This is Rep. Peter Lyford of Eddington with the Republican Weekly Radio Address.
It’s been nine months since the 129th adjourned.
Now, a new legislature has been sworn in.
We have a new Speaker, eleven more Republicans, and no House Republican incumbents lost this past election.
House Republicans are still far short of the numbers needed to force Governor Mills, or legislative Democrats, to do anything that they don’t want to.
That does not mean we will give up trying.
That is why, on Day 1 of the new legislature, I introduced a Joint Resolution to terminate the state of emergency initially proclaimed by the Governor on March 15, which she has extended nine times.
That same day, House Republicans AGAIN called for the Legislature to “go to work” on COVID-related matters now, not in 2021.
These actions are a sincere effort to give the Maine people a voice by involving the entire legislature in shaping sensible, evidence-based, scientific policies to protect Maine without destroying more lives, our way of life, or our economy.
This is not an effort to end our response to coronavirus, it is intended to be the beginning.
The beginning of bipartisan cooperation between two equal branches of government, as provided by the Maine Constitution.
The beginning of public involvement through their elected officials.
The beginning of a shared approach.
It has now been nine months without real consultation between the Governor and the minority members of legislative branch.
People’s lives are impacted every day, with no ability for their voices to be heard.
We need to begin legislative committee work now, in December of this year, not January of 2021.
The situation demands bipartisan action with legislative involvement.
I want to thank the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate for allowing this Joint Resolution to be considered.
It required their consent to move forward.
I urge my colleagues of both parties to support this, so that we can all work together going forward.
Several citizens have reached out asking how they can help Maine get back on track.
I urge people to contact their State Representatives and State Senators.
Politely ask them to support the Joint Resolution removing the Governor’s state of emergency.
Ask them to hold public hearings in December to take advice from citizens, small businesses, health care workers and everyone with a practical idea on how to safely and responsibly move forward.
Faith in our government’s ability to respond to the challenges of coronavirus cannot be restored, maintained or enhanced without a true bipartisan response and shared decision-making.
The public must be allowed to participate in decisions that affect their life, health and well being.
This has been Representative Peter Lyford with the Republican Weekly Radio Address.