For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ellie Espling, a first-term legislator from New Gloucester, compiled a perfect voting record in the 125th Legislature, voting on 100 percent of all 369 roll call votes held in the Maine House during the 117 days it was in session. Fewer than 20 of the 151 House members registered perfect scores.
"This was a very ambitious session," Rep. Espling said. "When we came into office two years ago, the state had some major problems that should have been addressed by previous Legislatures. We were facing a serious budget situation, with a built-in deficit and runaway costs in several programs. Solving these problems required tough decisions. While I vote the interests of my district, I also take into account the whole state. I was fortunate enough to be present every day when voting was taking place."
Rep. Espling said she is proud of the accomplishments of the 125th, which include reform of the public pension system, regulatory relief and welfare reform. The Legislature also passed the largest tax cut in Maine history. Under the new tax code, some 70,000 low- and moderate-income Mainers will pay zero state income taxes and, starting in 2013, some 460,000 families will see an average income tax reduction of $337.
The Legislature also overhauled Maine's health insurance law to promote competition and bring the system more in line with the American mainstream. Early results show the new approach is holding down or reducing rates in the individual and small-group markets.
"As these reforms and changes gradually take effect, they will put Maine in a much better place financially," Rep. Espling said. "Pension reform will make sure the system remains solvent while also saving Maine taxpayers more than $3 billion in the next 15 years. Welfare reform is designed to protect Maine's most vulnerable residents while discouraging able-bodied people from making welfare a way of life. The tax cuts will let Mainers keep more of their own money to spend as they see fit."
Rep. Espling added that regulatory reform - a major initiative that drew widely bipartisan support - removed obsolete or needlessly overbearing regulations that impeded economic growth. "Overall," she said, "we made the state much more business-friendly to help generate jobs and promote a stronger economy, which will benefit everyone."
Rep. Espling represents Durham, New Gloucester and part of Lisbon. ###
Maine House Republicans
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