Former House Speaker Fecteau to advise Gov. Mills on housing, workforce initiatives

Jan. 10—Former House Speaker Ryan Fecteau has taken a job advising Gov. Janet Mills on housing, workforce and economic development issues, the administration announced Tuesday.

Fecteau, a Biddeford Democrat, served as speaker from 2020-22 and could not seek reelection because of term limits. He was appointed as a senior adviser on community development and strategic initiatives in the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. He will help develop policy solutions for housing development and land use, as well as workforce, innovation and economic opportunities.

"From developing landmark legislation to alleviate Maine's housing crunch to his efforts to strengthen the child care sector that working families rely on, Ryan Fecteau has led the way on addressing the biggest challenges confronting Maine families and communities," Mills said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to welcome Ryan to my administration to strengthen our work to make Maine the best place to live, work, and raise a family."

Mills highlighted Fecteau's work on bills that increased investments in affordable housing, career and technical education, child care and dental coverage for 200,000 residents. He also sponsored a bill to increase housing production by allowing property owners to build duplexes or add in-law apartments on single family lots, and by providing technical assistance for municipalities revising their land use codes.

"During my time in the Legislature, I partnered with Gov. Mills and her administration to address the pressing issues faced by Maine families including affordable housing and workforce training," Fecteau said in a written statement. "I am grateful for this opportunity to build upon our successes in order to secure healthy and prosperous futures for hard working Mainers and their children."

Fecteau also served as the House assistant majority leader and chaired the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee during his time in the Legislature from 2014-22. He graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 2014.

The administration also appointed Elizabeth Gattine, of Westbrook, as coordinator of the Governor's Cabinet on Aging, which was created by executive order in 2022 to bring together government agencies to help residents "age safely, affordably and in ways and settings that best serve their needs." The cabinet is led by the commissioners of the state Labor and Health and Human Services departments.

"Elizabeth brings to this position a wealth of expertise and understanding of aging issues in Maine," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman in a joint statement. "She is one of the state's leading experts on aging, with a background in both research and practical experience that grounds her insight and commitment. Elizabeth's work with the Cabinet on Aging will catalyze results that older Mainers want and deserve."

Gattine previously served as senior policy associate specializing in disability and aging at the Catherine Cutler Institute, part of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She also served 15 years in state government, including as a program manager in the Office of Aging and Disability Services.

Gattine is married to Rep. Drew Gattine, who has served the last two years as the chairman of the Maine Democratic Party.

Fecteau and Gattine will earn $89,460.80 each.