As we begin the 125th Legislature there are major changes occurring. For the first time since 1974 Republicans are in the majority and therefore will oversee all operations of the Legislature, its chambers, committees and operations. This will be a significant change for all involved. As no one currently serving has taken on these responsibilities many are watching to see how Senate President Kevin Raye and House Speaker Robert Nutting will handle the decisions of committee leadership and the operations of their respective chambers. The chairs will need to moderate the new committees as they move thorough the over 1500 pieces of proposed legislation and work to shape the policies of the Legislature under a Republican Governor. The last time these factors came together was 1964! I am confident that we are ready for this opportunity granted us by the citizens of Maine. WE must move carefully and respectfully but we have been charged with making changes to the way our government operates and to correct the pathway that Maine has been on for many years. We neeed to move in a direction that offers hope and opportunity to our reisdents and those who create the businesses and industry that makes our state run. All the while being sensitive to the needs of all residents of this great state and the many features that make it special.