April 18, 2017: Barry J. Hobbins was appointed as the Maine Public Advocate by Gov. Paul LePage on Friday, April 14, 2017. The Public Advocate represents the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, including issues regarding electricity and natural gas prices. The Office of the Public Advocate also supports Maine residents on matters related to telecommunications, including accessibility to broadband internet. Hobbins, a lawyer in private practice for thirty-nine years, has concentrated in telecommunications law, real estate, municipal and administrative law, land use planning, business and corporate law, criminal and family law. A Legislator, Hobbins was first elected in 1972 as the youngest Member of the 106th Maine Legislature. He also worked in the 114th Legislature, then the 122nd through 125th Legislatures. Hobbins received his law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, which is now known as the New Hampshire School of Law.