Maine Legislature

Senate Majority Office


February 28, 2014

Contact: Ericka Dodge [Boyle], 232-5892



Boyle says: The Governor’s threats are the worst kind of politics—stifling economic growth and job creation



Good Morning. This is State Senator Jim Boyle.


I am a first-term senator serving the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, and Westbrook.


I am also a small business owner.


Before I began my service as a lawmaker a year and half ago, I learned about the goings-on at the State House through reading the news. On occasion, I came up to Augusta to testify on bills that were important to me and my business. I often wondered if lawmakers listened to what I, Jim-Boyle-the-small-business-owner, had to say.


Now that I am a state senator, I can tell you this: lawmakers do listen. Good lawmakers pay attention to the needs of their communities and the people they serve.


What I’ve also learned since becoming a lawmaker is that people back home call all of us “Augusta.” They don’t differentiate between Democrats and Republicans, or the House and the Senate. They depend on all of us to do right, no matter our party, or where we serve.


There is no doubt, that these are the times of divided government. But, I can say with all optimism, that in the Legislature, we have, most of the time, put our political and ideological differences aside to get good work done.


For example, earlier this week, a hotly debated measure went in to law. Revenue Sharing.


One thing I’ve learned over the last year and half is just how important revenue sharing is. We’ve heard from dozens of community leaders from town managers, to police chiefs to fire chiefs about just how important revenue sharing is to their communities.  And today, I am standing proudly, along with more than two-thirds of my legislative colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, to say, that we passed a measure that keeps a forty year promise to Maine’s cities and towns.


We restored critical funding that is crucial to our towns so that they can keep property taxes down and maintain essential services. And, we did so in the face of strong opposition from Governor LePage.


Last year, Governor LePage wanted to completely eliminate revenue sharing. He even went so far as to call it “welfare.”


But ask any town manager or selectboard and regardless of political party, they too will tell you that revenue sharing is certainly NOT welfare. It IS the funding that is used to keep our schools open, our streets plowed, our roads repaired, and our police and fire departments operational.


If we had not kept our promise to restore revenue sharing to our communities, then Gorham and Westbrook each would have lost nearly half a million dollars; and Scarborough would have lost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. Without these dollars, towns would have been forced to choose between cutting more or raising property taxes—and many towns told us that they’d have to do both.


Since Day One, Governor LePage threatened to veto this bill. He even pulled out an old play from his three-year old playbook: he threatened to hold back voter-approved jobs bonds, if the Legislature passed the measure.


Well, the Legislature passed it with overwhelming numbers. And the Governor did not veto it.


However, the Governor has continued this bonds threat and has even taken it one step further: Governor LePage has reneged on bond dollars that were already released to projects across the state, like at Maine Maritime, the dental school, and for Department of Transportation projects like roads and bridges.


These projects, and the hundreds of resulting jobs, are now at risk because of Governor LePage’s erratic behavior.


Mainers can’t afford this kind of leadership. Under Governor LePage’s watch, Maine ranks dead last for private sector job growth.


The Governor’s threats are the worst kind of politics. He is stifling economic growth in all corners of our state. He is hurting job creation. And he is ignoring the will of the voters who gave the green light for these projects to begin.


Soon, the snow will melt and the ground will thaw. And thousands of construction workers will be ready to work. I hope by then, Governor LePage is also ready to work with all of the lawmakers in Augusta, many of whom, also, regardless of party, want to do what’s right for the people of Maine.


Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Jim Boyle of Gorham. Have a great weekend.