January 27, 2012
Contact: Ericka Dodge [Goodall], 232-5892 (m)
DEMOCRATIC RADIO ADDRESS
Good morning, this is Democratic State Senator Seth Goodall from Richmond.
This week, Governor LePage gave the State of the State address to the Legislature and to the people of Maine. The Governor responded to our call for a more constructive dialogue addressing the challenges facing Maine, but he failed to provide solutions for putting Mainers back to work—and, more money in our pockets.
Now is the time to move past the politics of anger and work together to put Maine on a path for job creation and prosperity.
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 real solutions that solve our most pressing problems.
Times are tough. From state budgets, to household budgets, everyone is feeling the stress. We need real solutions. The number one question is, “How can we put Mainers back to work and more money in all of our pockets?” because we are all in this together.
7,000 Mainers lost their jobs last year and 50,000 are out of work, and these numbers don’t include the thousands that are barely making ends meet for their families.
Solutions are available. A good first step is fixing our crumbling roads and bridges. By prioritizing this investment, funding roads and bridges will put construction workers back on the job; it will reduce the out-of-pocket money we’re all spending maintaining our cars; and it will make our roads safer. Just like when the roof of your house leaks, you fix it, to protect your investment. And so now, we need to fix our roads and bridges. In doing so, we will also put Mainers back to work.
We also know that small business can lead us out of these tough economic times. A decade ago, small business led us out of a recession by growing ten percent—while large companies fell by two percent. We must do everything we can to give small businesses the tools needed to jumpstart our economy. If half of the small businesses in Maine hired just one person, our job deficit would be erased. It is that simple.
Energy bills are challenging household budgets, and the bottom line of businesses. Even though Maine’s cost of electricity is the lowest in New England, it still too high. We know the cheapest kilowatt hour and gallon of oil are the ones we don’t use. That’s why we must invest and encourage energy efficiency so we will use less energy and lower our bills.
We cannot ignore what got us here—for too long we have been dependent on fossil fuels. Just this week, an independent study pointed out that Maine can create nearly 12,000 jobs by developing new renewable energy. This is a win-win for our economy.
As a kid who grew up in a small town in Maine and now, as I look to the future through my daughter, there is no greater responsibility than educating all of children—no matter how much money you make or where you live. We must work to improve all of our public schools, first and foremost, so that every child is receiving an education that prepares them for tomorrow’s workforce. This won’t happen over night but when we’re making choices we need to ask, “will this strengthen our public schools or erode our public schools?”—especially our small and rural schools.
We have choices to make in government—and, cuts must be made. But we cannot ignore the consequences it will have on people’s lives. Pitting Mainer against Mainer is not only destructive to our state's morale but it will not solve our state's budget problem. Instead, we must confront it and work together to put Maine on the right track.
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 city, can prosper. Let’s take this moment to look at what we have in common rather than what divides us, and move forward.
Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Seth Goodall.