To the Editor:
That’s a wrap! After staying up all night to finish our work, we adjourned the first session of the 129th Legislature on June 20th at 6:30 a.m.
I’ve caught up on the missed sleep and am enjoying being back at my house in Ellsworth full-time. Now, to catch up on my regular work: making maps!
We accomplished many policy goals this year, which will improve the lives of Mainers.
We passed a bipartisan budget which increased funds to help with our property tax burdens, we expanded health care to reach more Mainers and to address the opioid crisis, we invested in our workforce to grow our economy, we increased our focus on early childhood education for our future, and we took steps to shift to renewable energy and protect our environment.
I’m pleased to report that several bills I proposed this session were signed into law. This includes LD 1364, which will provide some net-neutrality protections and differs in scope from other state laws that are facing legal challenges. My bill LD 1319, which protects volunteer firefighter and EMS personnel from being disciplined by their employer while they are serving their community, was signed by the Governor on June 6.
I am also so proud of our bipartisan work on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee to improve our energy future in Maine, establish better internet privacy for consumers, and support broadband expansion.
In particular, LD 1711, which I co-sponsored, makes it easier to build solar and other renewable energy projects in Maine, creating jobs and protecting us against fossil fuel price shocks. It will now be easier than ever for you to buy a share in a community solar farm and pay less for your electricity!
There is certainly more work to do. For example, next session we should take steps to further relieve the burden of property taxes and improve affordability of higher education and access to broadband.
With a strong first session complete, I know we’ll have good momentum when we return in January.
In the meantime, rest assured that the end of session does not mean close of business. I am available year-round to help with any constituent services you may need and would like to hear questions, concerns or suggestions you have. I can be reached at[email protected] or (207) 358-8333. I am honored to serve as your representative.
Happy summer. We are all so lucky to live in such a beautiful and vibrant place!