Maine Governor Delivers His Final State of the State Address

Maine's politically incorrect and controversial governor has delivered his final State of the State Address, a sign that his tumultuous term is winding down.

Governor Paul LePage said in the last seven years, he ran the state like a business, and put Maine government on a financially stable foundation. He promised to continue to work hard in his remaining nine months, and said his goals include lowering energy costs and attracting businesses to the state.

"If I did one thing [in office], I made the state business-friendly," said the Republican Governor.

Notably absent from the governor's 90-minute speech was the topic of opioid addiction, an epidemic that kills more than one Mainer each day.

Democrats appeared to support some of LePage's ideas for the state, including a program to assist with student loan debt relief, and a promise to support the expansion of Medicaid if the legislature appropriates the funds for it.

LePage has had a strained relationship with the legislature, even refusing to give a State of the State speech in 2016 when several lawmakers tried to initiate his impeachment.

This year's SOTS comes days after the governor abruptly closed a prison in downeast Maine, leaving dozens of employees without work. The move angered lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

"We don't really feel like he is respecting the process of government," said Democratic Speaker of the House Sara Gideon.

She said she hopes the Governor can focus on bringing people together for the "common good," but added that she doesn't expect a major change in the way LePage governs.

Senate President, Republican Mike Thibodeau, said LePage has his own style -- but he thinks the last nine months of his term can be productive, working on issues like reducing energy costs and regulation.

The Governor's speech drew dozens of protesters to the State House Tuesday night. They held a rally demanding Medicaid expansion, a ballot referendum question passed in 2016.

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