On December 7, 2022 members of the 131st Legislature raised their right hand and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. I again thank those who placed their trust in me over the next two years. I will do my best to represent everyone, regardless of political party or persuasion.
The first legislative day is usually confined to ceremonial duties, organization of the House, and the election of Maine’s constitutional officers (Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, and Secretary of State). Legislation is usually not considered on day one.
That was not the case this year. The Governor submitted emergency energy legislation for consideration. It passed the House overwhelmingly (125-16), but failed in the Senate. I am hopeful that, by the time you read this, energy relief has been approved that will assist our friends and neighbors that are struggling to heat their homes and pay bills.
In addition to short term relief, we also need to take a hard look at state energy policies that are contributing to high electric, oil, and gas prices. Everyone needs a seat at the table and a willingness to consider all options, not just the ones favored by lobbyists. I look forward to seeing significant legislation that can be acted upon to bring down prices in the long-term.
I want small businesses, nonprofits, and community serving organizations throughout the state, and in western Maine, to recover and prosper going forward. I also want a climate that encourages our young people and retirees to stay here. Career opportunities, lower taxes for everyone, and appropriate safety nets for those in need of our assistance are of vital importance.
I will work hard and cooperatively with other members of the 131st Legislature over the next two years. If we work together, 2023 can be a year where we move Maine forward.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve you in the Maine House. If there is anything I can do to assist you, or if you have questions or concerns involving state agencies, please contact me at Caleb.Ness@legislature.maine.gov.
Rep. Caleb Ness (R-Fryeburg)