The Legislature is adjourned until January 2024. It did so on July 26 after passing another budget that brings total spending to an estimated $10.3 billion. The budget that was passed did not include broad-based tax relief and it also eliminated the senior property tax stabilization program. I voted against the budget because it does not address the needs of all Mainers, especially those struggling to pay bills.
The Legislature did not complete its work by the June 21 statutory deadline. It went nearly a month longer than it was supposed to at an additional cost to the taxpayers of $50,000 for every day when we were in session. Unfinished work was carried over until we meet again in January.
Like most Mainers, I have done my best to enjoy spending time in our area and other places in Maine while the weather is warm. I had the opportunity to participate with Hiram as they celebrated the 4th of July, as well be included in the Brownfield Old Home Day’s Parade. It’s always fun to participate in such great community events!
On another note, I am pleased to report that one of my bills, ‘An Act to Authorize Municipalities to Allow Firefighters to Have Increased Lighting on Their Personal Vehicles’ has become law. The new law will help keep our volunteer firefighters safer, by allowing them to have larger light arrays on the personal vehicles they use when responding to calls.
The effective date of that law and all other that passed this spring is October 25.
Legislators now have until September 29 to file bill requests for the Second Regular Session. Unlike the first session, they are not automatically included. They must be approved by legislative leaders and be “emergency” in nature. If you have ideas that you would like considered, I am happy to speak with you about them.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in the Maine House. Please feel free to contact me at Caleb.Ness@legislature.maine.gov or call 207 287-1440 if you are a Senior citizen and would like to assistance.
I love hearing your thoughts and concerns, and appreciate your input!
Rep. Caleb Ness (R-Fryeburg)