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Wadsworth: Maine should put vulnerable citizens first, but this legislature did not

Rep. Nate Wadsworth serves the people of Brownfield, Fryeburg, Hiram, Porter and part of Lovell in the Maine House of Representatives.

Maine citizens have a long history of moderation and the balancing of viewpoints when it comes to electing their leaders. Our state frequently votes for split government, and has elected two Independent Governors in addition to Democrats and Republicans. The result is a government that rarely strays too far from the views of the people who live here.

The 129th Legislature has shattered that tradition, and pursued and/or adopted policies that are extreme by Maine standards.

First, some of the policies that we narrowly avoided (for now):

-Increasing taxes on home heating fuel (.40 cents per gallon), gasoline and other fuels.

-Increasing taxes (21-67%) on Maine beer, wine and spirits, essentially killing our micro-brewing industry.

-Making Maine a Sanctuary State to prevent federal immigration officials from doing their jobs.

-Circumventing the Electoral College and Constitution to allow as few as 11 state to elect our President.

– Providing over $20 million in taxpayer funds to Portland for asylum seekers and illegal aliens.

Policies that Democrats passed:

-Eliminating work, volunteer and/or school requirements for taxpayer-funded public assistance benefits.

-Taxpayer funded abortions that no longer require a doctor – Maine had moved from idea that abortions should be safe, legal and rare to one where the government promotes them, even though the number of abortions have been declining. Morning after pills are now allowed in vending machines.

-Elimination of the religious and philosophical exemptions for immunizations, potentially excluding up to 6,000 children from public schools.

-Assisted suicide (aka “Death with Dignity”) is now legal.

-Maine no longer celebrates Columbus Day; it is now “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

-In animal abuse cases, dogs (and other animals) can now obtain lawyers.

-$8 billion state budget that is 11% higher and spends 99.995% of available state funds, including the surplus. Equally troubling, in the waning hours, Democrats removed price tags on items they couldn’t fund now and carried over 400 bills to next session – tens of millions in potential new spending.

One-party rule has moved Maine away from a state that encourages, supports and promotes work to one where it is optional. Limited taxpayer resources are no longer targeted to our truly needy citizens, but to able-bodied, childless adults, undocumented immigrants, and narrow special interests that are part of a big-government agenda.

A number of these new laws have generated People’s Veto petitions and may ultimately give you a chance to undo the damage. Most will stay in effect until common sense returns to Maine government and we have policies that help everyone equally and prioritize limited taxpayer’s funds for our most vulnerable citizens.

Our founders established a system of checks and balances designed to protect everyone (especially minorities) from the tyranny of the majority. It works best when there is a balance between the two political parties.

Before Maine is able to restore its equilibrium, I will do my best with other Republicans to oppose changes that undermine our social fabric and our ability to form working coalitions that benefit everyone, not just the privileged few.

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Rep. Nathan Wadsworth, State Representative for the towns of Brownfield, Fryeburg, Hiram, Lovell (part) and Porter.

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