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 Legislature is now if the process of considering over 2,200 pieces of legislation and crafting a state budget for the next two years. I am the Ranking Republican on the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources and also proudly serve on the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. I am pleased with these assignments based on my background and interest in the Maine outdoors.
I remain concerned that Maine state government is taking in too much money from taxpayers that are struggling to pay higher cost on virtually everything needed to live. Maine has over-collected $1.5 billion in tax revenues over the last year. Some of it has gone back to taxpayers in the form of relief checks. Most recently $450 energy relief checks were approved and have begun going out to people that filed state tax returns in 2022.
This is only short term relief. Every month our energy bills are increasing with no end in sight. We 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 hope that significant legislation emerges that can be acted upon to bring down prices in the long-term.
I want small businesses, nonprofits, and community serving organizations to recover and prosper in the years ahead. I also want a state that our young people choose to stay in, and one that attracts others to move here. A culture that favors work and job creators will lower taxes for everyone and provide appropriate safety nets without over-burdening taxpayers or retirees.
I will work hard and cooperatively with other members of the 131st Legislature over the next two years. If we work together, we can move Maine forward by restoring what has been lost.
I appreciate the support I have received from constituents and the opportunity to continue serving 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 Jim.Thorne@legislature.maine.gov.
Sincerely, Rep. Jim Thorne