Op-ed by Rep. Matthew Moonen, D-Portland, is the House chair of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and the incoming House Majority Leader. He is serving his fourth term in the Legislature
When you went to the polls at the beginning of November, you sent a clear message that you’re ready for change and that you want a Legislature that will finally get results for you and your family.
So for the next two years, that’s exactly what we’re going to deliver.
We will expand access to health care, upholding the referendum you passed last year and bringing coverage to more than 70,000 Mainers who have been waiting for far too long.
We will protect our environment, preserving our natural beauty, supporting thousands of natural resources jobs and restoring Maine’s commitment to public health.
We will develop clean renewable energies, finally unleashing Maine’s solar industry and making solar power easier for everyone to afford.
We’ll expand broadband to all corners of our state, so that any family can connect and any business can compete with the rest of the world.
We’ll continue the work to overcome our opioid addiction crisis and help more of our neighbors reclaim their lives.
We’ll support our teachers and students by renewing our commitment to public education.
We’ll tackle student debt so that more graduates will be able to stay in Maine and support themselves.
We will stand up for working people who are struggling to make ends meet by protecting their rights as workers and pushing for more family-friendly policies in the workplace.
We will help our seniors on fixed incomes who struggle with heating their homes and affording their prescriptions.
We will make our tax code fairer and start to reverse the massive shift of our tax burden onto local government and property taxpayers.
We will work to mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change, particularly when it comes to our working waterfront and our forest products industry.
We will lift up the most vulnerable Mainers and defend the rights of women and minorities.
And we will build a budget that puts the needs of everyday Mainers ahead of the desires of the wealthy and the big corporations.
That’s a lot of priorities, but after eight years of going backwards, we can’t afford to think small. No priority is expendable, and Democrats in both the House and Senate are fired up to put in the work.
We’re also ready and willing to work with Governor-elect Janet Mills to rebuild the relationship between the Legislature and the Executive branch – restoring a state government that cares about its mission.
And, as we’ve always done, we’re looking forward to finding whatever common ground we can with our Republican colleagues and working together to find the best ideas for Maine.
We have the chance to make Mainers’ lives better – to give more people a fair shot to get ahead. And that’s a chance we can’t afford to waste.