Good morning, this is Democratic State Senator Seth Goodall from Richmond. Last night, Governor LePage gave the State of the State address to the Legislature and to the people of Maine. Unfortunately, the Governor chose to give a speech filled with rhetoric and lacking in substance rather than proposing solutions to put people back to work and make our state stronger.
Leadership is about bringing people together—regardless of party—to solve problems.
Leadership is about developing a common vision for our future.
Leadership is about proposing solutions that solve our problems.
Today, we have a decision to make: Are we going to assign blame? And choose rhetoric over reality or are we going to focus on making Maine stronger and, most importantly, put people back to work? I say, that we choose the latter.
Last year, 7,000 Mainers lost their jobs; nearly 50,000 Mainers are currently unemployed; and thousands more are underemployed unable to earn a livable wage for their family. We can do better. We must do better. Maine people expect us to do better.
The solutions to our problems are not based in divisive ideology or accomplished by pitting one Mainer against another. This is inconsistent with our values, and neglects our greatest asset—our people.
Instead, it is done by promoting our assets and building on our strengths and making Maine more competitive. We do that by investing in our people, rebuilding our roads and bridges, standing up for small business, and preparing our youth for the challenges for tomorrow.
We know the best way to lower energy costs is through energy efficiency and expanding our energy sources, most importantly, renewable energy alternatives. Every year Maine spends $5 billion exporting our money on fossil fuels. Maine cannot afford to do this. We must keep our money here at home. We must reduce our dependency on oil, through energy efficiency and wisely developing our renewable resources. This will put people back to work and keep money in Mainers pockets.
The cheapest gallon of oil is the one we don’t burn. That’s why we must invest in efficiency.
Maine must have a strong infrastructure to compete. We must rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges. We can do this starting today. We have an opportunity to put thousands of unemployed construction workers, Maine construction workers, back to work—today. Doing anything less is a missed opportunity.
There is no greater responsibility than educating all of children for tomorrow—regardless of income or zip code. This is done by valuing our students, our teachers, and our public schools. We must make our public schools the best in the nation.
Our national economy is showing signs of growth. With strong leadership, all of Maine, from workers to business owners, from the smallest town to the largest town, will prosper. Doing it any other way picks winners and losers and we will all fall behind. Let’s take this moment to look at what we have in common rather than what divides us to move forward.
Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Seth Goodall.