Maine Legislature

House Democratic Office




July 1, 2011

Contact: Jodi Quintero, 287-1488, c. 841-6279



Democratic Radio Address –

GOP pushes extreme agenda in Maine Legislature


Good morning, I’m Representative Terry Hayes of Buckfield, the assistant House Democratic leader.  


Thank you for tuning in.


This week lawmakers in Augusta finished our legislative work for this year.


The differences between Democrats and Republicans were stark. While we worked to find common ground when possible, Democrats fought day in and day out on the side of working Maine families and small businesses.  


We stood up for Maine workers, we stood up for children, we stood up for the elderly, and we stood up for you -- the taxpayers.


We voted against a Republican-driven initiative to rollback Maine’s health insurance laws and puts a new tax all Maine insurance holders. 


We voted against a bill to put up barriers to voting by eliminating voter registration on Election Day.  


These proposals were forced through by the Republican majority with no attempt to find common ground.  


Just this week, House Republicans voted down a measure to protect our children from bullying in schools.


What seemed like a no-brainer to Democrats and most observers became a rallying cry for the extreme Republican lawmakers in the House after the Christian Civic League turned up the pressure against the bill before its final vote to become law.


It’s hard to understand why anyone would oppose a bill that prevents bullying and protects children.


These same Republican lawmakers also introduced bills to roll back child labor protections, to limit access to family planning for women, to eliminate protections from toxins in children’s toys, and to encourage reckless development of the Maine woods.


Who do they stand for? Whose side are they on?


Republicans voted against raising the minimum wage by a quarter for working Mainers on the very same day THEY voted for an estate tax giveaway to 550 of our wealthiest residents.


Democrats were able to temper many of the extreme Republican proposals. When we couldn’t, we believe we lost loudly – and on the right side of Maine people.


Last November, you sent lawmakers to Augusta with a mandate to create jobs not advance extreme policies.


Democrats got the message.


We worked to reform our regulatory climate, promote and invest in Maine made industries like lobstering, commercial fishing, and maple syrup production. We sponsored bills to better prepare our children for the jobs of the future. We provided tax credits to help small business grow and to attract new investment to our state.


Democrats championed a law that will directly minimize layoffs and allows business to keep their qualified trained employees. Under this new program, business can reduce hours during an economic slow down, while allowing employees to collect a portion of unemployment insurance to make up for the lost pay.


For the first time in decades Democrats were in the minority. But that didn’t mean we simply said “no.” We brought compromise, we brought alternatives, and we brought moderate solutions to temper the extreme proposals introduced by the governor and Republican lawmakers.


 Thank you for listening. I’m Representative Terry Hayes of Buckfield.