Next week, state lawmakers will return to work in the Legislature. Democrats will continue to push the Governor and Republican leadership to focus on real solutions that put Maine people back to work and get our economy going again.
Democrats will work for solutions for job creation in Maine, like investing in economic development, lowering energy costs, improving our roads and bridges, and linking business and education to prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future.
Since the Legislature adjourned in June, lawmakers have been meeting with people and businesses in our communities. The message across the state has been the same: stop the distractions and focus on getting Maine people back to work. From York to Aroostook, Maine people are tired of seeing politicians in Augusta ignore job creation.
Earlier this year, we saw the new Republican leadership try to roll back laws that keep toxic chemicals out of sippy cups; protect our natural resources; protect voting rights; and govern child labor.
None of these proposals had anything to do with getting our economy back on track. Where was the focus on jobs? Where was the focus on the economy?
Last winter the Governor was busy grabbing headlines for removing a mural from the state’s Department of Labor. Today, that same department reports that Maine has lost 4,800 jobs since his term started.
Even now, the Governor will work to force through his irresponsible and harmful budget proposal that will throw 65,000 Maine people off of health care and result in an additional 4,400 job losses in the state.
This is the wrong solution for Maine.
Maine people deserve a vision for long-term economic development. We need leaders that have a daily focus on the economy and plan for the future. You can’t cut your way to job creation.
Democrats are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with Republicans toward reasonable and common sense solutions for our state – solutions that are focused on improving the economy.
As the minority party, we often must define success by looking at the extreme policies we were able to moderate. Earlier this year, Democrats were able to stop some of the most devastating and extreme proposals from moving forward because we stood on the side of Maine people.
Next year the Governor and Republican leaders will continue to push extreme proposals, Democrats will stand up against them.
When Republicans advance bills that undermine worker’s rights and pose harm to the environment, Democrats will stand up for working families and our quality of place.
When the Republicans choose to undermine Maine’s Clean Elections system, Democrats will stand up and fight to limit the influence of special interests on our local campaigns.
When Republicans threaten successful energy efficiency and conservation programs, Democrats will stand up for the businesses and homeowners that save money using them.
While the Governor works to dismantle health care and anti-poverty programs in our state, Democrats will stand up for the many struggling families who have used them as a hand-up. We will offer realistic solutions that protect the safety net.
You can count on Democrats to be there pushing back on these extreme ideas. We will be asking the tough questions. We will keep our focus on improving the economy and growing the middle class in Maine. We won’t just be managing today’s crisis, but leading towards tomorrow’s opportunities.
We will stand up for you.
Thank you for listening. Have a Happy New Year!