Jackson, Gideon propose special session for Maine lawmakers
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon proposed Tuesday that lawmakers return for a special session next month.
The Maine Legislature adjourned March 17 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving much of the decision making during the crisis to Gov. Janet Mills, who declared a state of emergency.
“The time is now for the Legislature to return to Augusta and finish the job. With Maine seeing fewer cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths, Maine lawmakers are in a good position to finish our work and deliver for Maine people,” Jackson, D-Allagash,
Gideon, D-Freeport, said the special session would focus on Mainers’ needs during the pandemic by bolstering the economy to aid small businesses, ensure housing and nutrition needs are met, and make sure schools are prepared for the fall.
“Our people and our businesses have adapted with incredible patience, and faced an unprecedented challenge,” she said. “As a Legislature, we should prepare ourselves to take every action available to continue providing much-needed assistance during this time.”
Both Jackson and Gideon have been seeking an agreement from Republicans on the scope of the special session. Under the Constitution, they must query lawmakers on their views on returning to Augusta.
The lawmakers would meet at the Augusta Civic Center instead of at the Maine Statehouse, similar to what the New Hampshire Legislature did recently. New Hampshire lawmakers met at an arena on the University of New Hampshire campus to ensure adequate social distancing.