AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage will discuss new initiatives while plugging accomplishments such as lower unemployment and workers’ compensation premiums in his first State of the State address tonight, aides said.

Job creation, education, energy and domestic violence awareness are among the topics LePage will discuss during his speech to a joint session of the Legislature and to a statewide audience via electronic media.

Spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said LePage will take a few moments to reflect on accomplishments since his inauguration just over a year ago, such as reduced government red tape, a larger education budget and elimination of income taxes on nearly 70,000 working low-income Mainers. Unemployment and workers’ compensation rates also have dropped since he took office a year ago.

The speech is being given in a highly partisan atmosphere that marks an election year. On Monday, minority legislative Democrats challenged the chief executive to tone down his rhetoric and offer solutions less driven by what they consider extreme ideology.

Today, the liberal Maine Center for Economic Policy also urged the governor “to leave anecdotes and ideology behind and propose responsible, fact based solutions to Maine’s budgetary and other challenges.” The group called for a “robust bond proposal” that funds roads and bridges, education, research and development.

Engage Maine, a nonpartisan, progressive group, planned to release alternatives to LePage’s proposed budget on Wednesday morning. The governor’s budget calls for major cuts in Medicare programs.

To mark its opposition to the budget, the Maine Can Do Better coalition, which represents more than 150 organizations from labor, social service, religious and consumer organizations, planned a pre-speech vigil outside the State House.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.