Jim Fossel: Republicans helped Gov. Mills have a successful session

Jim Fossel: Republicans helped Gov. Mills have a successful session

Gun Rights

With her first legislative session as governor under her belt, Janet Mills has to be pretty pleased with how things went. She was able to fulfill a number of campaign promises – most notably by finally putting Medicaid expansion into place, but also by taking action on the environment, abortion rights, gun control and assisting immigrants. It was scaled back slightly, but her budget emerged through the process relatively unscathed. Indeed, when Republicans did manage to have an impact on legislation this session, it was often to Mills’ benefit. During the budget process, the need to get to a two-thirds majority gave Mills a handy excuse to rein in many grandiose schemes floated by Democrats in Augusta, allowing her to appear more moderate than she really was. Republicans didn’t give her just enough votes to avoid a shutdown, either: There were votes to spare on the floor, and they didn’t even make an attempt to offer a unified alternative out of committee. That made the final passage a breeze for the administration, avoiding the lengthy late-night debates that we’ve seen in the past. It wasn’t just in the budget negotiations that Republicans ended up helping Mills, either. They had a chance to take advantage of a divide within the Democratic Party over the Central Maine Power corridor, as the Legislature passed or came close to passing various bills that might have restricted the project. The Republican Party could have taken the lead on this issue, opposing one of Mills’ […]

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