Now that an effort to impeach Gov. Paul LePage has failed, as expected, lawmakers must continue to work together to address the critical issues facing Maine, such as job creation, the rising costs of medical care and drug abuse.

During the last legislative session, LePage showed that he was more an impediment to than a partner in lawmakers’ work to tackle these and other issues. LePage spent the final weeks of last year’s legislative session vetoing nearly every bill that came to his desk. After lawmakers handed him defeats on his state budget plan and many of his proposals to restrict social services, his admonishments of the Legislature were harsh and frequent. LePage and lawmakers later clashed — taking up valuable time better used for constructive policymaking — over whether he had missed a deadline to veto 65 bills. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously that he had.

Lawmakers should expect more of the same from the governor this year, as the governor has suggested he may not even take the simple step of delivering a State of the State address, an opportunity for the governor to lay out his priorities to Maine citizens via live broadcast.

This makes building consensus, to override vetoes and simply get things done in Augusta, more important than ever. Lawmakers invested in good governance should do all they can to marginalize LePage since he has refused to be a constructive participant in state government.

Although LePage has done reprehensible things — such as demanding the resignation of the president of the community college system and refusing to issue voter-approved bonds — an effort to impeach him didn’t gain traction. After hours of debate Thursday, the House voted 96-52 to effectively end the impeachment effort.

LePage and his supporters in the Republican Party tried to portray the effort as purely political. This is a convenient oversimplification. LePage’s actions — or in some cases inaction — are unacceptable behavior coming from a governor. But state statutes do not outline a viable path for holding a governor accountable for undermining the intent and spirit of these same statutes.

Members of the Government Oversight Committee, for example, acknowledge that LePage was wrong to interfere with the hiring of Speaker Mark Eves by Good Will-Hinckley. But their committee didn’t recommend action against the governor because there is no statute delineating abuse of power.

This and the failed impeachment effort do not exonerate LePage or his divisive and unproductive style of governing.

Even before the new year started, legislative leaders worked together to draft a bill aimed at tackling the state’s opioid abuse epidemic, also a priority for the governor. It was not perfect, but it included funding for expanded treatment as well as 10 new drug enforcement officers LePage has long demanded. Shortly after the details were announced, LePage said he would veto the bill because it earmarked money for the Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs, which is made up of different nonprofit and health groups.

Then, Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said the money for the drug agents wasn’t even necessary because alternative funds were available. The whole episode begs the question of why LePage, on multiple occasions, threatened to call out the National Guard if he didn’t get this money for new drug agents.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee approved a pared-back and revised version of the bill earlier this week.

On this and other issues, especially Medicaid expansion — which would improve medical care and financial security for thousands of Mainers — legislative leaders must work together, in the face of threats and obstruction from the governor, to do what is best for the state.

At this point in LePage’s tenure as governor, lawmakers’ best option is to make LePage irrelevant so they can tackle the constructive policymaking their constituents elected them to tackle.

The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...