House speaker records video before LePage’s State of the State

Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves released a video message Tuesday morning in advance of Gov. Paul LePage’s State of the State address. While the message doesn’t offer many policy specifics, Eves calls on state leaders to strike a positive tone when talking about the state.

“If we are to truly strengthen our state’s economy, we need leaders who believe in Maine, trumpet our success and herald our state,” Eves says in the video posted on YouTube. “There is no place like Maine. National study after study touts the things that make our state great: our clean air, clean water, small towns, schools and strong families. These are the reasons my wife and I chose Maine as the place we would live and raise our family. Maine has a lot to be proud of.”

The speaker’s message encouraging a positive tone is an attempt to draw a contrast with LePage, who endorsed Forbes Magazine’s third consecutive ranking of Maine as the worst state for business, has lamented the quality of the state’s workforce, and continually criticizes the state’s public school system.

LePage on Monday met with Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond for the first time since November’s elections swept Democrats back into the majority in both chambers of the Legislature. In his video, Eves says political leaders from both parties need to collaborate.

“During the next two years we know we won’t always agree, but we must work together to meet our challenges,” he says. “The problems we face are too big for one party to solve alone.”