Governor Janet Mills signs legislation before a group of state legislators.
WASHINGTON D.C. – According to
Morning Consult, Maine Governor Janet Mills is the seventh most unpopular Governor in America. Mills is ranked as slightly more popular than Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia and slightly less popular than embattled Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
quarterly poll, conducted across all fifty states, tracks each Governor’s
approval and disapproval rating.
Janet Mills was a +20 at the start of her term, according to Morning Consult. In
January, Mills approval was 50% and her disapproval was 30%.
In the most
recent poll, Mills has seen a decline of 18 percentage points in her
approve/disapprove and now sits at a +2, with 46% approving and 44%
give Mills strong approval with a +64 approve/disapprove.
disapprove, giving Mills a -50 approve/disapprove.
Independents narrowly disapprove of Mills, at a -2 approve/disapprove.
Four of the six state governors ranked as more unpopular than Mills are Democrats, two are Republicans.
that several of the unpopular and controversial moves Mills made in the Maine
Legislature’s first session are taking a toll on Mills.
With control of the Maine Legislature and a willing ally in Speaker Sara Gideon, Democrats aggressively raised state spending,
wiping out the state’s surplus revenue, instead of pursuing a reduction in Maine’s relatively high income tax.
Democrats also rammed through a number of controversial issues, such as a bill
to force ranked-choice voting into Maine’s Presidential elections; another to
eliminate the religious exemption in Maine’s vaccine law and several abortion bills,
including taxpayer funding of abortions and allowing abortions to be performed
by some medical professionals without a doctor present.
supported a physician assisted suicide bill and several other bills long sought
by liberal Democrats in Augusta.
Republicans are now saying
the rumor circulating among lawmakers is that there will need to be a
supplemental budget in the coming legislative session to account for Mills’
overspending in the state budget. They say that because Mills and Democrats
insisted on spending almost every penny the state projected to receive, there
is no room for error and recent revenue reports have come in under projections.
also taken unilateral actions that have proven controversial.
At the end
of the most recent legislative session, Mills refused to sign a bill to provide
more funding to Maine’s nursing homes, claiming a flaw in the bill was
problematic. Legislative Republicans called Mills out for that,
her staff was responsible for the language they had passed. Mills
then refused to allow lawmakers to recall the bill, in what some called
unprecedented defiance from the Governor’s office.
city of Portland faced financial trouble due to an influx of migrants
overwhelming the city’s local program to provide welfare for illegal
unilaterally approved nearly $200,000 in housing funds and then
made an “emergency” rule change to reimburse the city for 70% of the costs of
felt Mayor Ethan Strimling
the Portland crisis by engaging in a high-profile political dispute with
President Donald Trump, telling the President to “bring them [illegal
immigrants] on” during one of the worst periods of the southern border crisis.
has angered many residents of all parties in western and rural Maine with her
strident support of the CMP power corridor. That issue has sparked controversy
even in Mills’ hometown,
she appealed to residents in-person for a vote of approval at the Farmington
town meeting. Mills lost that vote 262-102.
environmentalists have opposed the CMP corridor, they have cheered other
actions by Mills’ that Mainers more concerned about their family budgets deeply
Earlier this year, Mills
announced that she would provide $2.55 million through Efficiency Maine to help Mainers buy new electric vehicles. That spending decision was widely derided by rural Mainers who lack access to charging stations and live in locations that make travel with electric vehicles nearly impossible. Mills’ refusal to increase spending on road repairs in the state budget while providing rebates on electric cars also rankled many Mainers.
to rest on her laurels with the environmental set, Mills then pursued and
succeeded in creating a massive new quarter million dollar 39-person “climate
council” dedicated to crafting policies around climate change.
their admitted lack of a “carbon budget” to determine where Maine stands
relative to our total carbon dioxide emissions versus the CO2 we sequester with
our massive forests and farms, Mills’
climate council is working to craft a package of proposals.
Mills may not
yet have rendered her most controversial decision of the year, however.
Numerous reports indicate she is working on a regional agreement to
Maine into a California style “cap-and-trade” agreement which could raise
gasoline prices across the state with imposition of a new fee.
attempt to impose a carbon tax of about 40 cents per gallon on heating oil and
gasoline was defeated earlier this year in the Maine Legislature, despite
support from many allies of Governor Mills, including Speaker Sara Gideon.
While Governor Janet Mills is not up for re-election until 2022, every seat in the Maine Legislature is up for grabs in 2020. The controversial decisions and actions Governor Mills has taken are likely to be hot topics on the campaign trail, even as a Presidential election and one of the top U.S. Senate races in the nation dominate the airwaves.
Read more on the issues cited in this article:
Maine’s surplus revenue equals over $850 per middle class family, but Janet Mills has made promises to spend it Mills’ budget already in the red, setting up property tax hike says State Senator Rep. John Deveau: More extreme laws & tax increases coming in Maine, your voice is needed to stop them Gov. Mills’ staff wrote nursing home language she’s citing as reason to stop funding bill In unprecedented defiance of lawmakers, Mills refuses to hand over nursing home funding bill Maine State Housing Authority seeking options for housing asylum seekers Janet Mills sparks firestorm by allowing welfare for non-citizens, LePage blasts decision Strimling calls for more illegal immigrants to Portland in response to President Trump’s tweets Janet Mills’ hometown votes to oppose $1 billion CMP project she backs Mills: Maine will spend $2.55 million helping 900 people buy electric cars Maine may already be ‘carbon neutral’ but nobody knows, despite Gov. Janet Mills’ policy push Janet Mills’ first “Climate Council” meeting criticized for lack of concern about workers and jobs Gov. Mills working on deal that will raise gas prices, Mainers need to speak out, says group Maine would see 40 cent per gallon increase in gas & heating oil with carbon tax