Lawmakers Question LePage Administration on Liquor Bidding Process 

Two Republican lawmakers are expressing concern over the way the LePage administration is proposing to directly negotiate a contract for more than $100 million a year in liquor sales in Maine. Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta said in a letter to Sawin Millett, the state’s financial and administrative services commissioner, that he has some “unease” about the process and does not understand how losing bidders would know they were treated fairly. Katz and state Rep. Tom Winsor and Norway say they would prefer that the state make a traditional request for proposals, to ensure fair and consistent treatment of all bidders for the lucrative deal. The state controls distribution of hard liquor. The state wants to renegotiate its contract to take a bigger slice of millions of dollars in profits.