Statement of the Governor on Transparent Communications between Executive and Legislative Branches

November 6, 2013

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Nov. 6
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

LETTERS ARE LINKED BELOW

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement today regarding a letter from Democratic Committee Chairs, who complained about the Governor’s request for transparency in communications between the Executive and Legislative Branches:

“I respect the deliberative process and understand that the legislative committees of jurisdiction request information and attendance of Executive Branch employees from time to time. In fact, my entire Administration and I have worked hard to assure that the legislative committees of jurisdiction receive pertinent and timely information as requested.

“In August, I provided a letter to Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves, asking that all requests for communication with Commissioners or other agency leadership or staff to attend a committee meeting be directed to me or include me as a cc on correspondence to a department.

“I have made no secret of this policy and I will continue this policy because it is a business-like and a professional approach to managing the relationship between two separate but equal branches of government. The previous relationship resulted in an inefficient use of Executive Branch resources and was disrespectful of the time and work of Commissioners and staff. Furthermore, there was a significant lack of transparency for all Mainers.

Mainers deserve access to a more transparent process and a public record between the two branches.”

PLEASE NOTE: Governor LePage intends to provide a full and more comprehensive response to the legislature by letter correspondence, but given the media pressure (because Democrats provided no advance notice to Governor LePage prior to giving media their letter) we are providing a quick response to make clear where the Governor stands on the issue.

Background: Governor LePage and his staff have communicated multiple times with the Legislative Branch with regard to communications, including letters on July 9 and August 14, 2013. Furthermore, verbal communication between the Governor’s Executive staff and Legislative staff has occurred with information provided accordingly per requests.

As recent as last week, Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Mary Mayhew and her staff answered an extensive line of questioning from the Health and Human Services Committee, which lasted hours. The Commissioner and staff have also recently answered questions from Appropriation Committee members and are scheduled to be before the Committee again next week, Wednesday, November 13.

Additionally, Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner George Gervais has recently submitted detailed information to the Tax Expenditure Review Task Force.

Related Documents

Nov. 6 Letter from Democrats

July 9 Correspondence

August 14 Correspondence