April 27, 2018

Taking the high road in difficult conversation by Rep. Jess Fay (D) and Rep. Patrick Corey (R)

Bringing a bill from idea to law takes a great deal of time, energy, and effort. It’s easy to get sidetracked when that hard work seems to be for naught, particularly because of unnecessary partisanship. Legislators work hard on behalf of their constituents and generally try to do what’s right, but sometimes we get caught up in the storms that blow through the State House.
Last week the Maine House of Representatives got caught up in a partisan battle about extending the
session and defense of legislative priorities. Placing blame isn’t going to help us solve the problems we face. What we want our constituents to know is that we’re ready to put that battle behind us, work to repair relationships with our colleagues and attempt to get back to work for Maine's people. We plan to work together to do this, leading by example. We have worked together on issues affecting the region and co-sponsored each other’s bills, so it made sense to us to try to work together to facilitate those difficult conversations.

Even though members of the legislature try to be thoughtful, sometimes it’s possible to get caught up in promoting ideas and policies without full consideration of how our actions may be interpreted. We all could do better by taking the time to listen to and touch base with our colleagues to better understand how our actions affect them, especially if those actions will be damaging to future work together. This is going to take the ability to be honest with one another to rebuild trust.

https://www.egcu.orgThere are times that taking the high road is difficult, but by making a real commitment to do so, we see a path forward. The next time we walk in to the House Chamber, it will be with a renewed sense of purpose and responsibility to each other, the institution, and most importantly, our constituents. We will be reaching out to our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, working to further build relationships and rediscover what we appreciate and respect about one another and the institution.

We want to get back to work with an understanding that a short time-out may be just what the Legislature needed. We should get back to work as quickly as possible, so we can focus on what matters most . . . Maine's people.

Important issues still on the agenda that we agree need action include:  continuing to fund higher reimbursement rates for direct care workers who take care of our most vulnerable residents, passing an update to the adult-use marijuana law, being responsive to the opioid epidemic, and important business initiatives like the Pine Tree Development Zones.

We would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve. In the coming days, we will be reaching out to our colleagues across the State and encourage you to do the same.

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