Maine Heritage Policy Center

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Maine Heritage Policy Center
Maine Heritage Policy Center Logo.png
Founder(s)Dick Jackson
FocusMaine public policy
ChairmanScott Wellman
Chief Executive OfficerMatthew Gagnon
BudgetRevenue: $646,421
Expenses: $646,901
(FYE December 2016)[1]
SubsidiariesThe Maine Wire
Slogan"We the people of Maine"
Coordinates43°39′28″N 70°15′10″W / 43.6577°N 70.2527°W / 43.6577; -70.2527Coordinates: 43°39′28″N 70°15′10″W / 43.6577°N 70.2527°W / 43.6577; -70.2527
AddressPost Office Box 7829
Portland, ME 04112

The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) is a free-market think tank located in Portland, Maine.[2] According to its mission statement, the MHPC is "a research and educational organization whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise; limited, constitutional government; individual freedom; and traditional American values–all for the purpose of providing public policy solutions that benefit the people of Maine."[3] The organization has an associated media outlet, The Maine Wire.


Matthew Gagnon is the CEO of MHPC.[2] The board includes Peter Anania, Timothy J. Bryant, W. R. Jackson, Jr., Jeff Kane, James Ward, Thomas Connolly, Laurence Rubinstein, Susan Dench, Jason Oney, Scott Wellman, Neal Freeman, and Jinger Duryea.[4]


In 2006, MHPC was prominently involved in the unsuccessful campaign for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in Maine.[5] In August 2011, MHPC and the Maine chapter of Americans for Prosperity distributed a videotape produced by conservative activist James O'Keefe which "hint[ed] at" Medicaid fraud.[6][7]

MHPC has been involved in policy debates over issues such as government spending, welfare reform, and Maine’s pension debt. The Bangor Daily News reported that critics of the organization have faulted MHPC for publishing the salaries of state employees while declining to release the names of the organization’s donors.[8] MHCP is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).[9]

In 2013, MHPC initiated a tax proposal for Maine's poorest area, Washington County. According to the proposal, "residents and businesses would cease to pay state income taxes or collect sales taxes until economic conditions reach the statewide average and stay there for three years running." A grant proposal supporting the initiative to was submitted to SPN.[10]

Since 2013, MHPC has published healthcare transparency data on the website The website lists, by Maine hospital, how much different procedures cost for patients.[11]

MHPC has opposed the Common Core State Standards Initiative and called for the Maine Legislature to allow parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.[12]

In 2014, MHPC laid out an agenda for conservative policymaking in Maine. It included a push for welfare reform, making Maine a right-to-work state, a change in Maine’s constitution to see the attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer popularly elected, and tax cuts.[13]

In 2016, the organization published its Piglet Book, a book chronicling wasteful government spending in Maine. The organization wrote that while Maine has made some progress, “state spending is still far larger than it should be, or would be if only Augusta took our spending seriously.” The Piglet Book had last been published in 2012.[14]


  1. ^ "The Maine Heritage Policy Center" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Moretto, Mario (August 20, 2014). "Maine native Matt Gagnon returns from DC to lead Maine Heritage Policy Center". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  3. ^ "About MHPC". Maine Heritage Policy Center. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". Maine Heritage Policy Center. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  5. ^ Miller, Kevin (October 16, 2009). "Is Maine ready for TABOR?". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  6. ^ Higgins, A.J., Secret Video Reveals Poor Training, but not Fraud"[dead link], Maine Public Broadcasting, 08/11/2011. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  7. ^ Russell, Eric, "Secret video hints at Medicaid fraud potential; critics say it’s ‘gotcha’ without the ‘gotcha’", Bangor Daily News, Aug. 11, 2011 11:26 a.m. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  8. ^ Miller, Kevin (April 5, 2011). "LePage adviser heading to Florida". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Mission". State Policy Network. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  10. ^ Woodard, Colin (5 December 2013). "Washington County residents have mixed reactions to plan to eliminate taxes". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  11. ^ Ryden, Tory (April 19, 2016). "Maine Heritage Policy Center calling on more transparency in Maine hospitals". WCSH. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  12. ^ McCrea, Nick (May 12, 2015). "Standardized testing opt-out debated in Maine legislative hearing". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ Moretto, Mario (November 20, 2014). "New leader of Maine conservative group aims to build upon Election Day wins". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  14. ^ Miller, Kevin (February 4, 2016). "'Piglet Book' reports Maine government spending is 'far larger than it should be'". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 29 March 2016.

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