive and costly Medicaid program.
"I am shocked that Democrats are talking seriously about expanding the very welfare program that left us $500 million in debt to our hospitals and continues to cannibalize the state's budget year after year," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Welfar...
September 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leaders on Tuesday lauded the latest news from the Governor's Office on state government's increased vigilance over fraud and abuse within Maine's generous welfare programs.
"The latest news on our welfare reforms is further proof that Maine's welfare system was in dire need of accountability," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Thankfully, we are now starting to see less welfare dependency and more aggressive prosecution of fraud and ...
September 4, 2013
AUGUSTA - Maine House Republicans today praised the sale, announced by the office of Governor Paul LePage, of the liquor revenue bond that will be used to pay off Maine's $484 million in outstanding welfare bills owed to hospitals throughout the state.
"This money will now go out into Maine's private sector economy, where it is needed the most," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "I'm very pleased that we are one step closer to getting checks in the hands of Maine employ...
August 29, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve a series of bond bills that were the subject of recent negotiations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers and Governor Paul LePage. By mid-afternoon, four of the five bonds had been enacted, while a fifth, LD 1095, awaits votes that are planned for later in the afternoon.
"I'm glad we were able to work out a responsible bond package that all parties agreed on," said House Republican Leader Ken F...
August 21, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership today expressed relief that a responsible, bipartisan bonding package will go before the Appropriations Committee in preparation for an August 29 special session. At a press conference, Democrats seemed to distance themselves from the agreement, attacking Republicans for not agreeing to more borrowing in the current $149.5 million bond package and blaming them for not including research and development in the proposal to go before the November ballot, altho...
August 16, 2013
AUGUSTA - Republican and Democratic legislative leadership and the Governor's Office reached a deal Friday afternoon on a bond bill that may be passed in time for inclusion on the November 2013 statewide ballot. Governor Paul LePage and Republican lawmakers conveyed to Democrats in meetings earlier this week that they would not be comfortable with a borrowing package in excess of $150 million and emphasized the need for any bond to be dedicated to the infrastructure needs of Maine's economy.
July 17, 2013
AUGUSTA - In the wake of the tragedy at Lac-Megantic, news outlets have pointed to Maine's oil cleanup fund and highlighted nearly $1 million worth of raids to it by politicians attempting to balance the state budget. In fiscal years 2004 to 2011, $989,716 was swept from the Coastal and Inland Surface Oil Cleanup Fund and put into the state's General Fund. No funds were swept in fiscal years 2012 or 2013.
Overall, from fiscal years 2004 to 2013, $7,346,314 was swept from various Departmen...
July 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - In response to questions about the high number of vetoes issued by Republican Governor Paul LePage, House Republican Leaders on Tuesday said that the vetoes are indicative of Democratic lawmakers' inability to work with Republican caucuses to craft legislation that has a realistic chance of passage.
"They've been acting like they have a liberal Democratic governor," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Instead of coming together as members of leadership or on ...
July 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement regarding the Democrats' insistence on making transportation bonding, which enjoys wide support, conditional upon passage of numerous other borrowing initiatives.
"Democrats are proving once again that they are willing to jeopardize the passage of a jobs initiative that enjoys broad, bipartisan support just so that they can get their way on contentious spending initiatives. Every Mainer knows that our...
July 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - In a surprise turn of events Tuesday, several House Democrats flipped their votes on LD 1503, a bill that would have allowed military recruiters the same access to Maine public schools as civilian career recruiters and would have further allowed them to wear their uniforms while visiting schools.
Education Committee Democrats initially voted against the bill and Democrats narrowly killed a similar bill on the House floor. However, passionate debate by House Republicans, many of...
July 8, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Monday called on Democratic leaders to stop the Washington-style politics and pass a transportation bond separate from other bond proposals. This spring, Democrats refused to pass a popular, bipartisan plan to pay off Maine's welfare debt to its hospitals unless Republicans went along with a controversial and massive expansion of the very welfare program that created it.
Similarly, Democrats in recent days have stated publicly that they intend to roll ...
June 28, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership on Friday reflected on a session filled with stunning successes - and a few setbacks - for Maine people.
"I couldn't be more proud of the 58 House Republicans who worked tirelessly in their committees and in floor deliberations to protect the rights of Maine people and create economic opportunity in our state," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "I am especially pleased that we accomplished one of our earliest goals. Despite a sle...
June 26, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Legislative Councilthe panel of all 10 members of legislative leadershipon Wednesday evening rejected a welfare reform study proposal with broad, bipartisan support. The vote came as the Council was sorting through which study proposals to fund and which to reject.
The bill, LD 1064, "Resolve, To Establish the Task Force on Independence from Public Assistance," was sponsored by Rep. Melvin Newendyke (R-Litchfield) and cosponsored by a broad array of lawm...
June 19, 2013
AUGUSTA - Majority Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon attempted but failed to override Governor LePage's veto of LD 1066, the medical welfare expansion proposal that would cost Maine taxpayers an estimated $150 million per biennium long-term. The measure has been tabled for a future vote.
Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick forced the impromptu vote without notice to Republicans. The Speaker attempted to close the roll call vote even as members were st...
June 18, 2013
AUGUSTA - After Governor LePage last night vetoed LD 1066, the bill to expand Maine's Medicaid program by at least $150 million per biennium, the bill was sent back to the House. The Speaker may call for an override vote at any time. House Republicans stand ready to sustain the Governor's veto and prevent another irreversible fiscal mistake for the State of Maine.
"We've been down this road before," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "As in the past, Republicans approa...
June 11, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders Tuesday called on Democratic leadership to bring forward the bipartisan measure to pay off Maine's hospital bills without delay. It has been 12 days since Democrats announced that even though the merged hospital debt and Medicaid expansion mega-bill did not survive a veto, they would still not move on the popular hospital debt bill until they get their way on their controversial welfare expansion proposal.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, there were over ...
June 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - Over Republican objections, the Maine House of Representatives on Monday enacted LD 911, a bill to increase all-terrain vehicle (ATV) registration fees by $5. The fee hike bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Briggs (D-Mexico), had received a divided 8-5 endorsement from the legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF and W) Committee and is intended to bolster the ATV Recreational Management Fund. The House enacted the bill with a 92-51 vote that fell along party lines.
June 4, 2013
AUGUSTA - The House on Tuesday took up two bills concerning military recruiters in public schools. The first, LD 1502, requires that public high schools allow recruiters to administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to students who elect to take it. Under the bill, recruiters, not school staff, would take the time to administer the test, which would remain voluntary for the students.
That bill was rejected mostly along party lines, 74-68. Majority Democrats ...
May 30, 2013
AUGUSTA - The federal government confirmed in a recent letter to the LePage Administration that Maine will be on the hook for welfare expansion, which Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) says will cost the state $75 million per year over the long term.
"This comes as no surprise, and confirms the fact that Maine taxpayers would be on the hook for the current welfare expansion proposal just as they were for past expansions," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of N...
May 29, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democrats Wednesday unveiled a plan to raise taxes by over $400 million in the upcoming budget in order to cancel spending reductions that came about as a result of an ever-expanding state welfare agency. If successful, the Democrats would reduce the size of the return of a family of four earning $50,000 by $300 next year.
"Maine is at a fork in the road," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "We can choose a sustainable government, or we can choose a government...
May 23, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport today introduced a bill to his fellow members of leadership of both parties that would establish a study group on Medicaid expansion. He presented the measure, which requires approval of a majority of the 10 members of leadership, to the Legislative Council during their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday at 2:00 p.m. The bipartisan council gave it unanimous approval for reference to committee.
The study group would be comprised...
May 21, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Democrats tonight rammed through LD 1546, 87-57, in a late-night vote. The bill merged two initiatives: the popular, bipartisan measure to pay off Maine's welfare debt to its hospitals with a liquor revenue bond and LD 1066, the contentious bill to expand Maine's medical welfare program on the federal government's terms.
The Democratic mega-bill brought bipartisan opposition, with Rep. Stanley Short (D-Pittsfield) voting with Republicans. Democrats rejected Rep. Fredette...
May 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democrats on the Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee Thursday killed a bill that would allow the state to request a waiver from the federal government in order to exclude "junk food" from eligible food stamp purchases. Junk food includes soda, candy, and other foods with little nutritional value. The bill, LD 1411, is titled "Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Request a Waiver To Prohibit the Use of Food Supplement Benefits for the ...
May 8, 2013
AUGUSTA - At a State House press conference, House and Senate Democrats today rolled out their counterproposal to the Governor's recently-implemented school grading system. After weeks of attacking the proposal without offering to contribute their own ideas, Democrats have come out with an 11th-hour plan.
"I appreciate the Democrats' attempt to finally participate in education reform, but an 11th-hour piece of draft legislation is not what Maine schools need," said House Republican Leade...
May 6, 2013
AUGUSTA - May 6-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time when Americans take a moment to recognize the hard and important work teachers do every day. Today, Representatives Ken Fredette and Alexander Willette took time to share their stories of the teachers who have made the biggest difference in their lives. Each day for the rest of the week, Republican state representatives will tell their own stories of teachers who made a difference in their lives.
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette...
May 2, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond announced today that a backlog of almost 1,000 bills still in committees has led them to suspend the requirement that all public hearings be advertised. Additionally, leadership put a rush order on all bills, requiring that those currently before committees must receive a public hearing within the next six business days, by Friday, May 10. (See previously forwarded email.)
"This is symptomatic of some of the problems we'...
May 1, 2013
AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage and Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen unveiled a simple, yet comprehensive system for inspiring school improvement and empowering parental involvement in public education. The program grades Maine schools on an A-F scale in Republicans' latest effort to implement real education reform to put students first.
"I'm starting to wonder if the Democrats are even reading the education reform proposals anymore, or if they're simply saying 'no,'" sa...
April 30, 2013
AUGUSTA - House and Senate Republican leadership held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to call on Democrats to bring the commonsense measure to pay Maine's hospital bills to a clean vote, without Medicaid expansion or other add-ons attached.
"Paying our hospital bills so we can get Mainers back to work is the one big thing we all agree on," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Putting this jobs bill at the mercy of contentious, unresolved add-ons like Medicaid expan...
April 26, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) visited the United Somali Women of Maine (USWM) on Lisbon Street in Lewiston Friday. After spending about two hours meeting with community leaders, Fatuma Hussein, Director of USWM, gave Fredette a tour of several refugee-owned businesses along Lisbon Street.
Present at Friday morning's meeting, in addition to Hussein, were six members of the refugee community, Sue Sharon, social services director for the City of Lewiston, and Jo...
April 26, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) today reported that state tax revenues are projected to be roughly $60 million less than anticipated for the upcoming biennial budget. The downward projections stem from lower than anticipated sales and corporate tax revenue, signaling a strained business community.
Dr. Michael Allen, Associate Commissioner for Tax Policy at Maine Revenue Services, cited uncertainty at the federal level, high energy costs, and payroll tax increases that r...
April 25, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Democrats today voted in favor of two bills to increase spending at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) by almost $10 million per year. The two bills proscribe $41.6 million in new spending over the next four fiscal years and for the remainder of the current fiscal year.
The first, LD 87, would allow mental health patients under MaineCare to use whatever facility or treatment type they like and was passed 92-51. It comes with a price tag of $5.66 million p...
April 24, 2013
AUGUSTA - Along party lines, majority Democrats in the House today voted against LD 831, a private sector Right-to-Work bill, and LD 786, which would have eliminated the union monopoly over bargaining rights for public sector workers. Both bills, sponsored by Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst), have been the source of much public debate in recent weeks as they made their way through the committee process. Democrats said "no" to LD 831 by a vote of 92-53, and LD 786 by a vote of 89-56.
April 24, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Democrats voted today to kill a bill that would allow licensed cigar lounges to offer refreshments to their customers. Republicans stood in support of the commonsense measure to allow small businesses do more to attract and retain customers. There are currently two cigar lounges in the state to which the bill would apply.
As originally proposed, LD 22, "An Act to Promote Equity in Business Opportunity for Tobacco Specialty Stores," would have allowed cigar lounges to ser...
April 23, 2013
AUGUSTA - Nearly six weeks after its first appearance on the House floor, majority Democrats in the Maine House voted to enact LD 405, a bill to allow motor vehicle registration fee increases of 50-67 percent, raiding the pockets of hardworking Mainers to the tune of $3 million.
The House accepted the Transportation Committee's divided recommendation to pass the bill on March 14 and the Senate concurred on April 4. Today's enactment vote landed 89-57 mostly along party lines.
April 23, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democrats today unveiled Part One of their massive middle class tax hike package today before the Legislature's Taxation Committee. Today's rollout was focused on the portion of the omnibus tax hike package that purports to cast the entire package as a "tax fairness" measure that hurts only "the rich."
The most punitive of these "tax-the-rich" measures only closes about 5.7 percent of the budget gap, however, leaving the dirty work to be done on Friday, when Democrats will unve...
April 22, 2013
House Republican leadership issued the following statements regarding the gun control bills being taken up by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee this afternoon.
"Bills that limit magazine capacities and increase the age for concealed-carry from 18 to 21 encroach on our personal freedoms and hurt the ability of law-abiding Mainers to protect themselves," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "We must focus our efforts on getting at the root cause of violence...
April 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - Today the House passed a bill, LD 332, in the second reading under the hammer to put DOT signs on I-95 and I-395 and in Brewer pointing out the Underground Railroad memorial at Chamberlain Freedom Park. It will next go to the Senate and come back to the House for enactment.
The measure received a divided report in its committee, with the majority opposing it because of concerns of over-signage on roads. Many other sign bills have faced heavy opposition this session and were ul...
April 10, 2013
AUGUSTA - Senator Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) today presented LD 443, a concept draft bill that would roll back important, bipartisan reforms made to the workers' compensation insurance system in 1992 and 2012. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response:
"We went from having two dozen workers' comp insurers in Maine in the late 1980s to three in 1992, with two of them filing papers to leave and the third threatening to do the same just befor...
April 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - The House of Representatives today voted on two bills regulating motorists' behavior. LD 66, "An Act To Require That Motorcyclists Wear Helmets," and LD 68, "An Act To Prohibit the Use of a Handheld Mobile Telephone while Operating a Motor Vehicle," came to the floor with divided, majority "Ought Not to Pass" reports from the Transportation Committee.
"These are areas where big government doesn't need to be making decisions for people," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette...
April 3, 2013
AUGUSTA - In a 10-3 vote, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee endorsed LD 345, a bill introduced by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to make private the personal identifying information of concealed handgun permit holders in Maine. The bill will now go to the House and Senate for floor votes.
"I'm very pleased that the committee approved a bill that's true to the original intent of my legislation," said Wilson. "I felt strongly that, by default, no Mainer should have to worry about his o...
April 1, 2013
AUGUSTA - Two bills that would allow workers to choose whether to belong to a labor union received their public hearings today before the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee. Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) sponsored LD 786 and LD 831 to bring choice to public and private sector workers, respectively, preventing compulsory payment of union dues and forcing unions to recruit members with value instead of legislative mandate.
Public workers Barry Lucier, Gerald C...
April 1, 2013
AUGUSTA - An investigation by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) has revealed that the State House is ground zero for an imminent zombie invasion that may turn Maine into a post-apocalyptic, supernatural war zone, potentially damaging Maine's tourism-based economy just as spring arrives.
OPEGA identified the State House dome, recently considered by the Legislative Council for replacement, as a portal for the zombie invasion they believe imminent. Leade...
April 1, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) released the following statement in response to public hearings before the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on bills that seek to weaken charter schools.
"Democrats need to understand that charter schools are here to stay because Maine people want more educational options for their children. We need less uniformity and lobbying and more new ideas and choice if we are to improve public education in Maine. Charter schools do...
March 27, 2013
AUGUSTA - Well, there they go again. Yesterday, Democrats were telling parents that their kids couldn't go tanning. Now, they're telling struggling small business owners that the wages they offer aren't good enough.
The House this morning voted to advance a bill to further control the wages Maine employers may offer and Maine workers may accept. The bill, LD 611, is sponsored by South Portland Democrat Scott Hamann and pushed by the controversial Maine People's Alliance. If it becomes...
March 27, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leadership today expressed disappointment that the legislature under Democratic leadership is focusing on the small stuffbills that take political jabs and micromanage Mainers' livesinstead of tackling the big issues facing Maine.
Since the beginning of the session, the biggest Democratic initiatives are as follows:
Making sure their political appointees get pay raises
Taking a handful of funding away from charter schools just to prove a point
March 26, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine House this morning voted to accept the majority "Ought to Pass" report on LD 272, a bill that would make it illegal for teenagers under age 18 to visit a tanning salon, even with parental consent.
"This is yet another expansion of state government's powers to regulate our behavior and limit parental rights," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "If your teenage daughter wants to go tanning before the prom, and you have the information and give her pe...
March 20, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democratic politicians joined with doctors clad in white lab coats for a press conference today to urge an expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Republicans are hesitant to support such an expansion because despite a sales hook of "three free years," we all know that one legislature can't bind another. There is nothing to stop the federal government from reducing or entirely eliminating any part of the proposed federal Medicaid subsidy over the next 10 years, l...
March 14, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Democrats today rammed through LD 405, "An Act To Increase Municipal Agent Fees for Licensing and Registration of Motor Vehicles," with a partisan, 84-52 vote. The bill authorizes a 50 percent fee increase for new motor vehicle licenses or registrations and a 67 percent increase for renewals.
"Mainers are getting hit from all angles," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Between federal payroll tax hikes and threats from Maine Democrats to raise income...
March 14, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine House today passed LD 216, "An Act To Extend the Hours for the Sale of Liquor on Sunday When St. Patrick's Day Is on a Sunday," sponsored by Rep. Barry Hobbins (D-Saco). The bill to extend drinking hours from 9:00 AM to 6:00 AM initially met a cold reception from Governor LePage and Republicans who were frustrated by Democratic stalling on the governor's hospital proposal and their hesitance to prioritize hospital debt repayment over new spending.
"Many Republicans ha...
March 13, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership says that Maine's decision about whether to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid is one that should consider the fiscal health not just of Maine, but of America. The federal government had a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2012, borrowing 35 cents out of every dollar it spent. The CBO had projected a smaller deficit for fiscal year 2013, but in just the first two months (October and November 2012) the deficit far outpaced projections at $292 billion, which i...
March 12, 2013
AUGUSTA - L.D. 345, the bill sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to protect the identity of Mainers with concealed handgun permits, received its public hearing before the Legislature's Judiciary Committee today throughout most of the afternoon. A total of 31 people testified27 in support, three in opposition, and one neither for nor againstaccording to the records of the committee clerk.
"Mainers have spoken, and they have made it clear that their right to bear arms is unduly supp...
March 11, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee today is hearing six bills that propose to significantly restrict or even fully repeal the law enacted in 2011 to allow local communities to regulate fireworks usage. Five of six of the bills introduced have been introduced by Democrats. The one introduced by a Republican is a modest proposal to move the permissible time for fireworks usage back one hour, from 10:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
"It's unfortunate that we're ta...
March 11, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Democrats' plan presented 30 minutes prior to the public hearing on competing liquor contract proposals.
"I am very pleasantly surprised that Democrats have acknowledged that we should pay our past-due bills to Maine's hospitals and pay them in full. Since this morning's press conference was the first I have heard of their plan, I look forward to sitting down with Democrats and th...
March 5, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine Republican Party this morning released a 2008 video of current Senate President Justin Alfond expressly advocating for the state to simply not pay the hospital debt as a way to close that year's budget gap.
"This video explains why we owe Maine's hospital's almost $500 million today," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Today, Senator Alfond says he wants to pay this debt, but he and the Democrats have not signed on to the Governor's responsible pl...
March 1, 2013
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and Senate Republican Leader Mike Thibodeau met with Governor LePage this afternoon. It was a productive meeting where all three discussed the Democrats' continued delay of the plan to pay Maine's bills and create jobs.
The number one priority of Republicans is to pay Maine's debts to its hospitals while creating jobs and doing something responsible with the liquor revenue.
Republican leadership sought to discuss the Governor's concerns with th...
March 1, 2013
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Governor's remarks this morning.
"First, it's important to understand that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature will continue to do their work. That said, I understand the Governor's frustration that Democrats have stalled his jobs bill while fast-tracking a bill to sell alcohol at 6:00 AM on St. Patrick's Day. It is unconscionable that Democrats are obstructing a responsible plan ...
February 21, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Legislature referenced Governor LePage's proposal to pay Maine's debt to its hospitals and create jobs to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on February 12. Democrats on the committee have still not scheduled the first stepa public hearingin consideration of the bill, LD 239.
In the meantime, Franklin Memorial Hospital announced that it would lay off 40 employees. The state owes the Farmington hospital $15.4 million.
Senate Democratic Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sa...
February 21, 2013
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement on today's passage of the supplemental budget to close a $153 million budget shortfall through the remainder of fiscal year 2013.
"Hopefully we will be ready to address the state's chronic overspending when crafting the two-year budget. Maine's welfare agency is now consuming about 47 percent of the budget, crowding out funding for education and other vital services. Our economy can't get moving until we star...
February 19, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature today voted to enact a bill introduced by Governor LePage to temporarily protect the personal information of concealed handgun permit holders. The governor introduced the bill, LD 576, "Resolve, To Protect Concealed Handgun Permit Information on a Temporary Basis," in cooperation and consultation with Republican and Democratic legislative leaders Friday. The vote was 129-11 in the House, with a 2/3 vote (101 members) required for passage.
The moratorium e...
February 15, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republicans today were encouraged to see that in the face of outrage from the public and law enforcement officials, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) has decided to withdraw its Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) requests, which would have required Maine law enforcement agencies to release the names, addresses, birthdates, and other information belonging to all concealed weapons permit holders in Maine.
However, an anonymous group called "Celebration Connect" has submitted similar, un...
February 13, 2013
AUGUSTA - The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee today voted unanimously to approve a supplemental budget to cover a $35.5 million revenue shortfall and an $87 million Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget overrun for the remainder of fiscal year 2013.
The budget presented to the Appropriations Committee by Governor LePage would have significantly trimmed Maine's welfare spending. Republican appropriators negotiated with Democrats to maintain many of the struc...
February 6, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton) applauded Governor LePage's message in his State of the State address tonight. The speech was delivered in the House Chamber before a joint session of the Legislature.
"I think the Governor struck the right tone of passionate advocacy for Maine children and families," said Rep. Fredette. "Our policies must, above all else, ensure that Mainers have bigger paychecks, lower bills, and our c...
January 23, 2013
House Republican leadership responded Wednesday to the revision of Maine's bond rating from AA+ to AA by Fitch Ratings and hyper-partisan responses from Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall and State Treasurer Neria Douglass.
"I am disappointed with Goodall's and Douglass's response to this downgrade, which reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the report; namely, the finding that an 'increasingly contentious decision-making environment' will prevent us from overcoming the state's fis...
January 23, 2013
AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership on Wednesday joined Democratic and Senate Republican leadership in announcing the names of the 15 members to be appointed to the Committee on Maine's Workforce and Economic Future. The committee will be charged with proposing legislation to close the "skills gap" that exists in the job marketplace, whereby employers often cannot find workers with the skills they need to fill available jobs.
House Republican members on the committee include Reps. Paul...
January 14, 2013
AUGUSTA - While much focus has been placed on the Governor's proposal to suspend revenue sharing payments to municipalities in order to balance the state's budget, several important aspects of the proposal have gotten less attention.
Gov. LePage's proposal prioritizes education, maintaining funding for Maine schools after they received a $63 million boost in the last biennial budget. The Baldacci Administration cut education funding by $100 million in its final three years. The budget p...
January 11, 2013
AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage today presented a biennial and a supplemental budget that will be taken up by the Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. In the face of cost overruns at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Governor drafted a budget for the Legislature's consideration that pays Maine's bills and brings fiscal conservatism to state government.
"This budget gives us a blueprint for a right-sized government," said House Republican Lead...
January 9, 2013
AUGUSTA - Democratic legislators held a press conference today in the State House's Hall of Flags to outline their agenda for the 126th Legislature of 2013-2014. As Democrats admitted, they were unable to actually discuss specifics because the Governor has yet to present his biennial budget to the Legislature.
Democrats did, however, resurrect decades-old talking points about throwing more money at the problem of poor education results and maxing out the state's credit card for stimulus ...
January 4, 2013
AUGUSTA - Commissioner Sawin Millett of the Department of Financial and Administrative Services (DAFS) briefed the Legislature's Appropriations Committee today and took questions on the recent curtailment order that cuts state spending by $35.5 million through the remainder of fiscal year 2013.
Rep. Kathy Chase (R-Wells), Republican Lead on the Appropriations Committee, was hopeful that the Committee will achieve a positive solution. "We need to work together to solve the budget shortfal...
January 2, 2013
AUGUSTA - Congress and President Obama reached a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts in the federal budget. A deal that increases taxes on most Americans and makes no significant spending cuts, it will hurt Mainers especially hard.
On Monday, before the deal was reached, Mike Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy at Maine Revenue Services, said that the elimination of the payroll tax holiday would cost Mainers $355 million in extra Medicare and...
December 27, 2012
AUGUSTA - Governor LePage today announced that he has ordered a $35.5 million curtailment of state spending through the remainder of the fiscal year in order to align spending with lower-than-expected revenues. House Republican leadership maintains the same position they held when curtailment was originally proposed by the governor.
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Assistant Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton) see curtailment as a necessary and decisive move by the...
December 20, 2012
AUGUSTA - House Republicans today named their members to the Legislature's 17 joint standing committees. All except the Government Oversight Committee will have four Republican House members. The 12-member Government Oversight Committee consists of three members from each caucus.
"I am extremely confident in this team of legislators," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "The incumbents are coming off of a term where they gained a lot of experience building consensus ...
December 13, 2012
AUGUSTA - Earlier in the week, Republican legislative leaders requested a meeting with Democratic legislative leaders and Governor LePage's chief budget officer, Commissioner Sawin Millett of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) to discuss the state's fiscal situation. The meeting was held today at 1:00 p.m. at the State House.
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Senate Republican Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) met with Commissioner Millett, Se...
December 12, 2012
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Forbes Magazine "Best States for Business" ranking which showed Maine in last place, 50th, for the third year in a row:
"The Forbes report cited three primary factorshigh taxes, energy costs, and median age. We have been working on taxes and energy costs in the face of opposition, and reforms we made last year and earlier this year are just beginning to take effect, but it is clear that we mu...
December 12, 2012
AUGUSTA - Democratic leaders on the legislative council today backed off from their proposal to pay their political appointees to the positions of attorney general, secretary of state, and clerk of the house more than allowed by state law.
"I'm glad that the Legislative Council agreed to follow the rule of law in resolving this issue," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "The right choice was clear from the outset and the original proposal was particularly troublesome...
December 10, 2012
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) will be attending the annual issues breakfast at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter on Thursday, December 13. After introductions, topics of the breakfast meeting will include General Assistance, targeted case management, outreach, shelter funding, and possible legislative action.
"As we consider the budget difficulties before us, it is important that we remember the least fortunate members of our communities," said Rep. Fr...
November 29, 2012
House Republican Office
November 29, 2012
For more information:
Jay Finegan, 287-1445
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA - The Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee met today to receive a briefing from the Revenue Forecasting Committee on a projected $35 million revenue shortfall for fiscal year 2013, which ends next June 30.
Yesterday, the Governor's Office announced that it is considering a curtailment to close this gap. Curtailment is a budgetary pow...
July 14, 2012
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette's crusade against domestic violence received major support from Governor Paul LePage on July 13.
At a State House press conference, the governor was presented with an $18,000 check to explore electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders. In a surprising announcement, he said that he would match the donation with $18,000 from his contingency fund.
"I'm grateful to Gov. LePage for his support, and I appreciate his strong backing of efforts to co...
February 10, 2012
House Republican Office
February 10, 2012
For more information:
Jay Finegan, 287-1445
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major General Libby to Address Joint Session of Legislature
AUGUSTA - Adjutant General John W. Libby will address a joint session of the Legislature for the first time on Thursday, February 16. In addition to speaking to the state of defense, veterans and emergency management matters, General Libby will also recognize Maine's National Guard families that have lost a...
November 30, 2011
House Republican Office
November 21, 2011
For more information:
Jay Finegan, 287-1445
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ray Wallace sworn in as Legislature's newest member
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ray Wallace was sworn into office today by Governor Paul LePage after winning a special election to fill a vacant seat in House District 24.
Rep. Wallace (R-Dexter) said he was motivated to run for office by the reform agenda championed by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate...
September 27, 2011
Augusta-Republicans in the Maine House are pleased to have reached an agreement with Democrats on reapportioning Maine's two congressional districts. This plan meets the criteria of the federal court, which ordered Maine to redraw its districts. It represents the best possible outcome for the people of Maine.
The consensus map agreed to today comes as close as possible to evenly dividing the populations of Maine's districts to within a one-person differential.
Republicans on the Reapp...
August 30, 2011
Following today's 8-7 vote, Republicans serving on the Congressional Reapportionment Commission noted the process is far from over.
"The endorsement of the Democratic plan is the recommendation of the commission. The vote that counts will be the one taken by the Maine House of Representatives and Senate during the special legislative session which is scheduled for September 27, 2011," said Representative Ken Fredette, who serves on the commission. "I would rather the legislature, not the c...
August 29, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has submitted the title of a bill to amend Maine's bail code to require consideration of domestic violence when setting bail for alleged criminals. He said details of the legislation are still under development, but it will likely include provisions regarding whether a suspect has a history of domestic violence or other violent acts.
The measure, "An Act To Amend the Maine Bail Code to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence," may be deliberated by lawmakers dur...
July 19, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette said today he is greatly saddened by the death of Private First Class Tyler Springman, of Hartland, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan on Sunday.
Pfc. Springman, 19, was a recent graduate of Nokomis Regional High School, which is in Rep. Fredette's House district. He joined the Army in June 2010 and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
"Tyler Springman decided early in his life to give back to his country and his community," said Rep. Fre...
June 14, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette plans to file legislation to amend Maine's Bail Code to require judges to consider instances of domestic violence when setting bail on alleged criminals. His action follows the brutal murder of a woman and two young children in Dexter on June 13.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of those who are victims of domestic violence, especially the recent case in my neighboring town of Dexter," said Rep. Fredette (R-Newport). "Our laws need to be changed t...
May 5, 2011
AUGUSTA - Landmark legislation to revamp Maine's health insurance market cleared a critical hurdle today in the House of Representatives by a vote of 76-72. The measure, designed to generate more competition and bring rates closer to national norms, now moves to the Senate. Final enactment votes in both bodies could come as early as next week.
"The people of our state are the winners today," said House Speaker Robert Nutting. "For years, reasonable proposals to fix a dysfunctional health insur...
April 7, 2011
AUGUSTA - The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, April 12, for a bill by State Rep. Ken Fredette that would amend the Maine Human Rights Act regarding public restroom and shower facilities. The hearing is set for 1 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee room in the State House.
Rep. Fredette's bill, LD 1046, provides that it is not unlawful public accommodation discrimination for a public or private entity, such as schools and restaurants, to restrict ...
March 11, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has submitted legislation to amend the Maine Human Rights Act regarding public rest room and shower facilities.
The bill provides that it is not unlawful public accommodation discrimination for a public or private entity, such as schools and restaurants, to restrict rest room and shower use to members of a "biological sex," regardless of sexual orientation. The legislation states that, unless otherwise indicated, "a rest room or shower facility designated f...
February 14, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has proposed legislation that would toughen penalties for people who provide alcoholic beverages to underage individuals. The bill calls for a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence for a third offense and subsequent offenses.
"Underage drinking is a serious problem in Maine, costing more than $230 million a year in violence, auto accidents, property crime, injuries and other expenses," said Rep. Fredette (R-Newport), an attorney and first-term legislator. "Young ...
February 9, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette said today that passage of the supplemental budget means Sebasticook Valley Hospital will receive approximately $3.52 million to cover services for MaineCare patients from 2007 through 2009.
The $151 million supplemental spending bill passed the Legislature on Feb. 8, with all Republicans in the House and Senate voting for it and only a few Democrats voting in opposition.
"The bill contained $70 million in state funds to pay for hospitals, and that tr...
January 31, 2011
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has been named to the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, a position that will give him an important voice in shaping policy regarding state budgetary matters.
Rep. Fredette (R-Newport) said he is honored by the appointment and looks forward to the assignment. "The new state budget for the next two years will take center stage in this session," he said. "The Appropriations Committee will be key to getting the budg...