Our rights are disappearing before our very eyes

By Sen. Matt Harrington

A couple of bills heard by the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee a few weeks ago flew under the proverbial radar. The two bills, LDs 1370 and 1748, would reverse the democratic process of voting on school budgets.

In essence, the pair of bills would remove the requirement that voters validate school budgets unless voters themselves collect enough signatures to intervene.

Hello, this is Senator Matt Harrington of York County. I’m joining you for this week’s Republican Radio Address about this and other efforts Democrats are attempting to strip you of your rights as Maine citizens.

Matt Harrington – York

In the hearing for those two bills, you had the usual cast of characters line up in support of removing any transparency from the school budgeting process. The Maine Education Association and Maine School Boards Association advocated to remove voters – the true foundation of our democracy – from the equation, which the sponsor said “strengthens Maine’s democracy while saving taxpayers money.”

And in a rare food fight between statewide associations, the Maine Municipal Association actually testified against the bills by telling lawmakers their job is “ensuring that all community members have a voice.”

Yes, I know. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Sadly, this isn’t the only attempt by Democrats to erode your rights, especially parents. A bill also heard by the Education Committee was LD 394, which aims to adopt a Department of Education rule that gives school counselors and social workers greater authority to hide important information from parents. Fortunately, many parents testified in opposition to this bill.

Most of the opposition centered on the topic of gender transitioning, another topic of which I’ll get to in a moment. But the bottom line here is that certain personnel in school districts across the nation and even here in Maine have caused distrust by not being transparent and forthright with parents. This rule would codify that ability to keep parents in the dark, and embolden the Maine Department of Education’s goal of creating a parent-child divide.

So let’s dig into gender transitioning. If there was ever an issue that has given parents cause to question the ethics and agendas of progressives, it is this one – by far the most radical effort by Democrats to violate parents’ rights. They hope to do that through another bill, LD 1735, which casts parents’ rights completely aside in the pursuit of gender-affirming care for children.

This bill directly threatens the sanctity of parental rights, enshrined in many of our laws and those in other states. This bill not only threatens to destroy those rights, but also the societal fabric and norms that order our society.

LD 1735 allows parents outside of Maine who want to seek gender-affirming care for their child to bring them here to Maine to get it – and mind you, that may include sterilization and mutilation. If a child has been kidnapped from a custodial parent, the kidnapping parent simply has to make it to the state line and claim asylum protection for gender-affirming care. The custodial parent’s rights are then canceled since police can’t act on a warrant, which renders the entire purpose of the Amber Alert System obsolete.

As I said, you can’t make this up. This is for real.

And speaking of asylum, that brings me to the City of Sanford, which I represent. The City has been overrun with asylum seekers from Portland looking for services, including housing and general assistance. The effort by a couple of Sanford citizens to bring those asylees to Sanford, which has no infrastructure to deal with it, caused massive, unnecessary problems with the city’s general assistance office.

This comes on the heels of the City of Portland cleaning up its Bayside Trail homeless encampment, which displaced dozens of Maine citizens, including veterans. They had no place to go since foreigners seeking asylum have already taken all available housing. Democrat policies have clearly put the rights of foreigners who may or may not be here legitimately over our own citizens. How is that right?

This brings me to my final point, LD 1949, the crown jewel of the Democrats’ radical agenda. This bill will prohibit any person who breaks into any dwelling from being prosecuted if the person claims to be homeless and is seeking shelter. It puts every single home, camp, second home or rental property in jeopardy if there’s no deterrent to breaking and entering.

This should scare every Mainer.

Again, this is Senator Matt Harrington of York County. I thank you for joining me today.

Senator Matthew Harrington represents the communities of District 33, which includes four communities in York County. He is the Senate Republican Lead for the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

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