AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage has submitted an eight-page State of the State address to lawmakers. But don't expect the governor to follow up with a flurry of bills to accomplish his goals.
Anyone who has attended any of the governor's town meetings is aware of his priorities. High on the list is welfare and tax reform. In his letter to lawmakers, LePage outlines nine welfare changes he would like to see, as well as a sweeping tax reform plan that would eventually repeal the state income tax.
But don't expect bills this session to accomplish those goals - they are part of a petition drive that will likely force a vote on those issues in 2017.
The governor does have a bill, carried over to the current session, to address high energy prices, another one of his goals. And he says he plans to introduce a comprehensive bill to address the drug crisis. Another measure being drafted would address the problem of high student debt.
Much of the governor's State of the State letter is critical of lawmakers, saying too many are "socialists" and not focused on improving Maine's economy.
LePage announced earlier that he would be skipping the annual ritual of delivering a State of the State address to a joint session of the Maine Legislature, and said he planned to deliver the address in writing instead.