AUGUSTA — Former Maine Attorney General William Schneider will move to the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management as its deputy director, Gov. Paul LePage’s office announced Monday, just hours after Schneider’s two-year term as attorney general came to a close.
Schneider will join the newly formed office that is taking over some of the responsibilities of the State Planning Office, which was eliminated earlier this year as part of a supplemental budget package. The office, which includes the state economist, will be charged with reviewing state agency budgets, evaluating the effectiveness of state programs and compiling economic data.
An initial proposal from the LePage administration had included broad subpoena powers for the office without a judge’s approval, but lawmakers stripped those powers from the final budget bill.
As deputy director, Schneider will work for Richard Rosen, whom LePage named the office ’s director late last year. Rosen, who lives in Bucksport, finished four terms as a Republican state senator in December.
Before becoming attorney general, Schneider, who lives in Durham, worked as an assistant attorney general and a federal anti-terrorism prosecutor. He also served two terms in the state Legislature.
During his time as attorney general, Schneider fought a legal battle on behalf of the LePage administration in an attempt to force the federal government to approve a slate of cuts to the state’s Medicaid program that would cut off coverage for 36,000 people. The Obama administration has indicated at least some of those cuts might not be allowed under the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care reform law. Schneider also signed Maine on as a plaintiff to the Supreme Court lawsuit challenging the health care law.
This past spring, Schneider was one of six Republicans who ran in the primary to replace Olympia Snowe in the U.S. Senate. Former Secretary of State Charlie Summers won the nomination and lost the general election to U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent who is caucusing with Senate Democrats.
In a prepared statement, Rosen said Schneider will be a “tremendous asset” to the Office of Policy and Management.
“I have witnessed and admired his strong work ethic, unwavering integrity and commitment to serve the people of Maine for years,” Rosen said. “I am enthusiastically looking forward to this new opportunity to work with him to identify and implement efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of State government.”
Schneider was replaced as attorney general Monday by Janet Mills, who is returning to her post she held from 2009 to 2011 after Democrats recaptured control of the Legislature and re-elected her.