Legislature cancels hearings and work sessions as nor'easter approaches

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AUGUSTA — Winter weather is already delaying the Legislature’s work just two days into the 2018 session.

Legislative leaders announced Wednesday — the first day of this year’s shortened session — that Thursday’s committee hearings will be canceled and rescheduled because of the winter storm. The Health and Human Services Committee, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Committee were all slated to hold public hearings or work sessions on a dozen bills.

“They will be rescheduled to a later date when members of the public can safely travel to attend legislative hearings and work sessions,” House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, and Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said in a memo to legislators and staff. “The postponements will be announced through television and public radio service announcements and will be posted on the Legislature’s website.”

This is the second and shorter year of the 128th legislative session, which is scheduled to last through April 18.

All of Maine is under a winter storm warning for Thursday, with coastal, Down East and interior areas around Bangor also under a blizzard warning. Many areas are expected to receive up to a foot of snow. The National Weather Service said blizzard conditions are expected beginning around noon Thursday and lasting into Friday morning.

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The Mount View Chamber Singers perform before the start of the first day of the second session on Wednesday at the State House in Augusta. The high school group was there from Thorndike to perform the national anthem in the House. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

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