Gov. Paul LePage and Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen in recent public forums have noted that after the state’s budget work is finished for the legislative season, their attention will turn to executive agencies, as well as state rules and regulations. On June 20, the governor signed the budget. The Legislature will convene again next week and soon after that, wrap up the session.

On June 17, Gov. LePage said: “This summer, as soon as the budget is passed and we know we have a budget to move forward, each department, each agency is going to be looking at state regs and federal regs. We’ve already identified many federal regs that we are writing letters to the federal government to re-look at it and see what we can do about eliminating some. Once we do a complete audit this summer I will be going to Washington to speak to some of the secretaries about specific regulations.”

With the administration’s new focus on existing regulations and rule-making, we hope there is a corresponding level of transparency so that the public gets a clear understanding of this plan. With any piece of proposed legislation, the public is aware of its origin, full text, who votes for or against it, its passage through committee, and any subsequent recommendations, via the state’s central legislative resource on the Internet. Thanks to that invaluable site, it was possible to track — and we did — how our local representatives voted on everything from whoopie pies to a health insurance overhaul.

Bowen and Gov. LePage have both talked about “school choice” as an issue they will work on in the coming months. Bowen, speaking at a forum May 17, said the administration will seek to develop a proposal and deliver it to the Legislature in January next year.

We’ll hold out opinion on any dynamic tuition model proposal, but we do want to see the process. We do not want to wait until January to learn about the administration’s mechanics of school reform. If changes are proposed, we ask Bowen and LePage to solicit feedback from the public early and often. If specific regulations are being considered for overhaul, let us know which ones so we, too, can study them. Just because you can, don’t restrict these reviews to a group of policy advisors meeting behind closed doors in an Augusta office building.

Mainers want to know about the work of their elected and appointed officials. Who is doing the audit? What are the results? What changes will result? We want to know. Don’t wait until next year to tell us how you spent the summer vacation.