For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Bernard Ayotte compiled one of the best voting records in the Legislature over the last two years, voting on 99.2 percent of all roll call votes held in the Maine House during the 117 days it was in session.
Rep. Ayotte, a former teacher and principal, serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. He said that lawmakers faced many tough votes in the 125th Legislature, but in the end the state will be financially stronger and better able to support schools and the safety net for the most vulnerable Maine residents.
"We began this session facing a huge deficit and runaway costs in several major programs," said Rep. Ayotte (R-Caswell). "We understood that we would have to make tough decisions to pull the state back from the brink of a fiscal cliff. Voting to trim programs isn't always easy or popular but, in many cases, it was necessary to make sure that state government is economically sustainable."
Rep. Ayotte said he is proud of the work of the 125th, which includes reform of the public pension system, regulatory relief and welfare reform. He noted that pension reform will ensure the system remains solvent while also saving Maine taxpayers more than $3 billion in the next 15 years. Welfare reform will protect Maine's most vulnerable residents while discouraging able-bodied people from making welfare a way of life. Tax cuts will save Mainers hundreds of millions of dollars. Starting next year, for example, 460,000 working families will see an average income tax decrease of $337 and state tax liability will be eliminated for some 70,000 low- and moderate-income residents.
Rep. Ayotte added that regulatory reform - a major initiative that drew widely bipartisan support - removed obsolete or needlessly overbearing regulations that impeded economic growth. "Overall," he said, "we made the state much more business-friendly to help generate jobs and promote a stronger economy, which will benefit everyone. Much of what we did was aimed at restoring business confidence and a stronger employment base. Clearly, it will take some time to recover from the many years when Maine was regarded nationally as a bad place to do business. But we're now on the road back."
During the two years of the legislative term, members dealt with 2,049 bills. Of these, 700 became law, ranging from large bills, such as the state budget, to minor technical changes. Many bills are voted unanimously to either pass or fail out of committee, and the House usually follows the committee lead with a unanimous vote on the floor that is not recorded. This procedure is called passing a bill "under the hammer."
The House held 369 roll call votes, which form the basis for a voting record. Rep. Ayotte's score of 99.2 percent is considered extremely high.
Rep. Ayotte, now finishing his third term in the Legislature, represents District 3, which includes Caswell, Grand Isle, Hamlin, Limestone, New Sweden, Van Buren, Woodland and Cyr Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Connor Township. ###
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445