A look forward through the rear-view mirror

Senator Marianne Moore delivers the final weekly Republican Radio address for 2021

Marianne Moore – Washington

By Sen. Marianne Moore

AUGUSTA – As we approach 2022, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year as we look forward to a new one. It’s a time to remember our challenges and successes, as well as the hope a New Year always brings.

Hello, I am Senator Marianne Moore of Washington County, and it’s my pleasure to bring you our final Republican address for 2021.

First, I want to thank the voters of my district for placing their trust in me and allowing me to serve them in the State Senate. It’s an honor to serve the people of Maine, a sentiment I’m sure is shared among all of my fellow elected officials of both parties. It is a responsibility we all take to heart.

In looking back at the last 12 months, I’m happy to share that we accomplished several important goals for Maine residents despite being in the minority. First and foremost, our “Give It Back” campaign was successful in returning nearly $150 million to taxpayers. It was important for Republicans to provide some relief for those who tirelessly worked last year as the pandemic unfolded before us, and also return some of the surplus federal COVID relief funds that Maine has benefitted from.

Some of our other successes include tax conformity, which was a hot-button issue right out of the gate in January when the Mills administration wanted to tax federal paycheck protection programs, or PPP funds. Those funds helped support our business community throughout the shutdown and staggered restarts of last year.

We also fought as early as February to protect the Shawmut Dam on the Kennebec and thus the workers at Sappi’s Skowhegan mill against an administration that would rather jeopardize the mill’s jobs through the dam’s removal. That fight still continues.

We were also able to increase Maine’s homestead exemption and municipal revenue sharing, which benefits property taxpayers.

We fought the decriminalization of both prostitution and possession of illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. And we also supported the men and women of law enforcement by defeating an attempt by the extreme left to remove their “qualified immunity” and their efforts to defund the police.

But we also saw some challenges in 2021, including a break from legislative tradition when the Democrat majority passed a biennial budget on a simple vote in March instead of seeking a bipartisan two-thirds. That has happened only twice in the last 70 years, and it left more than a half million Maine residents who are represented by Republicans without a voice in the process.

And Democrats did it again in July.

We were also at the forefront of trying to tackle Maine’s worker shortages resulting from unemployment overpayments, but Democrat leadership voted down every attempt to do so.

Democrats also voted down every attempt to rein in the Governor’s emergency powers, despite the voices of an overwhelming number of Mainers who cared enough to testify before the State and Local Government Committee. With a ratio of 40 to every one person who opposed the measure, you said you wanted more collaboration between the executive and legislative branches – the way it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, Democrats chose to ignore you.

As we leave 2021 behind and look ahead to 2022, I’m reminded of the resilience of Maine’s people. We’ve been through a lot in these past 12 months, and together we still have some challenges ahead. But it’s the hope a New Year brings that we all look forward to the most.

In 2022, I hope we can restore balance to state government.

I hope Democrats in the Legislature learn to hear and trust the voices of Maine’s people.

I hope we can get a handle on our drug and opioid addiction.

I hope we can finally put the pandemic behind us and return to the way life should be.

Most importantly, I hope everyone has a safe, happy and prosperous New Year. Again, I’m Senator Marianne Moore of Washington County, and I’ll see you next year.

Sen. Moore is the Republican ranking member of the Legislature’s Joint Standing Health and Human Services Committee.

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