Democratic proposals winning support -- No, not that, but this – and here’s why

Posted: April 23, 2011 | Weekly Radio Address
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Weekly Radio Address – Rep. Cain – April 23rd, 2011

Good morning, I’m Rep. Emily Cain from Orono, the House Democratic Leader.

Thank you for tuning in.

While Governor LePage’s new administration struggles to put forth a clear agenda to get Maine people back to work and strengthen our economy, Democrats in the legislature are working hard to present alternative proposals that are fair for all Maine people.

Since the start of the legislative session, Democrats on every policy committee have provided strong proposals to counter the extreme agenda of the Governor and Republicans in the legislature. Time and again our common sense ideas on regulatory reform, the budget, toxic chemicals, and public safety have won out over radical proposals.

We are not the loyal opposition. We do not say “no” to everything. We say “not that but this and here’s why.”

Just look at the results of the efforts to create legislation to reform Maine’s regulatory system.

The governor introduced a proposal that raised hackles across Maine. But after hearing from hundreds of Maine people, lawmakers changed the proposal to focus on making Maine’s regulatory climate more friendly, predictable, and easier to navigate for Maine businesses, while also preserving our natural resources and keeping toxic chemicals out of children’s products.

The Governor’s original bill included proposals that would have allowed toxic chemicals in Sippy cups, and condo developments in almost a third of the Maine woods. But Maine people stood up and said “No.” Democrats listened. The result is a bill that provides the incremental common sense changes that will help Maine companies a preserve Maine’s quality of life.

Democrats also worked hard to fix the Governor’s supplemental budget for this year. He originally proposed permanently taking funds from the health insurance savings accounts for retired fire fighters and law enforcement officers and from state employees. But Democratic lawmakers on the appropriations committee worked with their counterparts to find responsible alternatives.

We also fought back on the governor’s extreme proposals to rollback key environmental protections that support the Maine brand, and won votes on the House floor to stop the roll backs of seat belt safety laws and common sense protections for consumers.

And just last week, Democrats on the Tax committee offered an alternative proposal for tax relief that helps working Maine people and Maine small businesses. Democrats on the Health and Human Services Committee outlined a framework for finding real savings at the Department of Health and Human Services, while protecting crucial aspects of the safety net.

So, while Governor LePage put up a sign, took down a mural, and went on vacation, Democrats in the legislature have been working to find real solutions to problems facing Maine families and spur economic growth.

We are proud to come to the table with sensible ideas that work for all Maine people. And Maine people can expect us to continue to do so.

Thank you for listening and have a great day.