Power grab

Governor Paul LePage is attempting, via the legislative process, to strip Maine’s attorney general of the authority to pass judgment on the legality of regulations proposed by state agencies to implement laws passed by the Legislature.

The governor takes issue with Attorney General Janet Mills’ opinion that some of those regulations likely are in conflict with other laws, or the state or federal constitutions. That is not sufficient basis for casting aside a process that has served the state well for many years. Though not schooled in the law, the governor apparently wants to guarantee a friendly decision on what’s legal or illegal in advancing his own policies, thus ignoring the informed judgment of the attorney general, who belongs to another political party.

The last thing Maine needs at this juncture is to spend time and money in a bunch of unnecessary lawsuits because the legality of its own rules and regulations is at issue. Preventing that from occurring is one of the primary responsibilities of the attorney general.

If the governor insists on going forward with LD 1354 to amend the state’s Administrative Procedures Act, the Legislature should reject the measure.

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