Legislators are heading to Augusta to tackle the state's opioid crisis, school funding and November referendums while negotiating a relationship with the governor that has grown increasingly strained in recent years.

Legislative leaders already appear at odds with GOP Gov. Paul LePage over his administration's proposed secure mental health facility in Augusta, which could free up needed psychiatric beds.

New Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon is seen as a cool-headed leader who will negotiate with Republican legislators and push for Democrats' interests at a time when the party has lost influence in the House.

Gideon says she wants to stay clear of dysfunction, particularly after a presidential election that starkly laid out the urban-rural, coastal and inland divisions in Maine and across the country. — AUGUSTA, Maine (AP)

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