he Maine Legislature adjourned for the year Thursday nearly five months late, but not before Republican Gov. Paul LePage scored one more veto victory and also persuaded lawmakers to pass a bill aimed at protecting the elderly from home foreclosure when they fall behind on their local property tax bills. For a number of lawmakers it was not only the end of a marathon lawmaking year, but also likely marked their last day in the Legislature because they have served four consecutive terms and are prohibited by term limit laws from seeking re-election. Outgoing Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, one of those termed out of office, offered farewell remarks to his colleagues and some advice for the next Senate and the next Maine Legislature, which will be elected in November.
“Don’t be afraid to find value in one another’s ideas,” Thibodeau said. “Kindness is not weakness and crass is not conservative.” Thibodeau, who served two terms as Senate president, said he came into office as a fiscal and social conservative and he was leaving office the same way. But he and other outgoing senators seemed unafraid to level some not-so-veiled criticism at LePage.
Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, who is also termed out, said the presidents and some Maine governors who he looked up to as a kid took seriously the responsibility of being a positive role model for the people they were leading.
“Sadly, I don’t think we’ve experienced that in the last eight years,” Katz said. “I hope that is a blip on the screen and that the next chief executive, no matter who it is, will understand what a real responsibility that is.”