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Rep. Kenneth Fredette In the News

Fredette Urges Dems to Support Nursing Homes

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and Assistant Leader Alex Willette are urging Senate Democrats to sustain Gov. LePage's veto of LD 1719, which would allocate tobacco settlement money for the Fund for a Healthy Maine, urging them instead to pass the Governor's bill to use those funds to increase the nursing home Medicaid reimbursement levels.

"We're facing the very real and imminent possibility of nursing homes closing their doors on elderly Mainers because the state has been...

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Statements on Various Veto Votes

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statements regarding the bills noted.

LD 1578, ObamaCare's Welfare Expansion

-RESULT: Sustained, 94-53

-BACKGROUND: See here

-COMMENT: "ObamaCare's welfare expansion represents the failed status quo of welfare spending and debt in Maine. Governor LePage's veto of it represents the kind of reform that Maine's economy so desperately needs, and sustaining that veto was one of the best things we did for Main...

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House GOP Leader's Statement on Teacher Evaluation Bill

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted, 123-23, to override the Governor's veto of LD 1747, which establishes rules for teacher evaluations. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport voted to sustain the Governor's veto and issued the following statement.

"While I respect the votes of the Republicans who voted to support this bill, many of us believe that it was a step backward for education reform. Allowing evaluations to be written by the evaluated is unwise, and...

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House Votes to Make Budget Bill Law

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to override Governor Paul Lepage's veto of LD 1858, the $30 million supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2015. The budget was originally enacted with a vote of 136-8 and its veto was overridden with a vote of 134-12.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement.

"While I share Governor LePage's concerns with the budget's funding mechanism, I believe there is more good than bad in this bill...

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Governor Signs Newport Rep. Fredette's Bill to Help Corinna Water District

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage has signed into law LD 1618, Newport Rep. Ken Fredette's bill to provide more flexibility and long-term security to the Town of Corinna Water District. Rep. Fredette serves as the House Republican Leader in the Maine Legislature, where he represents Newport, Corinna, Plymouth, Etna, and Dixmont.

The bill expands the boundaries of the water district, allowing it to serve additional customers. It also changes current law to expand local representation on the...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Medicaid Expansion Veto

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage late Tuesday vetoed LD 1640 and LD 1578, both bills to expand welfare under ObamaCare. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette issued the following statement in support of the Governor's veto of these two bills.

"ObamaCare's welfare expansion would be the biggest fiscal and economic mistake in Maine's history. Maine's welfare system, particularly its Medicaid program, is bloated and unsustainable as it is. We just paid off a $750 million hospital debt and dea...

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House Republicans Preparing for 'Veto Day'

May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republicans are preparing for "veto day" on Thursday, May 1. As the final day of the 2014 regular session of the Maine Legislature, it is the Legislature's chance to override or sustain vetoes issued by Republican Governor Paul LePage. As of Tuesday morning, there are 30 vetoes to take up.

"The Governor's veto authority is an important check on the majority in the Legislature," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "For most of the past 40 years in Maine, ...

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Other States Facing Welfare Fines Implementing Reforms

April 23, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Wednesday said that other states missing welfare-to-work goals are reforming their welfare systems while majority Democratic politicians in Maine kill popular reform measures.

Maine Republicans in recent days have raised concerns about over $20 million in penalties for 2008-2011 imposed by the federal government for the state's loose welfare system that has resulted in Maine being one of only a handful of states to miss targets for work participation among r...

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As Unemployment Drops Again, House Republicans Tout Reforms

April 18, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Friday praised news from the Maine Department of Labor that Maine's unemployment rate has dropped below six percent for the first time since September 2008, to 5.9 percent in March.

"Over the past few years, Gov. Paul LePage and Republican lawmakers have implemented economic reforms that broke up the decades-old, big government status quo in Maine," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "We have a long way to go, but the repeated drop in Mai...

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Feds Fine Maine $7 Million for Low TANF Work Participation

April 17, 2014

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage announced Thursday that Maine is facing an additional $7 million in federal penalties for a low work participation rate in its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash welfare program in 2011.

Maine already faces $13 million in similar penalties for 2007-2010, bringing the total to over $20 million in fines for Maine's notoriously loose welfare system.

"The two welfare reform bills I introduced that were shot down by majority Democratic lawma...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Medicaid Expansion Bill

April 17, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement regarding the upcoming vote on LD 1578, the Medicaid expansion bill sponsored by House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick).

"Speaker Eves and I may have strong differences on economic and health policy, but I would like to commend him for his fair and heartfelt effort on behalf of a cause he believes in. I believe just as strongly that Medicaid expansion would be bad for our state's economy and budget...

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Poll Shows Strong Support for Welfare Reform, Not Expansion

April 16, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Pan Atlantic SMS Group, a Portland-based research firm with a reputation for leaning left, has released its 53rd Maine omnibus poll. The poll indicates strong support for welfare reform in the wake of liberal politicians killing four welfare reform bills introduced by Republicans and Gov. Lepage.

The poll also shows Mainers divided on the issue of ObamaCare's welfare expansion, with 45.7 percent opposing and 48.5 percent supporting the measure, well within the poll's 4.9 pe...

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Dems to Mainers: Education Status Quo Will Have to Do

April 15, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Democrats on Tuesday voted in favor of LD 995, a bill sponsored by Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond to ban virtual charter schools in Maine. House Republicans opposed the regressive measure.

"Day after day as the legislative session winds down, we're seeing Democratic politicians in Augusta consistently voting to protect the status quo in Maine's economy and education system," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Mainers want bold reforms t...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Budget Enactment

April 15, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement upon the enactment in the House of LD 1858, the supplemental budget for fiscal year 2015. The budget passed with a vote of 136-8 early Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm pleased that Republicans and Democrats were able to reach an agreement that keeps the state budget in balance while making sure Medicaid prioritizes our neediest elderly and disabled neighbors. We must continue to ensure Maine's nursing ho...

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House Dems Reject 'Open for Biz' Proposal in Stubborn Defense of Status Quo

April 14, 2014

AUGUSTA - The House on Monday rejected LD 1835, Governor LePage's bill to create "Open for Business" zones, in a party-line, 91-55 vote. The innovative proposal would establish tax and energy incentives while allowing for limited "Right to Work" at former military bases in Brunswick and Presque Isle.

"This vote was about stubbornly defending the status quo of Maine's economy versus trying something new and implementing bold reforms that would bring thousands of new jobs to our state," said...

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House Republican Leaders Praise Budget Agreement

April 10, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Wednesday morning praised a budget deal reached by the Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee early Wednesday morning.

The deal closes a $30 million budget gap while moving disabled Mainers off of Medicaid wait lists and increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Maine nursing homes, two priorities that Republicans have advocated strongly in favor of during the debate about Medicaid expansion.

"We've been saying for a w...

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Dems Shut Out Debate on GOP Welfare Compromise

April 8, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Democratic majority in the Maine House of Representatives late Tuesday prevented a vote on a compromise amendment on the last remaining welfare reform bill, LD 1822, which would prevent the use of welfare funds to buy certain prohibited items such as tobacco and alcohol. Rep. Sharri MacDonald (R-Old Orchard Beach) introduced the compromise amendment.

"This is a sad day for the taxpayers of Maine and for anybody who believes reaching a compromise should be a goal in gover...

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Republicans Rally for Welfare Reform

April 7, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House and Senate Republican lawmakers on Friday afternoon rallied outside the State House to urge their Democratic colleagues to listen to their constituents and pass comprehensive welfare reform. They shared their own stories and those of their constituents regarding welfare abuse in Maine.

"As a town manager and a former police officer, I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of my community," said Rep. James Gillway (R-Searsport), sponsor of LD 1842, which eliminates ex...

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Rep. Fredette Urges Senate Dems to Pass His Work-Search-Before-Welfare Bill

April 7, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport on Monday urged Senate Democrats to approve LD 1815, his bill to establish an upfront work search requirement for job-ready Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants.

"Opponents of welfare reform have spent a lot of time recently attacking other commonsense proposals to restrict EBT use, but they haven't justified their opposition to the work-search-before-welfare bill," said Rep. Fredette. "This is something that ...

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House GOP Leader Offers Welfare Reform Compromise

April 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and Assistant Leader Alex Willette held a press conference Thursday to announce the introduction by Rep. Fredette of a compromise amendment to move welfare reform forward.

"Republicans want to implement reforms for the benefit of Maine taxpayers who support our welfare system and the neediest who depend on it," said Rep. Fredette. "We are willing to work with our Democratic colleagues in order to make that happen."

Rep. Fredette's amendme...

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Bill to Nullify Alexander Group Contract Draws Bipartisan Opposition

April 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives late Monday afternoon voted 77-57 in favor of LD 1794, a politically-motivated bill to nullify a contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Alexander Group, a Medicaid consulting firm hired to reduce costs in the MaineCare system.

Six House Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the unprecedented measure. They were Reps. Terry Hayes of Buckfield, Brian Jones of Freedom, Bryan Kaenrath of South Portland, Stanley Short ...

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Statement of House GOP Leader on Dems Killing Teen Job Opportunities

April 2, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement regarding the party line rejection of LD 1698, a commonsense bill to allow 14 and 15 year olds to obtain work permits directly from the Department of Labor during the summer and to allow them to work in movie theaters and bowling alleys.

"There are teens who will continue to go halfway through the summer without work permits and be arbitrarily denied the ability to work at bowling alleys and movie thea...

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Bill to Nullify Alexander Group Contract Draws Bipartisan Opposition

March 31, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives late Monday afternoon voted 77-57 in favor of LD 1794, a politically-motivated bill to nullify a contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Alexander Group, a Medicaid consulting firm hired to reduce costs in the MaineCare system.

Six House Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the unprecedented measure. They were Reps. Terry Hayes of Buckfield, Brian Jones of Freedom, Bryan Kaenrath of South Portland, Stanley Short ...

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House Republicans Oppose Union Rollback of Teacher Evaluations

March 31, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Monday afternoon voted in opposition to LD 1747 as amended by the Education Committee, which would undo major education reforms implemented by Governor LePage and the Republican-controlled Legislature of 2011-2012.

"Education reform is essential to economic growth and personal achievement for the next generation, and a strong system of teacher evaluations is critical to that reform process," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Maine's edu...

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Fredette Statement on Medicaid Expansion Enactment

March 28, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement upon the Maine Senate's enactment of LD 1487 late Friday morning. The bill to enact ObamaCare's welfare expansion in Maine will now go to the desk of Governor Paul LePage, where it is expected to be vetoed.

"I am glad that we have a Governor who looks out for Maine taxpayers, seniors, disabled people, and future generations by stopping this disastrous measure to expand welfare for able-bodied ad...

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Maine Entrepreneur on Dem Bill: 'This Will Kill the Maine Call Center Industry'

March 27, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republicans spoke out strongly against LD 1710, a Democrat-sponsored bill that would crush a major sector of Maine's economy and an increasingly-prolific provider of good jobs. The measure passed its initial vote in the House, 78-63, with bipartisan opposition.

The bill would impose massive fines and grant claw-back provisions on call centers that move any operations out of the state. These investment-prohibitive measures would likely prevent any new call center jobs...

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House GOP Leaders' Statement on Rep. Chipman's USM Bill

March 27, 2014

AUGUSTA - Rep. Ben Chipman (I-Portland) has announced that he will present a bill proposal to the Legislative Council Thursday to delay and study the budget cuts being proposed by the University of Southern Maine's administrators. Bills submitted at this point in the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled for adjournment in April, must receive the approval of a majority of the 10 members of legislative leadership.

"There will always be disagreement about how and where cuts are made,...

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HHS Dems Vote Against Welfare Reforms

March 27, 2014

AUGUSTA - Democrats on the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee on Wednesday afternoon voted against one welfare reform bill and crippled another, leaving two more welfare reform bills to be taken up by the committee late in the afternoon.

The committee voted on party lines against LD 1815, which would simply require that job-ready welfare applicants apply for three jobs before receiving benefits. Nineteen other states have enacted the work-search-before-welfare re...

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Fredette, LePage Roll Out Welfare Reform Bills

March 24, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport on Monday morning joined Governor Paul LePage, Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Mary Mayhew, and Mayor Bob MacDonald of Lewiston in introducing four bills designed to reform Maine's welfare system.

Rep. Fredette introduced bills to require job-ready welfare applicants to apply for three jobs and to eliminate exceptions to work search requirements last fall, but Democratic leadership blocked them fro...

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Maine House Enacts Budget, Rainy Day Fund Bills

March 21, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives late Friday enacted two bills to restore the state's rainy day fund and balance the state's budget for fiscal year 2014 and part of fiscal year 2015.

"I'm glad that lawmakers from both parties were able to come together and manage Maine's finances," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "We may debate the issues passionately, but we're always committed to finding bipartisan agreement on the budget and I'm glad we were able to do ...

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Dems Agree to Pull Spending Amendment from Gov's Rainy Day Fund Bill

March 19, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee agreed early Wednesday morning to approve LD 1807, the Governor's bill to restore $21 million to the state's rainy day fund, with a clean vote.

Late last week, Democrats in a party line committee vote added an $18 million spending amendment to the Governor's bill. Republicans quickly warned that the added measure would not find bipartisan support.

"Working together last night, we were able to conv...

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Approps Votes Out Two Versions of Gov's Rainy Day Fund Bill

March 14, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee late Friday voted on LD 1807, Governor Paul LePage's bill to replenish the state's rainy day fund.

"Governor LePage provided a plan to restore the rainy day fund and release the bonds, letting us move forward with transportation projects while protecting Maine's credit rating," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "I call on Democrats to join us in voting for the clean version of the b...

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MaineCare Must Prioritize Nursing Homes, Waitlists Over Able-Bodied Adults

March 14, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Friday called attention to the underfunding of services for disabled and elderly Mainers, saying that these should be the priorities of Maine's scarce Medicaid dollars, not able-bodied, predominantly young adults.

"Medicaid and other public assistance programs were originally designed to help the elderly, the disabled, and children, not able-bodied young men," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "It's the severely autistic young man...

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House Republicans Call on Rank-and-File Dems to Reconsider Expansion

March 12, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leadership on Wednesday urged rank-and-file House Democrats to join them in voting against ObamaCare's welfare expansion. Their call comes as the Maine Senate takes up LD 1487, a measure to expand the beleaguered MaineCare system to 70,000 able-bodied adults. The bill will move on to the House after receiving debate and initial votes in the Senate.

"Independent-minded House Democrats should join us in preventing this disastrous and unnecessary expansion o...

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Gov's Business Zone Proposal Means Real Reform for Maine's Economy

March 10, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leaders on Monday expressed enthusiasm and support for Governor Paul LePage's "Open for Business Zone" proposal being rolled out in a visit to Brunswick.

The Governor's proposal would create geographic zones in Maine that offer tax relief, regulatory reform, energy incentives, and Right to Work in order to encourage job creation and economic development.

"The Governor's plan offers real reforms for Maine's economy to kick-start job creation and shak...

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New Survey: Maine Small Biz Opposed to Medicaid Expansion

March 10, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Monday said a new survey of small business owners in Maine shows that expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare would cripple Maine's ability to retain and attract jobs for years.

The survey, released Monday morning by the Maine affiliate of the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), finds that 93 percent of its Maine members believe Medicaid expansion would lead to higher state taxes within five years.

A total of 8...

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Fredette/LePage Bill to Modernize Maine's Courts Receives Unanimous Committee Nod

March 6, 2014

AUGUSTA - A bill introduced by Governor Paul LePage and sponsored by House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport received the unanimous approval of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon.

The bill, LD 1789, "An Act To Modernize and Improve the Efficiency of Maine's Courts," would initiate a $15 million overhaul of the planning, purchasing, customizing, and implementing of a case management, data storage, and electronic filing system for the judicial branch.

"Th...

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GOP Leaders: Medicaid Expansion Alternative Already In Place

March 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leaders on Monday called attention to the built-in, default alternative to ObamaCare's welfare expansion. The health insurance exchange established by the federal government provides coverage that costs next to nothing to most of those who would be eligible for Medicaid if the state expanded.

"Virtually everything the Democrats say Medicaid expansion will do for the state will be done anyway by the exchange if we don't expand," said House Republican Leade...

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Rep. Davis Requests Investigation of Partisan Activity by Nonpartisan Staff

February 28, 2014

AUGUSTA - State Representative Paul Davis (R-Sangerville), ranking House Republican on the Maine Legislature's Government Oversight Committee (GOC), submitted a request to the Democratic chairpersons of the committee that an investigation be conducted into the activity of nonpartisan staff.

Recent news reports have uncovered emails from an Office of Policy and Legal Analysis (OPLA) analyst for the Health and Human Services Committee that reveal highly partisan and legally questionable a...

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Maine Delegation to Visit Canadian Consulate in Boston

February 14, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, chairman of the Maine-Canadian Legislative Advisory Commission (MCLAC), announced Friday that members of the bipartisan commission will visit the Quebec Government Office and the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, February 19.

"We look forward to this opportunity to build upon our relationship with our neighbors and strengthen our economic ties," said Rep. Fredette. "Maine and Canada share close tie...

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GOP Votes to Allow Towns to Participate in Federal School Lunch Program

February 13, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Thursday morning voted to sustain Governor Paul LePage's veto of a bill that would impose an unfunded mandate on local communities to force participation in a federal school lunch summer program that is already available to them.

However, the House overrode the Governor's veto, 92-45, making the unfunded mandate law.

The Republican-controlled 125th Legislature unanimously passed L.D. 860, "An Act to Reduce Student Hunger" in 2011, which allowed school...

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Republicans Propose Alternatives to Rainy Day Fund Raid

February 11, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday took up LD 1762, the bill that forestalls $40 million in revenue sharing cuts with a $21 million raid on the rainy day fund, a $4 million sweep of the income tax relief fund, and $15 million in revenue surpluses.

Republican lawmakers offered floor amendments to provide structural alternatives to the budget gap that would not jeopardize the state's credit rating or shut the door on future tax relief.

House Republican Leader Ken...

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House GOP Statement on Alexander Group Bill

February 10, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement regarding a Democratic bill, announced today, to nullify the contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Alexander Group, a Medicaid cost control consulting firm.

"This is what one pundit was talking about when he said Democrats would simply use the legislature as 'a soapbox to campaign against the governor' this year. Instead of scoring political points, Democrats shou...

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DISGRACE: In Surprise Vote, Dems Raid Rainy Day, Tax Relief Funds

February 4, 2014

AUGUSTA - In an unprecedented move by majority lawmakers Monday night, the Democratic members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee voted "Ought to Pass" on a $40 million budget proposal without a single Republican present.

Democrats had met with their Republican colleagues on the budget committee earlier in the evening, agreeing to take the matter up during Tuesday afternoon's work session. All Republican appropriators left the State House with that agreement. Democrats...

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Rep. Willette Announces High Court Trip to Presque Isle High School

February 4, 2014

AUGUSTA - Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton is pleased to welcome the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to Presque Isle later this year as Maine's top jurists hear real appeals on the road.

The panel of seven justices will hear arguments at Presque Isle High School the morning of October 28. Students will have the opportunity to attend the arguments and witness Maine's justice system at work.

"This has been an incredible opportunity for some time for students ...

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GOP Leaders Look Forward to State of the State Address Focused on Jobs and Reform

February 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport and Senate Republican Leader Michael Thibodeau of Winterport are looking forward to Governor LePage's annual State of the State address before a joint session of the Maine House and Senate in the House Chamber Tuesday evening.

The Republican leaders expect an emphasis on the progress of Republican job-creating reforms and a preview of more to come this year.

"Governor LePage's reforms have significantly reduced Maine's unemp...

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2013 Energy Reform Pays Dividends With Regional Natural Gas Collaborative

January 23, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport on Thursday congratulated Governor Paul LePage and other New England governors on a historic agreement to expand the availability of affordable natural gas energy throughout the region.

Working with Democratic lawmakers and Governor LePage, Rep. Fredette helped lead the effort last year to pass LD 1559, an omnibus energy reform bill that was the catalyst for the regional collaborative announced today.

"New England states can ...

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Public Hearing on Dem Tax Hike Proposal Reveals Economic Costs

January 22, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on LR 2721, a Democratic proposal to eliminate business tax incentives and raid the state's rainy day fund in order to fill a $40 million hole in the state budget. Without this measure, the budget gap would automatically be filled with a cut to state revenue sharing funds to municipalities.

Bill Cohen of Verso Paper, which operates mills in Bucksport and Jay, asked lawmak...

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House GOP Statement on EBT Abuse Data

January 15, 2014

AUGUSTA As a result of a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) request by The Maine Wire, the online news site of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center, data on the use of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) welfare cards was released Tuesday. The information reveals thousands of transactions where taxpayer-funded welfare benefits were used at bars, liquor stores, smoke shops, and other inappropriate venues.

"I am disappointed but not surprised by this information," said House Republican ...

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Medicaid Expansion Study a Warning Against Signing Maine Taxpayers Up for ObamaCare

January 15, 2014

AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership encouraged their colleagues to consider the findings of an Alexander Group study released Friday before voting on the controversial proposal to have Maine pay for a massive expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare. The analysis estimates that the medical welfare expansion will cost the state $807 million over the first 10 years and lead to nearly two in five Mainers being enrolled in the government program.

"This is the most thorough analysis of the cons...

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Taxpayers Come Out in Force Against Medicaid Expansion

January 15, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on LD 1578, the bill to force the state to help fund an expansion of medical welfare to at least 70,000 able-bodied adults under ObamaCare.

The committee heard testimony in cyclesfive proponents followed by five opponents, repeated. As of 1:00 PM, after beginning at 9:00 AM, members of the public opposing welfare expansion were still matching testimony with those in favor of it, inc...

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Dems Un-Invite Alexander to Give HHS Committee Briefing

January 11, 2014

AUGUSTA - In a shocking move by the Democratic chairpersons of the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee Saturday afternoon, welfare consultant Gary Alexander's invitation to brief the committee on Tuesday on his Medicaid expansion study has been rescinded. Alexander's firm has been contracted by the state's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct a review of the state's welfare programs.

The first part of the review, released Friday, was an estima...

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2014 Session Should Focus on Reform

January 8, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature began Wednesday at the State House. The First Regular Session, which last year ran from January to July, is dedicated to the bulk of legislation, including the biennial state budget. This year's shorter session, which is scheduled to run from Wednesday through April, is reserved for emergency legislation and bills carried over from last year.

However, many major issues will come before the Maine Legislature during this year's s...

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Statement of House GOP Leaders on Governor's Welfare Reform

January 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage on Friday alerted Republican and Democratic legislative leaders of the problem of Maine's low work participation rate among TANF welfare recipients. The low work participation rate means Maine is facing $10 million in fines from the federal government, and perhaps more. The Governor has proposed to broaden Rep. Fredette's original proposal that would eliminate certain exceptions in Maine law to the work search requirement.

"Now is the time to put politics as...

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Unemployment Plunges Again Thanks to Republican Reforms

December 20, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Friday lauded news from the Maine Department of Labor that the state's unemployment rate has dropped yet again, to 6.4 percent in November, down from 6.7 percent in October and 7.2 percent one year ago.

"We have a long way to go and many folks are still struggling, but this latest significant drop in unemployment is proof that reform is working," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Maine's economy has been stagnating since well before the...

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Governor to Reintroduce GOP Leader's Welfare Reform Bills

December 17, 2013

AUGUSTA - Governor LePage announced Tuesday that he will re-introduce two welfare reform bills originally introduced by House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, but denied admission to the 2014 legislative session by Democratic leaders.

The Governor is able to introduce legislation at any time without approval by the Legislative Council, which contains a 6-4 Democratic majority. Both of Rep. Fredette's bills were rejected along party lines by the Council.

One of the bills w...

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Statement of Rep. Fredette on Tax Review Task Force

December 13, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Democratic chairs of the Tax Expenditure Review Task Force briefed the Appropriations Committee on their ideas Thursday. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette made the following statement in reaction.

"Mainers overwhelmingly believe that we should reduce spending instead of increasing taxes to solve the state's budget problems, and they're right. Unfortunately, Democrats have rejected every spending reduction to come before them while doubling down on new taxes on Maine fam...

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Last Batch of ObamaCare-Free Data Shows GOP Health Insurance Reforms Work

December 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Monday called attention to the recently-released data for fourth quarter 2013 small group health insurance renewals in Maine. This data is the last batch of numbers that reflect Maine's health insurance market under PL 90, the health insurance reform law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011. As of January 1, 2014, small group renewal numbers will reflect not only PL 90, but also the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

Among its many change...

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Democrats Double Tax Hike Quota After Flatly Rejecting Spending Cuts

December 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Tuesday called attention to the failure of Democrats to balance Maine's budget. The biennial budget established two task forcesone to find $33.7 million in spending cuts and another to find $40 million in additional tax revenues by way of eliminating tax credits.

The group responsible for finding spending reductions was the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), and Democratic appropriators in early October flatly rejected the spending cuts that they...

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Rep. Fredette Awarded Christian Civic League's 'Minuteman' Award

November 22, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Christian Civic League of Maine has awarded Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) their 2013 Minuteman Award for his work in the Maine Legislature this year. Rep. Fredette serves as the House Republican Leader and represents Corinna, Exeter, Newport, Plymouth, and part of Corinth.

According to the Christian Civic League, the Minuteman Award is presented to legislators or other state leaders who effectively and courageously advocate for life, religious liberty, and traditional value...

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House Leader: Lowest Unemployment Since '08 a Reflection of Reforms

November 22, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, on the solemn anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, praised positive news about Maine's economy.

According to the Maine Department of Labor, the state's unemployment rate reached a 5-year low of 6.7 percent in October. The percentage of unemployed Mainers is down from 6.9 percent in September and 7.2 percent one year agoa full half-point. Maine's unemployment rate is lower than the national average, which sta...

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Dems Kill Every Single Welfare Reform Bill

November 21, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democrats on Maine's Legislative Council late Thursday morning killed all three of House Republican Leader Ken Fredette's welfare reform proposals.

One bill would have required able-bodied welfare applicants to look for a job before receiving a welfare check. Another would have eliminated catch-all "good cause" excuses to nonparticipation in the ASPIRE work search program. A third bill would have established a feasibility study for creating a tiered welfare system whereby recipie...

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Rep. Fredette Speaks to Community College Leadership Council

November 19, 2013

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport spoke to the Leadership Council of The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges at their offices at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on Monday, November 18.

Rep. Fredette, along with Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland), was invited by the community colleges' board of directors to speak about ways Maine's community colleges can contribute to a strong workforce and a growing economy in Maine. Former ...

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House Republicans Voice Support of DHHS Independent Welfare Review

November 19, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today voiced support of the LePage Administration's decision to contract with independent Medicaid experts to help improve Maine's welfare system.

The Alexander Group, which will conduct the review, was founded by Gary Alexander, a former head of welfare departments in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. His consultancy will undertake a complete review of the cost and efficiency of all welfare programs within Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (...

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Job-Killing Tax Hikes from Special Committee Won't Have GOP Leader's Support

November 15, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport today warned that the special committee established in the biennial budget to cut tax deductions and credits for Maine businesses will not have his support if its focus is on increasing Maine's tax burden.

The Tax Expenditure Review Task Force will meet Monday to work on its proposal to eliminate $40 million worth of deductions and credits.

"There were parts of the budget that Republicans disagreed with, and this is one of th...

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ObamaCare Disaster Another Reason Not to Expand Medicaid

November 15, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Friday pointed to the latest in a continual line of bad news as just another reason to avoid the costly disaster that would be Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.

President Obama, facing a wave of criticism amid the ongoing failure of the federal takeover of health care, yesterday apologized repeatedly for the failed law while offering a legally-questionable Band-Aid fix that will actually make the health law's problems worse.

The President and Congress...

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ObamaCare Broken Promises Likely Not Limited to Plan Cancellations

November 12, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today warned Mainers against the fiscal dangers of expanding medical welfare to thousands of able-bodied adults when alternative options exist and while Americans are already suffering as a result of the federal government's broken promises.

Throughout the process of passing the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama stated no less than 36 times that if Americans like their health insurance plans, they can keep them. Yet in the face of an estimated...

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Military Recruiter Uniforms Bill Survives Screening: What's Changed?

October 30, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislative Council - the panel of six Democratic and four Republican members of legislative leadership - on Wednesday screened bill proposals submitted by various lawmakers. One of them was LR 2254, "An Act To Authorize Public Safety Personnel and Members of the Military When Visiting Schools in Their Official Capacity To Wear Their Uniforms," sponsored by Rep. Mick Devin (D-Newcastle). The bill was unanimously approved by the Council.

A bill introduced by Governor P...

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Dems Kill Slew of Welfare Reforms, Ignore Own Rules to Push Welfare Expansion

October 30, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Wednesday expressed disappointment with Democrats on the Maine Legislature's Legislative Council for bending the legislature's rules to simultaneously ram welfare expansion through the legislature for a third time and kill commonsense, bipartisan measures to reform Maine's broken welfare system. Joint Rule 217 of the legislature prohibits the introduction of the same bill twice in one two-year legislative term.

"Democrats bent the rules in order to pus...

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Rep. Fredette to Dems: Put Campaign Aside, Help Republicans Manage State

October 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette joined Governor LePage, Senate Republican Leader Michael Thibodeau, Speaker Mark Eves, and Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Anne Haskell in a meeting Thursday morning to discuss the Governor's decision to exercise his constitutional authority to declare a civil emergency in order to better manage fallout from the federal government shutdown.

"Judging by the Democrats' reactions, it's as if the meeting never happened," said Fredette. "After...

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Fredette Blasts Dems for Lack of Communication on Emergency Meeting

October 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today reacted with surprise to the emergency meeting of the legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Committees called by Democratic leadership.

"We had no idea this was happening," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "It's customary for majority leadership to discuss legislative hearings with minority leadership, but we've seen repeated lapses in communication with the Speaker's Offic...

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Rep. Fredette Introduces Welfare Reform Bills

October 2, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport has introduced two pieces of legislation designed to reform Maine's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash welfare program. Both bill proposals have been submitted to the legislature's Office of the Revisor of Statutes, where legislation is printed. The Revisor's Office is currently working on language for the bills.

The first proposal would institute an up-front work search requirement of job-ready TANF applicants. M...

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Forbes Ranking a Call to Action for Pro-Growth Policies

September 27, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leaders on Friday pointed to the newly-released Forbes Magazine ranking of the "Best States for Business" as a call to implement more pro-growth Republican reforms. Maine placed 50th for a fourth year in a row despite recent free market reforms and the study's preference for factors such as low taxes, simple regulations, and right-to-work laws.

"Business Costs," "Regulatory Environment," "Economic Climate," and "Growth Prospects" are four of six sub-rankings tha...

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House Republicans Call On Democrats to Cease Citing False Jobs Numbers

September 20, 2013

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leaders are calling on Democrats to stop attacking Republican reforms with phony jobs numbers. Since Pew Charitable Trusts in June released numbers stating that Maine was one of three states to lose jobs from April 2012 to April 2013, Democrats have been holding up the statistical tidbit even in the face of historic reforms to state government, reduced unemployment, higher wages, and less poverty.

Yesterday, the Portland Press Herald reported that the Bur...

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Republicans Take the Long View

September 17, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders today emphasized the need to reform Maine's broken budget and stop the welfare overspending that would come with yet another expansion of the state's massive and costly Medicaid program.

"I am shocked that Democrats are talking seriously about expanding the very welfare program that left us $500 million in debt to our hospitals and continues to cannibalize the state's budget year after year," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Welfar...

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GOP Leaders Praise Latest News on Welfare Reforms

September 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leaders on Tuesday lauded the latest news from the Governor's Office on state government's increased vigilance over fraud and abuse within Maine's generous welfare programs.

"The latest news on our welfare reforms is further proof that Maine's welfare system was in dire need of accountability," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Thankfully, we are now starting to see less welfare dependency and more aggressive prosecution of fraud and ...

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House Republicans Praise Sale of Liquor Revenue Bond

September 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republicans today praised the sale, announced by the office of Governor Paul LePage, of the liquor revenue bond that will be used to pay off Maine's $484 million in outstanding welfare bills owed to hospitals throughout the state.

"This money will now go out into Maine's private sector economy, where it is needed the most," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "I'm very pleased that we are one step closer to getting checks in the hands of Maine employ...

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House Enacts Bipartisan Bond Package

August 29, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve a series of bond bills that were the subject of recent negotiations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers and Governor Paul LePage. By mid-afternoon, four of the five bonds had been enacted, while a fifth, LD 1095, awaits votes that are planned for later in the afternoon.

"I'm glad we were able to work out a responsible bond package that all parties agreed on," said House Republican Leader Ken F...

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Republicans Look Forward to Finalization of Bipartisan Bond Agreement

August 21, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership today expressed relief that a responsible, bipartisan bonding package will go before the Appropriations Committee in preparation for an August 29 special session. At a press conference, Democrats seemed to distance themselves from the agreement, attacking Republicans for not agreeing to more borrowing in the current $149.5 million bond package and blaming them for not including research and development in the proposal to go before the November ballot, altho...

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Bipartisan Bond Deal Reached

August 16, 2013

AUGUSTA - Republican and Democratic legislative leadership and the Governor's Office reached a deal Friday afternoon on a bond bill that may be passed in time for inclusion on the November 2013 statewide ballot. Governor Paul LePage and Republican lawmakers conveyed to Democrats in meetings earlier this week that they would not be comfortable with a borrowing package in excess of $150 million and emphasized the need for any bond to be dedicated to the infrastructure needs of Maine's economy.

...

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Perennial Raiding of Oil Cleanup Fund Symptomatic of Budget's Crowding-Out Effect

July 17, 2013

AUGUSTA - In the wake of the tragedy at Lac-Megantic, news outlets have pointed to Maine's oil cleanup fund and highlighted nearly $1 million worth of raids to it by politicians attempting to balance the state budget. In fiscal years 2004 to 2011, $989,716 was swept from the Coastal and Inland Surface Oil Cleanup Fund and put into the state's General Fund. No funds were swept in fiscal years 2012 or 2013.

Overall, from fiscal years 2004 to 2013, $7,346,314 was swept from various Departmen...

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High Veto Rate a Product of Dems' Inability to Work Together

July 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - In response to questions about the high number of vetoes issued by Republican Governor Paul LePage, House Republican Leaders on Tuesday said that the vetoes are indicative of Democratic lawmakers' inability to work with Republican caucuses to craft legislation that has a realistic chance of passage.

"They've been acting like they have a liberal Democratic governor," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Instead of coming together as members of leadership or on ...

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Dems Flip-Flop on Bill for Military Recruiters

July 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - In a surprise turn of events Tuesday, several House Democrats flipped their votes on LD 1503, a bill that would have allowed military recruiters the same access to Maine public schools as civilian career recruiters and would have further allowed them to wear their uniforms while visiting schools.

Education Committee Democrats initially voted against the bill and Democrats narrowly killed a similar bill on the House floor. However, passionate debate by House Republicans, many of...

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Fredette: Dems' Actions on Bonds Designed to Derail LePage, Satisfy Spending Addiction

July 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statement regarding the Democrats' insistence on making transportation bonding, which enjoys wide support, conditional upon passage of numerous other borrowing initiatives.

"Democrats are proving once again that they are willing to jeopardize the passage of a jobs initiative that enjoys broad, bipartisan support just so that they can get their way on contentious spending initiatives. Every Mainer knows that our...

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To Ensure Passage, Legislature Must Keep Transportation Bonds Separate

July 8, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders on Monday called on Democratic leaders to stop the Washington-style politics and pass a transportation bond separate from other bond proposals. This spring, Democrats refused to pass a popular, bipartisan plan to pay off Maine's welfare debt to its hospitals unless Republicans went along with a controversial and massive expansion of the very welfare program that created it.

Similarly, Democrats in recent days have stated publicly that they intend to roll ...

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House Republicans Reflect on 2013 Legislative Session

June 28, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership on Friday reflected on a session filled with stunning successes - and a few setbacks - for Maine people.

"I couldn't be more proud of the 58 House Republicans who worked tirelessly in their committees and in floor deliberations to protect the rights of Maine people and create economic opportunity in our state," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "I am especially pleased that we accomplished one of our earliest goals. Despite a sle...

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Dem Leadership Rejects Bipartisan Welfare Reform Proposal

June 26, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Legislative Councilthe panel of all 10 members of legislative leadershipon Wednesday evening rejected a welfare reform study proposal with broad, bipartisan support. The vote came as the Council was sorting through which study proposals to fund and which to reject.

The bill, LD 1064, "Resolve, To Establish the Task Force on Independence from Public Assistance," was sponsored by Rep. Melvin Newendyke (R-Litchfield) and cosponsored by a broad array of lawm...

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Dems Try to Ram Welfare Expansion Through Maine House

June 19, 2013

AUGUSTA - Majority Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon attempted but failed to override Governor LePage's veto of LD 1066, the medical welfare expansion proposal that would cost Maine taxpayers an estimated $150 million per biennium long-term. The measure has been tabled for a future vote.

Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick forced the impromptu vote without notice to Republicans. The Speaker attempted to close the roll call vote even as members were st...

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Republicans Ready to Stop Another Expensive Welfare Expansion

June 18, 2013

AUGUSTA - After Governor LePage last night vetoed LD 1066, the bill to expand Maine's Medicaid program by at least $150 million per biennium, the bill was sent back to the House. The Speaker may call for an override vote at any time. House Republicans stand ready to sustain the Governor's veto and prevent another irreversible fiscal mistake for the State of Maine.

"We've been down this road before," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "As in the past, Republicans approa...

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House Republicans Demand Chance to Vote on Hospital Debt

June 11, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders Tuesday called on Democratic leadership to bring forward the bipartisan measure to pay off Maine's hospital bills without delay. It has been 12 days since Democrats announced that even though the merged hospital debt and Medicaid expansion mega-bill did not survive a veto, they would still not move on the popular hospital debt bill until they get their way on their controversial welfare expansion proposal.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, there were over ...

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Democrats Increase ATV Registration Fees

June 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Over Republican objections, the Maine House of Representatives on Monday enacted LD 911, a bill to increase all-terrain vehicle (ATV) registration fees by $5. The fee hike bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Briggs (D-Mexico), had received a divided 8-5 endorsement from the legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF and W) Committee and is intended to bolster the ATV Recreational Management Fund. The House enacted the bill with a 92-51 vote that fell along party lines.

"Once a...

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Military Recruiter Bills Spark Fiery Debate in Maine House

June 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - The House on Tuesday took up two bills concerning military recruiters in public schools. The first, LD 1502, requires that public high schools allow recruiters to administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to students who elect to take it. Under the bill, recruiters, not school staff, would take the time to administer the test, which would remain voluntary for the students.

That bill was rejected mostly along party lines, 74-68. Majority Democrats ...

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Feds Confirm Welfare Expansion Proposal a Bad Deal for Maine

May 30, 2013

AUGUSTA - The federal government confirmed in a recent letter to the LePage Administration that Maine will be on the hook for welfare expansion, which Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) says will cost the state $75 million per year over the long term.

"This comes as no surprise, and confirms the fact that Maine taxpayers would be on the hook for the current welfare expansion proposal just as they were for past expansions," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of N...

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Democrats Propose Largest Tax Hike in Maine History

May 29, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democrats Wednesday unveiled a plan to raise taxes by over $400 million in the upcoming budget in order to cancel spending reductions that came about as a result of an ever-expanding state welfare agency. If successful, the Democrats would reduce the size of the return of a family of four earning $50,000 by $300 next year.

"Maine is at a fork in the road," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "We can choose a sustainable government, or we can choose a government...

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GOP to Dems: Accept Compromise, Pay Hospitals Without Conditions

May 23, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport today introduced a bill to his fellow members of leadership of both parties that would establish a study group on Medicaid expansion. He presented the measure, which requires approval of a majority of the 10 members of leadership, to the Legislative Council during their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday at 2:00 p.m. The bipartisan council gave it unanimous approval for reference to committee.

The study group would be comprised...

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Dems Ram Through Welfare Expansion Monstrosity Despite Sure Veto

May 21, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Democrats tonight rammed through LD 1546, 87-57, in a late-night vote. The bill merged two initiatives: the popular, bipartisan measure to pay off Maine's welfare debt to its hospitals with a liquor revenue bond and LD 1066, the contentious bill to expand Maine's medical welfare program on the federal government's terms.

The Democratic mega-bill brought bipartisan opposition, with Rep. Stanley Short (D-Pittsfield) voting with Republicans. Democrats rejected Rep. Fredette...

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Democrats Circle Wagons Around Welfare State

May 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democrats on the Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee Thursday killed a bill that would allow the state to request a waiver from the federal government in order to exclude "junk food" from eligible food stamp purchases. Junk food includes soda, candy, and other foods with little nutritional value. The bill, LD 1411, is titled "Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Request a Waiver To Prohibit the Use of Food Supplement Benefits for the ...

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GOP on Dem School Grading Plan: Too Little, Too Late

May 8, 2013

AUGUSTA - At a State House press conference, House and Senate Democrats today rolled out their counterproposal to the Governor's recently-implemented school grading system. After weeks of attacking the proposal without offering to contribute their own ideas, Democrats have come out with an 11th-hour plan.

"I appreciate the Democrats' attempt to finally participate in education reform, but an 11th-hour piece of draft legislation is not what Maine schools need," said House Republican Leade...

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House Republicans Recognize Teacher Appreciation Week

May 6, 2013

AUGUSTA - May 6-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time when Americans take a moment to recognize the hard and important work teachers do every day. Today, Representatives Ken Fredette and Alexander Willette took time to share their stories of the teachers who have made the biggest difference in their lives. Each day for the rest of the week, Republican state representatives will tell their own stories of teachers who made a difference in their lives.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette...

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Dem Leadership Suspends Public Hearing Notification Requirement

May 2, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond announced today that a backlog of almost 1,000 bills still in committees has led them to suspend the requirement that all public hearings be advertised. Additionally, leadership put a rush order on all bills, requiring that those currently before committees must receive a public hearing within the next six business days, by Friday, May 10. (See previously forwarded email.)

"This is symptomatic of some of the problems we'...

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Democrats Show True Colors on School Grading

May 1, 2013

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage and Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen unveiled a simple, yet comprehensive system for inspiring school improvement and empowering parental involvement in public education. The program grades Maine schools on an A-F scale in Republicans' latest effort to implement real education reform to put students first.

"I'm starting to wonder if the Democrats are even reading the education reform proposals anymore, or if they're simply saying 'no,'" sa...

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Legislative Republicans to Democrats: Give Hospitals a Clean Vote

April 30, 2013

AUGUSTA - House and Senate Republican leadership held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to call on Democrats to bring the commonsense measure to pay Maine's hospital bills to a clean vote, without Medicaid expansion or other add-ons attached.

"Paying our hospital bills so we can get Mainers back to work is the one big thing we all agree on," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Putting this jobs bill at the mercy of contentious, unresolved add-ons like Medicaid expan...

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GOP Leader Visits Lewiston Refugee Community

April 26, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) visited the United Somali Women of Maine (USWM) on Lisbon Street in Lewiston Friday. After spending about two hours meeting with community leaders, Fatuma Hussein, Director of USWM, gave Fredette a tour of several refugee-owned businesses along Lisbon Street.

Present at Friday morning's meeting, in addition to Hussein, were six members of the refugee community, Sue Sharon, social services director for the City of Lewiston, and Jo...

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RFC Report Underscores Flaws in Part II of Dems' Tax Hike Package

April 26, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) today reported that state tax revenues are projected to be roughly $60 million less than anticipated for the upcoming biennial budget. The downward projections stem from lower than anticipated sales and corporate tax revenue, signaling a strained business community.

Dr. Michael Allen, Associate Commissioner for Tax Policy at Maine Revenue Services, cited uncertainty at the federal level, high energy costs, and payroll tax increases that r...

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Democrats Vote to Spend More Money Maine Doesn't Have

April 25, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Democrats today voted in favor of two bills to increase spending at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) by almost $10 million per year. The two bills proscribe $41.6 million in new spending over the next four fiscal years and for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

The first, LD 87, would allow mental health patients under MaineCare to use whatever facility or treatment type they like and was passed 92-51. It comes with a price tag of $5.66 million p...

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Democrats Vote to Prohibit Cigar Lounges from Serving Refreshments

April 24, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Democrats voted today to kill a bill that would allow licensed cigar lounges to offer refreshments to their customers. Republicans stood in support of the commonsense measure to allow small businesses do more to attract and retain customers. There are currently two cigar lounges in the state to which the bill would apply.

As originally proposed, LD 22, "An Act to Promote Equity in Business Opportunity for Tobacco Specialty Stores," would have allowed cigar lounges to ser...

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Democrats Say 'No' to Right-to-Work

April 24, 2013

AUGUSTA - Along party lines, majority Democrats in the House today voted against LD 831, a private sector Right-to-Work bill, and LD 786, which would have eliminated the union monopoly over bargaining rights for public sector workers. Both bills, sponsored by Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst), have been the source of much public debate in recent weeks as they made their way through the committee process. Democrats said "no" to LD 831 by a vote of 92-53, and LD 786 by a vote of 89-56.

LD...

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Democrats Unveil Massive Middle Class Tax Hike Package

April 23, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democrats today unveiled Part One of their massive middle class tax hike package today before the Legislature's Taxation Committee. Today's rollout was focused on the portion of the omnibus tax hike package that purports to cast the entire package as a "tax fairness" measure that hurts only "the rich."

The most punitive of these "tax-the-rich" measures only closes about 5.7 percent of the budget gap, however, leaving the dirty work to be done on Friday, when Democrats will unve...

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Democrats Allow Motor Vehicle Fee Increases

April 23, 2013

AUGUSTA - Nearly six weeks after its first appearance on the House floor, majority Democrats in the Maine House voted to enact LD 405, a bill to allow motor vehicle registration fee increases of 50-67 percent, raiding the pockets of hardworking Mainers to the tune of $3 million.

The House accepted the Transportation Committee's divided recommendation to pass the bill on March 14 and the Senate concurred on April 4. Today's enactment vote landed 89-57 mostly along party lines.

"J...

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Statement of House GOP Leadership on Today's Gun Bills

April 22, 2013

House Republican leadership issued the following statements regarding the gun control bills being taken up by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee this afternoon.

"Bills that limit magazine capacities and increase the age for concealed-carry from 18 to 21 encroach on our personal freedoms and hurt the ability of law-abiding Mainers to protect themselves," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "We must focus our efforts on getting at the root cause of violence...

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Underground Railroad Bill Overcomes Opposition in House

April 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Today the House passed a bill, LD 332, in the second reading under the hammer to put DOT signs on I-95 and I-395 and in Brewer pointing out the Underground Railroad memorial at Chamberlain Freedom Park. It will next go to the Senate and come back to the House for enactment.

The measure received a divided report in its committee, with the majority opposing it because of concerns of over-signage on roads. Many other sign bills have faced heavy opposition this session and were ul...

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Spiteful Dem Rollback of Workers' Comp Reforms Threatens Premium Death Spiral

April 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Senator Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) today presented LD 443, a concept draft bill that would roll back important, bipartisan reforms made to the workers' compensation insurance system in 1992 and 2012. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response:

"We went from having two dozen workers' comp insurers in Maine in the late 1980s to three in 1992, with two of them filing papers to leave and the third threatening to do the same just befor...

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Motorist Behavior Regulation Bills Voted Down in House

April 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - The House of Representatives today voted on two bills regulating motorists' behavior. LD 66, "An Act To Require That Motorcyclists Wear Helmets," and LD 68, "An Act To Prohibit the Use of a Handheld Mobile Telephone while Operating a Motor Vehicle," came to the floor with divided, majority "Ought Not to Pass" reports from the Transportation Committee.

"These are areas where big government doesn't need to be making decisions for people," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette...

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Committee Gives Strong, Bipartisan Support to Concealed-Carry Privacy Bill

April 3, 2013

AUGUSTA - In a 10-3 vote, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee endorsed LD 345, a bill introduced by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to make private the personal identifying information of concealed handgun permit holders in Maine. The bill will now go to the House and Senate for floor votes.

"I'm very pleased that the committee approved a bill that's true to the original intent of my legislation," said Wilson. "I felt strongly that, by default, no Mainer should have to worry about his o...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Charter Schools

April 1, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) released the following statement in response to public hearings before the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on bills that seek to weaken charter schools.

"Democrats need to understand that charter schools are here to stay because Maine people want more educational options for their children. We need less uniformity and lobbying and more new ideas and choice if we are to improve public education in Maine. Charter schools do...

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GOP Jobs, Economic Freedom Bills Receive Strong Support from Workers, Business Leaders, Activists

April 1, 2013

AUGUSTA - Two bills that would allow workers to choose whether to belong to a labor union received their public hearings today before the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee. Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) sponsored LD 786 and LD 831 to bring choice to public and private sector workers, respectively, preventing compulsory payment of union dues and forcing unions to recruit members with value instead of legislative mandate.

Public workers Barry Lucier, Gerald C...

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Imminent Zombie Invasion Prompts Swift Legislative Action

April 1, 2013

AUGUSTA - An investigation by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) has revealed that the State House is ground zero for an imminent zombie invasion that may turn Maine into a post-apocalyptic, supernatural war zone, potentially damaging Maine's tourism-based economy just as spring arrives.

OPEGA identified the State House dome, recently considered by the Legislative Council for replacement, as a portal for the zombie invasion they believe imminent. Leade...

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Misplaced Priorities, Lack of Dem Solutions Mark First Half of Legislative Session

March 27, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leadership today expressed disappointment that the legislature under Democratic leadership is focusing on the small stuffbills that take political jabs and micromanage Mainers' livesinstead of tackling the big issues facing Maine.

Since the beginning of the session, the biggest Democratic initiatives are as follows:

Making sure their political appointees get pay raises

Taking a handful of funding away from charter schools just to prove a point

Opening bars...

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Democrats Deliver Another Blow to Job Creation in Maine

March 27, 2013

AUGUSTA - Well, there they go again. Yesterday, Democrats were telling parents that their kids couldn't go tanning. Now, they're telling struggling small business owners that the wages they offer aren't good enough.

The House this morning voted to advance a bill to further control the wages Maine employers may offer and Maine workers may accept. The bill, LD 611, is sponsored by South Portland Democrat Scott Hamann and pushed by the controversial Maine People's Alliance. If it becomes...

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House to Maine Parents: Big Government Knows Best

March 26, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine House this morning voted to accept the majority "Ought to Pass" report on LD 272, a bill that would make it illegal for teenagers under age 18 to visit a tanning salon, even with parental consent.

"This is yet another expansion of state government's powers to regulate our behavior and limit parental rights," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "If your teenage daughter wants to go tanning before the prom, and you have the information and give her pe...

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House Republicans Urge Caution on Medicaid Expansion

March 20, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democratic politicians joined with doctors clad in white lab coats for a press conference today to urge an expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Republicans are hesitant to support such an expansion because despite a sales hook of "three free years," we all know that one legislature can't bind another. There is nothing to stop the federal government from reducing or entirely eliminating any part of the proposed federal Medicaid subsidy over the next 10 years, l...

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House Democrats Vote to Increase Motor Vehicle Fees

March 14, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Democrats today rammed through LD 405, "An Act To Increase Municipal Agent Fees for Licensing and Registration of Motor Vehicles," with a partisan, 84-52 vote. The bill authorizes a 50 percent fee increase for new motor vehicle licenses or registrations and a 67 percent increase for renewals.

"Mainers are getting hit from all angles," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Between federal payroll tax hikes and threats from Maine Democrats to raise income...

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St. Patrick's Day Drinking Hours Bill Passes in House

March 14, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine House today passed LD 216, "An Act To Extend the Hours for the Sale of Liquor on Sunday When St. Patrick's Day Is on a Sunday," sponsored by Rep. Barry Hobbins (D-Saco). The bill to extend drinking hours from 9:00 AM to 6:00 AM initially met a cold reception from Governor LePage and Republicans who were frustrated by Democratic stalling on the governor's hospital proposal and their hesitance to prioritize hospital debt repayment over new spending.

"Many Republicans ha...

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Maine Should Be Wary of Medicaid Expansion

March 13, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership says that Maine's decision about whether to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid is one that should consider the fiscal health not just of Maine, but of America. The federal government had a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2012, borrowing 35 cents out of every dollar it spent. The CBO had projected a smaller deficit for fiscal year 2013, but in just the first two months (October and November 2012) the deficit far outpaced projections at $292 billion, which i...

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Concealed Handgun Privacy Protection Bill Receives Public Hearing

March 12, 2013

AUGUSTA - L.D. 345, the bill sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to protect the identity of Mainers with concealed handgun permits, received its public hearing before the Legislature's Judiciary Committee today throughout most of the afternoon. A total of 31 people testified27 in support, three in opposition, and one neither for nor againstaccording to the records of the committee clerk.

"Mainers have spoken, and they have made it clear that their right to bear arms is unduly supp...

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Democrats Attempt to Roll Back Fireworks Law

March 11, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee today is hearing six bills that propose to significantly restrict or even fully repeal the law enacted in 2011 to allow local communities to regulate fireworks usage. Five of six of the bills introduced have been introduced by Democrats. The one introduced by a Republican is a modest proposal to move the permissible time for fireworks usage back one hour, from 10:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

"It's unfortunate that we're ta...

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House Republicans' Statement on Democrats' Hospital Proposal

March 11, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Democrats' plan presented 30 minutes prior to the public hearing on competing liquor contract proposals.

"I am very pleasantly surprised that Democrats have acknowledged that we should pay our past-due bills to Maine's hospitals and pay them in full. Since this morning's press conference was the first I have heard of their plan, I look forward to sitting down with Democrats and th...

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House Republicans React to 2008 Video of Sen. Alfond

March 5, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine Republican Party this morning released a 2008 video of current Senate President Justin Alfond expressly advocating for the state to simply not pay the hospital debt as a way to close that year's budget gap.

"This video explains why we owe Maine's hospital's almost $500 million today," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Today, Senator Alfond says he wants to pay this debt, but he and the Democrats have not signed on to the Governor's responsible pl...

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Republican Legislative Leadership Meets with Governor LePage

March 1, 2013

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and Senate Republican Leader Mike Thibodeau met with Governor LePage this afternoon. It was a productive meeting where all three discussed the Democrats' continued delay of the plan to pay Maine's bills and create jobs.

The number one priority of Republicans is to pay Maine's debts to its hospitals while creating jobs and doing something responsible with the liquor revenue.

Republican leadership sought to discuss the Governor's concerns with th...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Governor's Remarks

March 1, 2013

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Governor's remarks this morning.

"First, it's important to understand that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature will continue to do their work. That said, I understand the Governor's frustration that Democrats have stalled his jobs bill while fast-tracking a bill to sell alcohol at 6:00 AM on St. Patrick's Day. It is unconscionable that Democrats are obstructing a responsible plan ...

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After Stalling Governor's Hospital Debt Plan for 9 Days, Democrats Propose More of Same

February 21, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Legislature referenced Governor LePage's proposal to pay Maine's debt to its hospitals and create jobs to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on February 12. Democrats on the committee have still not scheduled the first stepa public hearingin consideration of the bill, LD 239.

In the meantime, Franklin Memorial Hospital announced that it would lay off 40 employees. The state owes the Farmington hospital $15.4 million.

Senate Democratic Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sa...

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House Republican Leader's Statement on Passage of Supplemental Budget

February 21, 2013

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement on today's passage of the supplemental budget to close a $153 million budget shortfall through the remainder of fiscal year 2013.

"Hopefully we will be ready to address the state's chronic overspending when crafting the two-year budget. Maine's welfare agency is now consuming about 47 percent of the budget, crowding out funding for education and other vital services. Our economy can't get moving until we star...

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Legislature Approves Governor's Temporary Privacy Protection Bill

February 19, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature today voted to enact a bill introduced by Governor LePage to temporarily protect the personal information of concealed handgun permit holders. The governor introduced the bill, LD 576, "Resolve, To Protect Concealed Handgun Permit Information on a Temporary Basis," in cooperation and consultation with Republican and Democratic legislative leaders Friday. The vote was 129-11 in the House, with a 2/3 vote (101 members) required for passage.

The moratorium e...

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House GOP Relieved by BDN's Decision, Threat Still Remains

February 15, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republicans today were encouraged to see that in the face of outrage from the public and law enforcement officials, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) has decided to withdraw its Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) requests, which would have required Maine law enforcement agencies to release the names, addresses, birthdates, and other information belonging to all concealed weapons permit holders in Maine.

However, an anonymous group called "Celebration Connect" has submitted similar, un...

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Appropriations Committee Passes Supplemental Budget

February 13, 2013

AUGUSTA - The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee today voted unanimously to approve a supplemental budget to cover a $35.5 million revenue shortfall and an $87 million Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget overrun for the remainder of fiscal year 2013.

The budget presented to the Appropriations Committee by Governor LePage would have significantly trimmed Maine's welfare spending. Republican appropriators negotiated with Democrats to maintain many of the struc...

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House Republican Leaders Respond to State of the State Address

February 6, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leaders Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton) applauded Governor LePage's message in his State of the State address tonight. The speech was delivered in the House Chamber before a joint session of the Legislature.

"I think the Governor struck the right tone of passionate advocacy for Maine children and families," said Rep. Fredette. "Our policies must, above all else, ensure that Mainers have bigger paychecks, lower bills, and our c...

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House Republicans Join Democrats in Announcing Workforce Committee

January 23, 2013

AUGUSTA - House Republican leadership on Wednesday joined Democratic and Senate Republican leadership in announcing the names of the 15 members to be appointed to the Committee on Maine's Workforce and Economic Future. The committee will be charged with proposing legislation to close the "skills gap" that exists in the job marketplace, whereby employers often cannot find workers with the skills they need to fill available jobs.

House Republican members on the committee include Reps. Paul...

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Dems Should Heed Advice from Fitch Ratings: Stop Picking Political Fights, Join in GOP Solutions

January 23, 2013

House Republican leadership responded Wednesday to the revision of Maine's bond rating from AA+ to AA by Fitch Ratings and hyper-partisan responses from Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall and State Treasurer Neria Douglass.

"I am disappointed with Goodall's and Douglass's response to this downgrade, which reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the report; namely, the finding that an 'increasingly contentious decision-making environment' will prevent us from overcoming the state's fis...

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House Republicans Applaud Positive Priorities in Governor's Budget

January 14, 2013

AUGUSTA - While much focus has been placed on the Governor's proposal to suspend revenue sharing payments to municipalities in order to balance the state's budget, several important aspects of the proposal have gotten less attention.

Gov. LePage's proposal prioritizes education, maintaining funding for Maine schools after they received a $63 million boost in the last biennial budget. The Baldacci Administration cut education funding by $100 million in its final three years. The budget p...

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Governor's Biennial Budget Proposal Sets Tone of Fiscal Responsibility

January 11, 2013

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage today presented a biennial and a supplemental budget that will be taken up by the Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. In the face of cost overruns at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Governor drafted a budget for the Legislature's consideration that pays Maine's bills and brings fiscal conservatism to state government.

"This budget gives us a blueprint for a right-sized government," said House Republican Lead...

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House Republicans Advocate Forward-Thinking Reforms for 126th Legislature

January 9, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democratic legislators held a press conference today in the State House's Hall of Flags to outline their agenda for the 126th Legislature of 2013-2014. As Democrats admitted, they were unable to actually discuss specifics because the Governor has yet to present his biennial budget to the Legislature.

Democrats did, however, resurrect decades-old talking points about throwing more money at the problem of poor education results and maxing out the state's credit card for stimulus ...

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DAFS Commissioner Briefs Budget Committee on Curtailment Order and Shortfall

January 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - Commissioner Sawin Millett of the Department of Financial and Administrative Services (DAFS) briefed the Legislature's Appropriations Committee today and took questions on the recent curtailment order that cuts state spending by $35.5 million through the remainder of fiscal year 2013.

Rep. Kathy Chase (R-Wells), Republican Lead on the Appropriations Committee, was hopeful that the Committee will achieve a positive solution. "We need to work together to solve the budget shortfal...

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House Republicans Respond to Fiscal Cliff Deal

January 2, 2013

AUGUSTA - Congress and President Obama reached a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts in the federal budget. A deal that increases taxes on most Americans and makes no significant spending cuts, it will hurt Mainers especially hard.

On Monday, before the deal was reached, Mike Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy at Maine Revenue Services, said that the elimination of the payroll tax holiday would cost Mainers $355 million in extra Medicare and...

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House Republicans Respond to Curtailment

December 27, 2012

AUGUSTA - Governor LePage today announced that he has ordered a $35.5 million curtailment of state spending through the remainder of the fiscal year in order to align spending with lower-than-expected revenues. House Republican leadership maintains the same position they held when curtailment was originally proposed by the governor.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Assistant Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton) see curtailment as a necessary and decisive move by the...

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House Republicans Name Committee Members

December 20, 2012

AUGUSTA - House Republicans today named their members to the Legislature's 17 joint standing committees. All except the Government Oversight Committee will have four Republican House members. The 12-member Government Oversight Committee consists of three members from each caucus.

"I am extremely confident in this team of legislators," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "The incumbents are coming off of a term where they gained a lot of experience building consensus ...

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Republican Legislators Broker Meeting Between Democrats and Governor's Budget Officer

December 13, 2012

AUGUSTA - Earlier in the week, Republican legislative leaders requested a meeting with Democratic legislative leaders and Governor LePage's chief budget officer, Commissioner Sawin Millett of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) to discuss the state's fiscal situation. The meeting was held today at 1:00 p.m. at the State House.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) and Senate Republican Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) met with Commissioner Millett, Se...

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House Republican Statement on Forbes Ranking

December 12, 2012

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) issued the following statement in response to the Forbes Magazine "Best States for Business" ranking which showed Maine in last place, 50th, for the third year in a row:

"The Forbes report cited three primary factorshigh taxes, energy costs, and median age. We have been working on taxes and energy costs in the face of opposition, and reforms we made last year and earlier this year are just beginning to take effect, but it is clear that we mu...

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Democrats Back Down in the Face of Public Outrage

December 12, 2012

AUGUSTA - Democratic leaders on the legislative council today backed off from their proposal to pay their political appointees to the positions of attorney general, secretary of state, and clerk of the house more than allowed by state law.

"I'm glad that the Legislative Council agreed to follow the rule of law in resolving this issue," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "The right choice was clear from the outset and the original proposal was particularly troublesome...

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House GOP Leader Fredette to Visit the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter

December 10, 2012

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) will be attending the annual issues breakfast at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter on Thursday, December 13. After introductions, topics of the breakfast meeting will include General Assistance, targeted case management, outreach, shelter funding, and possible legislative action.

"As we consider the budget difficulties before us, it is important that we remember the least fortunate members of our communities," said Rep. Fr...

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Republican Legislative Leaders Support Early Action on Budget Issues

November 29, 2012

House Republican Office

November 29, 2012

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUSTA - The Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee met today to receive a briefing from the Revenue Forecasting Committee on a projected $35 million revenue shortfall for fiscal year 2013, which ends next June 30.

Yesterday, the Governor's Office announced that it is considering a curtailment to close this gap. Curtailment is a budgetary pow...

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Rep. Fredette's campaign against domestic violence wins Governor's financial support

July 14, 2012

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette's crusade against domestic violence received major support from Governor Paul LePage on July 13.

At a State House press conference, the governor was presented with an $18,000 check to explore electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders. In a surprising announcement, he said that he would match the donation with $18,000 from his contingency fund.

"I'm grateful to Gov. LePage for his support, and I appreciate his strong backing of efforts to co...

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Major General Libby to Address Joint Session of Legislature

February 10, 2012

House Republican Office

February 10, 2012

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Major General Libby to Address Joint Session of Legislature

AUGUSTA - Adjutant General John W. Libby will address a joint session of the Legislature for the first time on Thursday, February 16. In addition to speaking to the state of defense, veterans and emergency management matters, General Libby will also recognize Maine's National Guard families that have lost a...

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Rep. Wallace sworn in as Legislature's newest member

November 30, 2011

House Republican Office

November 21, 2011

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ray Wallace sworn in as Legislature's newest member

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ray Wallace was sworn into office today by Governor Paul LePage after winning a special election to fill a vacant seat in House District 24.

Rep. Wallace (R-Dexter) said he was motivated to run for office by the reform agenda championed by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate...

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Republicans Praise Redistricting Agreement

September 27, 2011

Augusta-Republicans in the Maine House are pleased to have reached an agreement with Democrats on reapportioning Maine's two congressional districts. This plan meets the criteria of the federal court, which ordered Maine to redraw its districts. It represents the best possible outcome for the people of Maine.

The consensus map agreed to today comes as close as possible to evenly dividing the populations of Maine's districts to within a one-person differential.

Republicans on the Reapp...

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Republicans on Reapportionment Commission Continue to Back Original Plan

August 30, 2011

Following today's 8-7 vote, Republicans serving on the Congressional Reapportionment Commission noted the process is far from over.

"The endorsement of the Democratic plan is the recommendation of the commission. The vote that counts will be the one taken by the Maine House of Representatives and Senate during the special legislative session which is scheduled for September 27, 2011," said Representative Ken Fredette, who serves on the commission. "I would rather the legislature, not the c...

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Rep. Fredette Seeks to Amend Maine's Criminal Bail Code for Domestic Violence Cases

August 29, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has submitted the title of a bill to amend Maine's bail code to require consideration of domestic violence when setting bail for alleged criminals. He said details of the legislation are still under development, but it will likely include provisions regarding whether a suspect has a history of domestic violence or other violent acts.

The measure, "An Act To Amend the Maine Bail Code to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence," may be deliberated by lawmakers dur...

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Rep. Fredette: Death of Pfc. Springman saddens Nokomis High School community

July 19, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette said today he is greatly saddened by the death of Private First Class Tyler Springman, of Hartland, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Pfc. Springman, 19, was a recent graduate of Nokomis Regional High School, which is in Rep. Fredette's House district. He joined the Army in June 2010 and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

"Tyler Springman decided early in his life to give back to his country and his community," said Rep. Fre...

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Rep. Fredette Seeks to Amend Maine's Criminal Bail Code after Dexter Tragedy

June 14, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette plans to file legislation to amend Maine's Bail Code to require judges to consider instances of domestic violence when setting bail on alleged criminals. His action follows the brutal murder of a woman and two young children in Dexter on June 13.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of those who are victims of domestic violence, especially the recent case in my neighboring town of Dexter," said Rep. Fredette (R-Newport). "Our laws need to be changed t...

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Health insurance reform clears initial hurdle in Maine House

May 5, 2011

AUGUSTA - Landmark legislation to revamp Maine's health insurance market cleared a critical hurdle today in the House of Representatives by a vote of 76-72. The measure, designed to generate more competition and bring rates closer to national norms, now moves to the Senate. Final enactment votes in both bodies could come as early as next week.

"The people of our state are the winners today," said House Speaker Robert Nutting. "For years, reasonable proposals to fix a dysfunctional health insur...

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Bill to Amend Human Rights Act Regarding Use of Facilities Set for April 12 Public Hearing

April 7, 2011

AUGUSTA - The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, April 12, for a bill by State Rep. Ken Fredette that would amend the Maine Human Rights Act regarding public restroom and shower facilities. The hearing is set for 1 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee room in the State House.

Rep. Fredette's bill, LD 1046, provides that it is not unlawful public accommodation discrimination for a public or private entity, such as schools and restaurants, to restrict ...

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Rep. Fredette Submits Bill to Amend Maine Human Rights Act Regarding Use of Facilities

March 11, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has submitted legislation to amend the Maine Human Rights Act regarding public rest room and shower facilities.

The bill provides that it is not unlawful public accommodation discrimination for a public or private entity, such as schools and restaurants, to restrict rest room and shower use to members of a "biological sex," regardless of sexual orientation. The legislation states that, unless otherwise indicated, "a rest room or shower facility designated f...

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Bill Proposes Mandatory Jail Time for Repeat Offenders

February 14, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has proposed legislation that would toughen penalties for people who provide alcoholic beverages to underage individuals. The bill calls for a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence for a third offense and subsequent offenses.

"Underage drinking is a serious problem in Maine, costing more than $230 million a year in violence, auto accidents, property crime, injuries and other expenses," said Rep. Fredette (R-Newport), an attorney and first-term legislator. "Young ...

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Rep. Ken Fredette: Sebasticook Valley Hospital to Receive $3.52 Million

February 9, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette said today that passage of the supplemental budget means Sebasticook Valley Hospital will receive approximately $3.52 million to cover services for MaineCare patients from 2007 through 2009.

The $151 million supplemental spending bill passed the Legislature on Feb. 8, with all Republicans in the House and Senate voting for it and only a few Democrats voting in opposition.

"The bill contained $70 million in state funds to pay for hospitals, and that tr...

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Rep. Ken Fredette Appointed to Appropriations Committee

January 31, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has been named to the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, a position that will give him an important voice in shaping policy regarding state budgetary matters.

Rep. Fredette (R-Newport) said he is honored by the appointment and looks forward to the assignment. "The new state budget for the next two years will take center stage in this session," he said. "The Appropriations Committee will be key to getting the budg...

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