Legislators upset when Maine DOL fails to show for committee meeting

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:55 PM EDT
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Members of the labor and housing committee are upset after the Department of Labor commissioner did not show up for their meeting Thursday.

The meeting ending with a vote to table the issue of asking for her resignation.

Members planned to question Commissioner Laura Fortman about ongoing issues with the unemployment system.

They also want to know about reports of fraudulent claims in connection with an attack on the nation's unemployment system.

Many of the legislators say this is an unacceptable lack of transparency...

Especially when there continue to be outstanding cases and continued issues.

"There are hundreds, maybe thousands of Mainers listening and watching this committee meeting today, looking for answers. And I do not understand why Commissioner Fortman is not here today," said Committee Chair Senator Shenna Bellows (D-Manchester).

"Since constitutional government was suspended in Maine by the unilateral declaration of governor mills on March the 15th, this is also what one-party rule looks like. So, I hope all of the Democrats on this committee will join with your Republican colleagues in calling for Commissioner Fortman's resignation," said Representative Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst).

Bellows called a recess to the meeting saying Lockman was out of order.

They voted six to five to table the issue.

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