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Maine’s 130th legislature sworn in at Augusta Civic Center

Lawmakers highlighted the need for funding and assistance as a top priority heading into session.
Members of Maine's state Senate sworn into legislature.
Members of Maine's state Senate sworn into legislature.(WABI)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:13 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Members of Maine’s 130th legislature were sworn in today at the Augusta Civic Center.

This was also the first time they’ve been together since adjourning in March due to the pandemic

Lawmakers highlighted the importance of coming together to help the people of Maine during these hard times.

“I think it’s important that people of the state of Maine sees that we’re going back to work for them and now we have a job to do to move forward to help collaborate and work together,” said State Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake.

Swearing in day looked a bit different Wednesday for members of Maine’s 130th legislature.

The Augusta Civic Center was transformed to meet CDC guidelines and hold members of the house and senate.

“The staff who works in the legislature has put an enormous amount of work and thought into how we were gonna do this safely. It’s really gone as far as I can tell without a hitch,” said Representative Joe Perry. “There is a lot work to do and a lot of unknowns but i think the process is gonna work well.”

Democrat Troy Jackson was re-elected to a second term as Senate President.

He says healthcare remains a priority as well as helping everyone impacted by the pandemic.

“Congress really should act but if they don’t we’ll do what we can here as as state with what resources we have to help people out but that is got to be our number one priority,” said Jackson.

Ryan Fecteau was elected as Speaker of the House becoming the youngest speaker in the U.S.

Shenna Bellows will serve as Maine’s first female Secretary of State.

Lawmakers highlighted the need for funding and assistance as a top priority heading into session.

“We’re really hopeful that there will be support from Washington to get us through this and keep the economy going. The challenges are so great we just have to work together and we have to get it done,” said Perry.

Members of the legislature that I spoke with today expressed excitement over the potential to hold this session virtually.

They say this will give more Mainers access to public hearings and allow more voices to be heard.

Committees will go back in December and they hope to be back in session after the first of the year.

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