On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters lined the halls of the State House with a strong message for the Maine GOP: "Time for a budget for the many, not just the lucky few." The diverse group of Mainers expressed frustration that Governor LePage, as well as Republicans in the Maine House, are willing to shut down state government in order to provide yet another tax cut for Mainers who need it least.
Governor LePage and Maine House GOP legislators have refused to come to the negotiation table with reasonable offers. They are so singularly focused on providing tax cuts to Maine’s wealthiest that they forgot something very important: the State House is the people’s house. We thank everyone who came to Augusta to remind them of that.
Democrats stand strong for education funding and property tax relief, as the voters demanded. That’s what our Democratic legislators are fighting for in Augusta. Meanwhile, Governor LePage and Maine House Republicans are narrowly focused on helping the 16,000 wealthiest people in Maine — no matter the consequences.
The same day Maine people lined the halls demanding action, Maine House Republicans reversed course yet again and refused to take a vote on their own budget proposal, obstructing negotiations and taking Maine one step closer to a government shutdown. This minority of House Republicans, empowered by Governor LePage, refuse to come to the table and work with Democrats to pass a budget.
Then Governor LePage has left our state for an energy-themed photo-op in Washington D.C., abandoning negotiations on the verge of a government shutdown he pushed for. Governor LePage purposely spread misinformation about the education surtax, forced the resignation of the state budget director, and reintroduced policy demands that have previously failed — then skipped town. It is a complete abdication of responsibility and a breach of the public trust.
House Republicans are left with no choice but to negotiate with Democrats. Clearly, the governor isn't interested.
Keep making your voices heard. Democrats are listening, and we will continue holding the line for education funding and property tax relief. Speaker Sara Gideon and our Democratic legislators are focused on creating a budget that does the most good for the most Mainers. They are willing to listen to concerns, find creative solutions, and offer compromise where it makes sense, but they will not vote for a budget that hurts the people of Maine.
We will keep fighting for you. Please call the governor's office at 207-287-3531 and House Republicans at 207-287-1440 and demand they do their part.