|December 10, 2018
The Legislature has now adjourned until Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019at 10:00am when it will reconvene for the inauguration of incoming Governor Janet T. Mills. The inaugural ceremony will take place at the Augusta Civic Center. The Legislature is then expected to stay in session until mid-June. Each day the Legislature is in session MMA and the Maine Osteopathic Association will be expected to recruit a physician to serve as the Doctor of the Day. Any physician interested in serving should contact Sarah Lepoff at MMA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senators Linda Sanborn, MD, David Miramant, Heather Sanborn, and Shenna Bellows take the oath
Doctor of the Day Robert Schlager, MD, with Senate President Troy Jackson
Over one third of the members of the 129th Legislature are new although some had previously served in the House or Senate but had taken at least one term off. Included in the 186 members sworn in on Wednesday were five physicians, three incumbents and two new State Senators, Linda Sanborn, M.D. of Gorham and Edward "Ned" Claxton, M.D., of Auburn. The incumbents include Senator Geoff Gratwick, M.D. of Bangor, Rep. Patty Hymanson, M.D. of York and Rep. Heidi Brooks, M.D. of Lewiston. All five of the physician-legislators are Democrats.
MMA EVP Gordon Smith with Senator Ned Claxton, MD
Committee assignments will be announced during the week of Dec. 17. It is possible that for the first time in Maine history (to our knowledge) both the Senate and House chairs of the Health and Human Services Committee could be physicians.
Also on Wednesday, the Legislature voted to change a number of its joint standing committees. The Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee will be divided into two separate committees, the Innovation, Development and Economic Advancement and Commerce Committee and the Labor and Housing Committee. The Insurance and Financial Services Committee has been renamed the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee, reflecting a greater emphasis on the issues surrounding private health insurance.
Among the first items considered by the Legislature after re-convening in January will be any steps necessary to implement MaineCare Expansion. A major project during the session will be development and enactment of a biennial budget to begin July 1, 2019.
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