of Portland

Speaker of the House

120th Legislature

Michael Saxl was sworn in as Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives on December 6, 2000.

Saxl was first elected to the Maine House of Representatives in a Special Election in 1995. In his first term, Saxl was appointed to serve on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance. During his second and third terms, he rose rapidly through the ranks of leadership serving first as House Majority Whip for the 118th Legislature and then as Majority Leader for the 119th Legislature.

As a legislator, Saxl has worked to ensure access to health care for all Maine people. Saxl fought to expand the Elderly Low Cost Drug Program, Cub Care program, and other initiatives that have increased access to affordable health care and prescription drugs to Maine citizens.

As Speaker, Saxl has furthered those objectives by sponsoring legislation that extends health care to over 20,000 low-income childless Maine adults. Saxl was also successful in creating a health care program responsive to the needs of Maine’s small businesses and workers that will provide affordable, quality health insurance through a unique public-private partnership.

Speaker Saxl’s legislative priorities include ending violence against women and children and expanding access to higher education for Maine families. He has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation including: establishing Maine’s first anti-stalking law, passing first-in-the-nation family leave for victims of domestic and sexual violence, and removing the statute of limitations for prosecution of sexual abuse of a minor.

Speaker Saxl expanded access to Maine’s technical colleges, ensuring Maine a skilled workforce. Championing the importance of higher education, Speaker Saxl was the successful sponsor of legislation to creating the SMART (Supplement Maine’s Attainment and Retaining Talent) tax credit for charitable giving that benefits scholarships increasing educational opportunities for Maine people as well as making it easier for businesses to provide training or retraining to their employees.

Raised in Bangor, Speaker Saxl is the son of former Representative Jane W. Saxl and former Superintendent of the Bangor Mental Health Institute, Joseph Saxl (deceased). Speaker Saxl graduated from Bangor High School in 1985, Bowdoin College in 1989 and is a 1998 cum laude graduate from the University of Maine School of Law. Prior to holding elected office, Saxl worked in politics both in Maine and in Washington, D.C., including serving as Assistant to Senate Majority Leader, Nancy Clark and working nationally on Congressional campaigns. Before working in politics, Saxl taught at King Middle School in Portland, coached the state champion Yarmouth High School hockey team and worked as an environmental educator at the Chewonki Foundation.

Remaining active in his community, Saxl has served on numerous boards and foundations and projects raising community awareness and providing services on issues as varied as literacy, HIV, children’s advocacy, environmental protection, and community activism.

A recognized leader, Speaker Saxl serves on various national advisory boards and commissions, including the American Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force dealing with the issues of loan forgiveness and public service fellowships. Speaker Saxl is also a Flemming Fellow, a German Marshall Fund Fellow, and is a newly appointed member of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation Board of Directors. In May of 2002, Speaker Saxl was honored to serve as Chair of the Maine State Democratic Convention.