Office of the Senate President
May 24, 2013
Contact: Ericka Dodge [Alfond], 232-5892 (m)
DEMOCRATIC RADIO ADDRESS
Alfond: LePage is single-handedly blocking progress on Maine’s most important issues.
There’s an old proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It means that, to help a child reach his or her potential, many people must share their wisdom and influence. Starting with a child’s parents, to her teachers, to the neighbor down the street. Each person has a different perspective and each perspective is important in shaping a child’s view of the world.
Good morning. This is Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to move Maine forward. But, unfortunately, these days, it seems that one man - the Governor - is single-handedly blocking progress on Maine’s most important issues.
On jobs and the economy, energy, education, and health care, the Governor has been the most divisive leader Maine has seen.
He has blocked common-sense policies that will help grow our economy and create jobs—even when these policies are supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in the legislature.
He has distracted us from the real issues we face—often, manufacturing disruption and crisis—one after the other.
He seems intent on taking Maine on a race to the bottom and moving Maine backward.
Let’s look at the Governor’s record:
On jobs, Maine is one of just three states in the country to lose jobs over the last twelve months.
Every state in New England, except Maine, added jobs over the last year. In fact, in New England, there were 70,000 new jobs but Maine lost 1,500 jobs.
While the rest of the country has recovered seventy percent of the jobs lost during the recession, Maine has recovered a mere twenty percent.
The Governor is setting records alright—this time for having the worst economic record in New England.
For two and a half years, we have listened to the Governor’s divisive and mis-guided rhetoric about the economy.
Rhetoric aside, the fact is, on the Governor’s watch, Maine now ranks dead-last in job growth.
After nearly three years, the Governor’s record is abysmal and his policies have failed.
As legislators, Democrats and Republicans are rolling up our sleeves to get Maine back on track.
This past week, the legislature unanimously passed “The Workforce Bill.” It’s an impressive bill that will significantly help Maine’s economy--and Maine’s workers. It is enthusiastically supported by both political parties. The business community has endorsed it wholeheartedly. And, so have the labor unions and education institutions.
But the Governor says he will veto it.
This obstructionism has to stop.
The same story is true with Maine’s energy policy. The legislature’s Energy Committee has drafted a bill that will significantly lower energy costs for Maine families and businesses. Democrats, Republicans, and the Governor’s own energy director wrote it, together. In fact, it even includes many components of the Governor’s own energy bill.
Yet, the Governor says he will veto it.
Like the workforce bill, this energy bill will create jobs, help Maine families, and enjoys the support of both Democrats and Republicans. But one man - the Governor - is blocking progress.
This obstructionism has to stop.
Just days ago, we sent a bill to the
Governor’s desk. In it, we pay the hospitals. And, we also provide health care
for nearly 70,000 people.
It’s a win-win: It reduces health care costs for Maine hospitals and Maine people; It will provide a billion dollars to Maine’s health care industry; and, Maine will save $690 million dollars over the next ten years if we accept the fed’s offer.
This is the right thing to do: economically, fiscally, and morally.
Yet, before the ink could dry on the
bill, the Governor vetoed it.
Friends, Maine can-not afford this kind of leadership.
Since the Governor has taken office, our economy has suffered and our reputation has been damaged, and we have made no progress on the most critical issues facing Maine people—the very issues we were sent to Augusta to tackle.
Democrats will continue to lead. Democrats will continue to work with our Republican colleagues on Maine's biggest issues - jobs, energy, health care and education. We will continue to work smarter because we know and Mainers know that in a divided government, you cannot demand all or nothing.
Let’s move Maine forward, together.
Thank you for listening. This is
Senate President Justin Alfond. And, on this Memorial Day weekend, please
take time to remember the men and women who have served and given the ultimate
sacrifice to our country.
Ann Kim | Communications Director
Maine State House Majority Office
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002
Phone: 207-287-1430 | Cell: 207-233-1838