Happy 2015! As we usher in a new year with our resolutions and optimistic outlook, the same could be said for the new legislative session in Augusta. It is an honor to be returning to the Maine Senate for another term. I am grateful for the support and pledge to work hard for you and our district. It is in this spirit that I hold high hopes this year for bringing home the results that Mainers expect from their legislature.
For the first time in twenty years, the legislature is divided amongst political parties in control. The House of Representatives has a democratic majority and the Senate has a republican majority. So, in order for the legislature to achieve anything, it will absolutely require the collaboration of both parties. This is the way our elected officials should work – together.
As your state senator, I will continue to do as I have always done in the past, and that is work with all sides to do what is best for you, our district, and our state. I am ready to take on the work before us on reforming welfare, providing tax relief and reform, creating good paying jobs, fostering economic development, supporting education, lowering energy costs, protecting our children, and building a better infrastructure. While I anticipate playing a role in many, if not all, of these areas, it is our roads and transportation infrastructure I will really have a hand in.
This session, I have been assigned to serve as the ranking democratic senator on the legislature’s Transportation Committee, which oversees our state transportation policy; highway fund; highway and bridge construction and maintenance; highway safety; waterways; railroads; and other transportation related matters. I believe my previous experience as Secretary of State from 1989-1997, and as a member of this committee from 2010-2012, will be beneficial. Our region and state have many road and infrastructure needs and I am ready to get to work on them.
I will also be serving as a member on the legislature’s Government Oversight Committee. The bipartisan watchdog committee’s primary focus is to review and ensure that public funds are expended for intended purposes, and that programs and activities are effectively, efficiently, and economically managed. The committee is most notably known for its investigation into the Maine Turnpike Authority’s mismanagement, which I had been a member of the committee at that time. Making sure our government is functioning the way it should, and working for the people of Maine is always a priority for me and the committee.
Again, it is an honor to represent the people, businesses, and communities of Senate District 26 at the State House. I am always available to listen to your thoughts or concerns as the legislature does its work. I will also be holding periodic local meetings to hear from you. Stay tuned for more information in the coming year. In the meantime, I can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (207) 892-8941.
I wish you all the best in the New Year and I look forward to working for you.