Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney (R-York County) unveiled a replica of the famous “Welcome to Maine: The Way Life Should Be/Open for Business” sign on June 9 in the Senate Majority Office.
Joined by Senate President Kevin Raye (R-Washington County), Sen. Debra Plowman (R-Penobscot County) and members of the Republican caucus, Courtney used the blue graphic to draw attention to GOP accomplishments in this legislative session.
“Republicans promised to take Maine in a different direction—one that is more prosperous, affordable and responsive to all Maine citizens,” said Courtney.
Courtney cited the following legislative accomplishments:
Regulatory Reform. Legislative Republicans’ first legislative act was LD 1, “An Act To Ensure Regulatory Fairness and Reform.” “This legislation and the ongoing process that we have created will result in future job creation, job retention and expanded opportunities for Maine people,” said Courtney. “This is also a first step in changing the culture at all levels of state government to one that makes good jobs and economic opportunity the mission of every department.”
Health Insurance Reform. Republicans passed LD 1333, landmark health insurance reform legislation. The new law will allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, increase competition, lower premiums and deductibles for everyone, and it will promote greater access to health care for the 133,000 Mainers who currently do not have health insurance.
Legislative Budget. “Mindful that we need to lead by example, the Legislature cut the its budget by $8.3 million over the next two years,” said Courtney. “This is probably the largest reduction from a previous year in the history of the Legislature. The same budget initiatives that affect state workers will apply to the Legislature.”
Tax Policy. Republicans are working with Democrats to provide tax relief to working families and eliminate thousands of low-income filers from state income tax liability. The Republican tax plan will also be targeted at job creation and retention. “It will give relief to struggling taxpayers and help get more people back to work,” said Courtney.
Pension Reform. Republicans are working on a bipartisan solution that will ensure the solvency of the state pension system for retirees.
Welfare Reform. Republicans are working with Democrats to achieve structural reforms and initiatives that will help people escape welfare and ensure scarce resources assist our most vulnerable people.
Changing the Culture of State Government. Regulatory reform will help make Maine more responsive to the needs of small businesses and job creation.
Transparency. Republicans have made state government more open and transparent. Legislative Republicans aggressively investigated the Maine Turnpike Authority. Their findings have been turned over to the State Attorney General’s office for a criminal investigation.
Bipartisanship. Republicans have worked in a bipartisan fashion to achieve results. “No one thought we would get unanimous agreement on LD1, Regulatory Reform or on reforms to the Maine’s KID-Safe law that help it protect children from hazardous chemicals without adversely affecting job creation,” said Courtney.
“Republicans have worked very hard under the leadership of President Raye, to forge bipartisan consensus on many of these issues,” Courtney said. “I believe that’s a hallmark of not only changing the state now, but changing it for generations to come.”