Declaring that “hope is very much alive” in Maine, Governor Janet Mills this evening took the oath office to inaugurate her second term as Governor of Maine.
“It is the highest privilege of my life to serve as your Governor, during hard times and good, stormy seas and calmer waters, as we weather the best and the worst of times together, tackling extraordinary problems, through extraordinary times, alongside you, the extraordinary people of Maine,” the Governor said in her Inaugural Address. “It is an honor to lead a people where everything good is possible and where we believe always, deep in our hearts, ‘the best is yet to come!’”
In her second Inaugural Address, the Governor praised Maine people as a “people who endure and survive and thrive above it all.” She touted Maine’s nation-leading response to the pandemic and her Administration’s success in expanding health care, fully funding education, addressing climate change, expanding broadband, protecting reproductive rights, conserving lands and waters, and building up the Rainy Day Fund, among other achievements.
But she also noted that “our job is far from finished” and that “the responsibility we take up today is to choose action over acquiescence and apathy, to make decisions grounded in experience with an eye to the future, and always to be a part of something larger than ourselves.”
She declared her intention to focus on strengthening Maine’s economy and addressing the workforce shortage, housing crunch, opioid epidemic, high energy costs, and child abuse and neglect, among other issues.
“Over the next four years it will be our challenge to address these issues head-on, to continue the march of progress we began four years ago, and to be prepared for challenges not yet known to us,” the Governor said. “In doing so, we envision Maine as a place where quality healthcare is unquestioned; where good education, from pre-K through graduate school, is available and affordable; where good-paying jobs are offered in every corner of the state; where children are safe and secure in their homes; and where anyone can go online from any place in Maine to shop, attend a class, conduct business, get medical help or simply send a message to a friend.”
The Governor noted that the future “will see that we worked together, during difficult times and good, that we settled our differences with civility, commonsense and compassion, that we took care of one another, that we protected the air, water and land around us, and we built a state that survived and thrived long into the future.”
The Governor’s second inauguration, held at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, featured the reading of original poems by Julia Bouwsma, Maine’s Poet Laureate, and Richard Blanco, the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as musical performances by Dave Mallett, the PihcintuMultinational Girls Choir, the Franklin County Fiddlers, the Sockalexis Family Singers, and the 195th Maine Army National Guard Band.
Governor Mills is Maine’s first woman governor. In her historic reelection victory, she earned more votes than any governor in Maine history. She is the first governor since 1970 to be elected with a majority of the votes for both terms in office.