Governor Issues Proclamation Calling Legislature Back to Take Action on Bond Package

August 21, 2013

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 21
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage issued a proclamation today calling for a special session on Thursday, August 29 for the Legislature to take action on issuing on a bond package of $149.5 million for infrastructure improvements.

The bond package, which was negotiated with Legislative leadership, includes the Governor’s original proposal of $100 million for improvements to highways and bridges, as well as ports and railroads. In addition, the package includes $14 million the Governor requested to maintain and upgrade Maine’s armories, many of which are in dire need of repair and rehabilitation.

Bonds will also be used for infrastructure improvements at Maine’s universities and community colleges.

“We were able to work with Legislative leadership to put together a bond package based on my original proposal, which is a good deal for the people of Maine," said the Governor. "Our roads, bridges and ports are important economic drivers that help create jobs. Now is the time for the State to invest in these much-needed infrastructure improvements, especially when the federal government is flat-funding these projects."

The Governor also expects the Legislature to address the situation at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, which may lose its certification and federal funding because it is not authorized to manage the growing number of patients who exhibit criminal behaviors. These patients are being sent to the facility from the corrections system. This spring, a staff member was severely injured in an attack by one of the patients.

Back in May, the Governor submitted LD 1515, “An Act To Increase the Availability of Mental Health Services,” which would create a facility within the Department of Corrections that has the trained staff and capacity to handle these patients.

“Our first concern is for the safety of the patients and our staff,” said the Governor. “We want to assure these patients, their families and Riverview employees that our Administration is working toward a resolution, and we are requesting swift action from the Legislature. This is a dangerous issue that needs to be resolved now.”

The proclamation language is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Legislature of this State should meet in special session to consider legislation concerning the timely issuance of bonds; and

WHEREAS, the funds to be gained from the issuance of said bonds are urgently needed to promote the good order of the State; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature must statutorily enact legislation relating to the issuance of said bonds; and

WHEREAS, the necessity of issuing the bonds creates an extraordinary occasion,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, by the virtue of the power vested in me as Governor by Article V, Part 1, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, convene the Legislature of this State, hereby requiring the Representatives and the Senators to assemble at nine o'clock in the morning in their respective chambers at the Capitol in Augusta on, August 29, 2013, in order to receive communications, and to consider and determine on such measures as in their judgment will best promote the welfare of the State.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed given under my hand at Augusta this Twenty-first Day of August in the Year Two Thousand and Thirteen.

Paul R. LePage Governor