PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s J. Scott Moody is departing his position as the conservative think tank’s CEO in April to lead the Virginia-based State Budget Solutions, a national organization focused on state and local government, according to a post on the Maine Heritage Policy Center’s news website, The Maine Wire.
No successor has been named.
State Budget Solutions describes itself as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit, national public policy organization with the mission to change the way state and local governments do business.”
Moody confirmed Friday morning in an email to the Bangor Daily News that he is leaving his position at the Portland-based think tank that has been an influential force in state politics through the administration of Gov. Paul LePage and GOP lawmakers.
Former Maine Heritage Policy Center staff have held key positions in LePage’s administration or as close advisers to the governor. Among them are Tarren Bragdon, who led LePage’s transition team in 2011, and Stephen Bowen, who served as LePage’s education commissioner until he resigned last year to take a position with a national organization.
LePage praised Moody in a prepared statement issued by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.
“Scott has been a tremendous asset for Maine conservatives and a powerful defender of Maine taxpayers,” the governor said.
Moody started as chief economist at the Maine Heritage Policy Center in 2006. In July 2012, he succeeded Lance Dutson, who started the organization’s news website, The Maine Wire, in August 2011.
Before working for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, Moody worked for think tanks across the country. The organization has played a prominent role in public policy in the state, advocating for tax cap initiatives, tax reductions and policies such as a 2011 effort to pass a market-based health care reform package.
In September 2013, the organization’s proposal for a county-based strategy for eliminating or reducing sales taxes and corporate and personal income taxes earned interest and support from LePage’s administration.