Governor LePage Delivers Final State of the State Address

By  | 

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Governor Paul LePage delivered his final State of the State Address Tuesday.

LePage spoke for an hour and a half, often going off script. It was the longest address of his tenure.

He hit on a variety of topics, ranging from taxing land owned trusts to give homeowners a break, to supporting and funding medicaid expansion and advocating for student loan debt relief.

He also made it clear workforce development is crucial to the state's future.

Let's take a listen.

"We cannot tax our way to prosperity. The Natural Resources Council of Maine, who are ripping off the landowner in the State of Maine, need to step up to the plate. They can put all the land they want in conservation. But they have to contribute to society."

"We got dumb, fat and happy. I had to go out and lose 75 pounds to wake up. The bottom line is this. Maine needs to reinvent itself and the time has come. For our economy to continue to grow, we must attract and retain young workforce."

"To buy bonds to pay off the hospitals was a good move. But we should've paid it in smaller increments. We shouldn't have paid it all at once because right now, there's $800 million of hospital projects on the drawing board. We paid off $750 million now, 800 in capital investments. I guess they're not as poor as I thought they were."

"Made some good decisions, some bad decisions, and sometimes, I drove my staff crazy. But I will tell you this. There's not one day, or one second, that every decision that I tried to make was not for the betterment of the State of Maine. God bless the State of Maine. God bless all of you and God bless America."

Following his address, Speaker of the House, Representative Sara Gideon, released a statement.

"This last State of the State address from Governor LePage reflects the weak leadership that has been the hallmark of this administration. We heard another speech where he takes credit for everything good, while pointing fingers and laying blame for anything negative."

Something noticeably absent from the Governor's address: No mention of the opioid epidemic, which has killed hundreds of Mainers in recent years.

LePage also said he's made some tough choices during his time in office, including this past weekend, but did not further elaborate on the closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility.

The Governor says there will be three major business announcements in the coming week. The first is LignaTerra building a new facility at the former Great Northern Paper site in Millinocket.