Dem Radio Address: Breen says, Lawmakers reject governor’s political gamesmanship with overrides
Good Morning. This is State Senator Cathy Breen of Falmouth. I think most lawmakers would say that they chose public service so that they could pass good policy and make a difference for our state and our communities–not, to be a Democrat or be a Republican. While our party affiliation may influence certain policy ideas and priorities, it isn’t the only lens through which we see our work. Especially in divided government like we have now, we have to work together to find areas of agreement and compromise.
I’m proud of the collaborative, bipartisan work that I’ve seen in the legislature over the past several months. And I’m disappointed that Governor LePage has chosen politics over doing the people’s business. He recently pledged to punish any lawmakers who don’t support his agenda and to veto every bill sponsored by a Democrat, regardless of the merits of the policy. This past week the governor followed through and vetoed every bill with a “D” next to the sponsor’s name. Fortunately, my Republican colleagues in the legislature have seen through these politically driven stunts, and together, we are overriding his vetoes.
All of the bills that have been vetoed, have already gone through the legislative committee process and garnered bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. I am proud to see that Republicans in the legislature are willing to stand up to the governor to ensure that good, bipartisan legislation can move forward and become law. Every time we override a partisan veto from the governor, we are rejecting his political gamesmanship in favor of doing the business that the people of Maine elected us to do.
Yes, Governor LePage is within his authority to veto any bill for any reason. Most would agree that his rationale for vetoing all Democratic bills is an abuse of this authority. Vetoes should be a last resort for a governor–as a stop gap for concerns or disagreement with policy. But, good legislation–that has been endorsed by Democrats and Republicans alike–is good legislation and politics shouldn’t get in the way of that.
Governor LePage holds the record for the highest number of vetoes ever issued by any Maine governor–and now, he’s on a fast track to holding another record: the Maine governor with the highest number of vetoes overridden. Each time the House and Senate vote to override the governor’s vetoes, we are refusing to let political games get in the way of good governance.
The people of Maine deserve a government that can tackle tough issues and find common ground. And, governing by veto is no way to govern. It’s not leadership. It’s not how you move Maine forward. And, it’s certainly not what Maine people expect from their elected officials.
Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Cathy Breen. Have a good weekend.