LePage is moving office out of the State House on July 1st

AUGUSTA—After an early morning meeting with Legislative leadership, Governor Paul LePage announced he would be moving his office space out of the State House by July 1, 2013.

“In government and in life, there are rules that need to be followed. It is disappointing and frustrating that the Governor thinks he’s exempt,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “The Governor’s ongoing pattern of behavior is embarrassing and not helpful to getting things done for the people of Maine.”

The morning meeting was prompted by Governor LePage to discuss with Legislative Leaders his unauthorized use of public common space in the Hall of Flags. Per state statute, public space in the State House is under the jurisdiction of the Executive Director and Legislative Council.

“This action by the governor is unprecedented, but nonetheless consistent with his pattern of behavior,” said Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick. “Storming out when you don’t get what you want is not leadership. He continues to be an unwilling partner at every turn and that is unfortunate for the people of Maine.”

In a conversation on May 9th, David Boulter, the Executive Director, notified LePage that he was not allowed to place a TV beyond the wing of his office without permission of Legislative Council. Boulter suggested LePage take his request to Legislative Council for a vote by the bipartisan panel. Three days ago, despite Boulter’s notification, the Governor placed a TV outside his office without authorization.

During this morning’s meeting, Legislative leaders repeated Boulter’s offer for the Governor to appear before Legislative Council. The Governor declined.

Use of the office space being vacated by the Governor will be taken up by Legislative Council at a future meeting.

Alfond added, “It is our hope that future Governors understand the importance of being housed in the State House where the people’s business is being done and we will welcome them back with open arms.”

Members of the Legislative Council is comprised of six Democrats and four Republicans:  House Speaker Mark Eves, Senate President Justin Alfond, Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall, House Majority Leader Seth Berry, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson, Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, Assistant Senate Minority Leader Roger Katz, Assistant House Minority Leader Alex Willette.