Following is a Weekly Republican Radio Address from Rep. David Haggan (R – Hampden).
Hello, I’m David Haggan, the State Representative in District 101, representing Newburgh and Hampden.
This week, I
want to talk to you about a very serious issue that needs to be addressed. It’s
an issue that highlights the biggest difference between Legislative Republicans
I believe we
should be helping Mainers who are the most in need first. Those in greatest
need, are those who cannot take care of themselves.
I’m talking about, are Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
extra attention, care, and resources. They need our assistance to help them
interact and engage in the community, and realize their full potential.
In the rush to dole out taxpayer money, to brand new categories of recipients, the State of Maine is failing its most vulnerable citizens.
need our help most.
disabilities, in desperate need of our assistance, have been forced to the back
of the line by the Mills’ Administration and Democrats in the Legislature.
have been in touch with some of the families facing a crisis.
families son, whose name I’ll withhold, was one of my students when he was in
middle school. He is autistic, non-verbal, and requires assistance to walk.
When he was
in school, he was making progress, receiving physical therapy, had a “job” at
the school and began communicating through a text-to-speech device purchased by
progress was a result of having committed school teachers, therapists and an
Individual Education Plan (or IEP) with funding attached.
Now that he
is no longer in school, he is on a waiting list for MaineCare services. The
support he received in school is no longer available.
funding my Son will regress. There is no maybe about it.
is scary without funding. I don’t want to see my son lose skills he has gained.
I don’t want
his purpose to fade.
it comes down to money. He cannot be left alone.
I am a
single Mom who has to work to pay the mortgage, electric, water, sewer, phone,
car, insurance, food and so on. What do I do? How do I work? Who will watch my
This is just
ONE of many families residing in my district and across Maine who have reached
out to me.
stories are heartbreaking.
families have been destroyed, had to leave Maine, or been forced into poverty,
living their lives in quiet desperation.
a recent Portland Press Herald Editorial, the wait list has grown from 110 in
2008 to over 1,500 in 2018.
LePage proposed to eliminate the waitlist in his last two budgets, and
succeeded in getting a modest reduction, but waitlists continue to increase.
The function of taxpayer-funded public assistance programs should be to provide support to our most vulnerable citizens first, before considering new program and benefits.
That should mean families in absolute crisis
Individuals who cannot walk, talk, or feed themselves
People that need 24-hour care for the rest of their lives
Now I ask
you, who should receive first priority when it comes to spending taxpayer
able-bodied, childless adults, who are able to work, feed themselves and
contribute to others less fortunate?
Is it asylum
seekers, many of whom entered our country illegally?
Or is it the
1,600 adults with disabilities on wait lists?
I know what
nearly all listeners would choose if they spent any time with Maine families on
Maine is not
a wealthy state. Able-bodied, childless adults and asylum seekers from other
countries should be considered ONLY after the needs of our most vulnerable,
infirm residents are met.
that is not the same answer produced by the actions of this Governor and the
Democrats who overwhelmingly control state government.
It has been
said that, “you will know them by what they produce.”
spending 99.995% of all state revenues and the surplus accumulated under
Republicans, Democrats are bragging about how the $125 million they budgeted on
healthcare will be matched by $700 million in federal funds to cover 70,000
the 1,600 adults with disabilities on the wait list?
will continue to languish on wait lists, with family resources exhausted, jobs
lost, emotionally strained to the breaking point.
Democrats spent all our tax money, they are now looking for more money to
support the estimated 350+ asylum seekers who came to Portland because we have
more generous welfare benefits.
continue to arrive every day, following national reports that they have up to a
year to apply for asylum and can receive Maine General Assistance benefits in
claims can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to process.
what this will cost Maine taxpayers run in the millions of dollars, even though
there is no money left after the budget spent it all.
millions of dollars in new taxes, after Maine nursing homes and Maine roads
were underfunded and waitlist adults with disabilities were not adequately
should take note of this fact and let the Governor and Democrats know what
responsible priorities look like.
Maine adult citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities need to
There is a
desperate need for policy to be re-written, and funds reprioritized, to fully
fund services for adults with disabilities. Unlike the recipients of many other
programs, those eligible for these services are often unable to work to
overcome or change their circumstances.
As a society,
we are judged by how we care for our weakest members and at this, the Mills
administration is failing miserably.
been Representative David Haggan with the Republican Radio Address, thank you
Rep. David Haggan represents House District 101, Hampden and Newburgh.