Maine’s politically incorrect and controversial governor is set to deliver his final State of the State address Tuesday, a sign that his tumultuous term is winding down.
“I don’t think legislators feel very happy with him right now,” said Sara Gideon, the Democratic Speaker of the House.
LePage’s speech comes days after he abruptly ordered the closure of a prison in Downeast Maine, leaving dozens unemployed. Surrounding businesses reliant on inmate labor are suffering. The move angered lawmakers across the aisle, who had wanted to keep the prison open.
“We don’t really feel he is respecting the process of government,” said Speaker Gideon.
The Governor’s office declined to give details about his final State of the State. Lawmakers said they expect him to tout the economy and welfare reform. Some said they are optimistic they can make LePage’s last nine months productive.
“I hope to hear about his vision for creating jobs,” said Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau. He hopes they can collaborate on lowering energy costs, reducing regulations, and “bringing more people back home” to work in Maine.
The Governor’s speech is set for 7 p.m. Protesters are planning at 5:30 p.m. rally outside the State House to discuss the Governor’s opposition to expanding Medicaid in Maine.