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Maine House Republicans
Room 332, State House
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002

Phone: (207) 287-1440

For Immediate Release

Date: 03/27/14

House GOP Leaders' Statement on Rep. Chipman's USM Bill

Legislative Council expected to reject measure

AUGUSTA - Rep. Ben Chipman (I-Portland) has announced that he will present a bill proposal to the Legislative Council Thursday to delay and study the budget cuts being proposed by the University of Southern Maine's administrators. Bills submitted at this point in the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled for adjournment in April, must receive the approval of a majority of the 10 members of legislative leadership.

"There will always be disagreement about how and where cuts are made, but that is a decision for the university, not the legislature," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "As a graduate of the Muskie School and the U-Maine School of Law at the USM campus, I value the institution and I remember how low the tuition used to be. University budgets must be made sustainable for the sake of the students who face massive debt upon graduation. For these reasons, I will not be voting for Rep. Chipman's bill."

Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton is a current student of the University of Maine School of Law, an administrative unit of the University of Southern Maine.

"It's good to see students get involved, but most of the students I speak with who aren't protesting are very concerned about the sustainability of the system," he said. "I will be opposing this bill because higher education spending and the student debt it creates are unsustainable, and the university has correctly taken action to reverse that trend."

The House Speaker's Office has also publicly indicated that they do not expect the bill to be approved by the Legislative Council.


David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793