January 2, 2012

State House Notebook: Maliseet takes seat in House this week

From staff reports

(Continued from page 1)

TUNE IN TODAY

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover will be on NewsRadio 560 WGAN at 8:08 a.m. today to talk about what’s going on at the State House.

LePage will quickly get back to the business at hand as lawmakers return to Augusta on Wednesday for what's expected to be a four-month legislative session.

Expect continued hot debate on cuts in health and human services, a separate $25 million proposal to further cut state spending, and yet another budget to keep the rest of the state spending in balance.

Lawmakers also will consider dozens of bills carried over from last year, and some new ones that were allowed to be introduced with permission from legislative leaders.

If it chooses to go forward, EqualityMaine has until Jan. 30 to submit signatures to the secretary of state to call for another vote on gay marriage. Labor issues, gun bills, environmental legislation and measures to try to curb energy costs will also be on the docket.

And LePage has said he will introduce legislation to get rid of the state income tax on pensions. All of the work is to be completed by April 18.

STATE OF THE STATE

LePage will give his State of the State address at 7 p.m. Jan. 24, according to the House Speaker's Office.

The speech will be delivered in the House chamber. Typically, the address gives each governor a chance to announce major new policy initiatives.

Last year, LePage outlined his vision for education and welfare in his inaugural address, then followed with reforms to the public pension system and taxes in a budget speech in February.

-- MaineToday Media State House Writers Susan Cover and John Richardson contributed to this column.

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