Stunning video: Gov. LePage bars legislators from public meeting

A video posted yesterday by John Kosinski of the Maine Education Association shows Maine state representatives and senators, including members of the Education Committee, being denied entry to a meeting of Governor LePage’s “Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Public Education Funding.”

Legal experts, including Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, say LePage has broken the law by refusing entry and that the meeting should have been open to the public and the media.

The Commission was formed by the legislature as part of a deal that approved tax breaks for corporations in exchange for an additional $15 million in state aid to fill a funding gap for local schools.

“This is absurd,” said Lois Kilby-Chesley, an elementary school teacher who serves as President of the MEA.  “Obviously the public has an interest in any discussion about ways we can better fund our public schools and improve outcomes for our kids; I find it unacceptable the Governor would deny the public entry to this important discussion. Not only does it violate the requirements of the public’s business being conducted in public, but it makes us wonder what the Governor is trying to hide by making the Commission meet in secret.”

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