For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Amy Volk, a first-term legislator from Scarborough, posted an outstanding voting record during the 125th Legislature, voting on 95.7 percent of the 369 roll call votes held in the House.
Rep. Volk said that lawmakers faced many tough votes in the 125th, 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. Volk, who serves on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee. "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. Volk said she is proud of the work that was accomplished, which includes reform of the public pension system, regulatory relief and welfare reform. She 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, she noted, 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. Volk added that regulatory reform - a major initiative that drew strong 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. Much of what we did was aimed at restoring business confidence and a stronger employment base. I'm encouraged that Maine has already moved from 40th to 35th in the CNBC ranking of business-friendly states. We're 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."
Rep. Volk sponsored three bills that were enacted into law.
"I take my duty of voting very seriously," she said. "The citizens of my district expect me to be their voice in Augusta. Legislators have many duties, including a lot of constituent service and committee work. However, voting is one of the most critical things we do." ###
Maine House Republicans
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