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Politics

Mills Appoints Former Maine House Speaker To Head New Office Of Innovation

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Steve Mistler
/
Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills, right, announces the appointment of former Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree to head her administration's new Office of Innovation and the Future.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is appointing former House Speaker Hannah Pingree to lead the governor's new Office of Innovation and the Future.Pingree will lead an agency that Mills says will address Maine's immediate challenges while also looking ahead at a wide array of policy areas, including climate change, health care costs, the opioid epidemic, workforce development and broadband expansion.

Mills also says a new director of opioid response will work within the new agency.

Mills says the proposal for the new office will be presented to the Legislature, but for now it will use staffing positions under what was known as the Office of Policy and Management.

OPM was created during the LePage administration after it dissolved the State Planning Office. It was charged with finding over $1 million to cut from state government, but never met that goal.

Pingree says the new office will be much smaller than the State Planning Office, which at one point had roughly 40 employees.