This is Representative Barbara Bagshaw of Windham with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
The 131st Legislature is underway, with over 2,200 bills being introduced and referred to the legislative committees that will schedule public hearings and issue recommendations to the full legislature.
Over the course of the next several months, the legislature will be developing a biennial (two-year) budget. The process recently began when Governor Mills submitted her proposed budget for legislative consideration. The Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on her proposed budget and ultimately make recommendations. That process has traditionally involved both political parties in order to win broad-based approval.
House Republicans will continue to offer responsible solutions to the problems facing Maine.
We will be willing partners on issues where we can agree, but will not shy away from highlighting our differences when it is in the best interests of Maine.
Given that Democrats completely control state government, public involvement is critical to our efforts to make Maine a better place.
In the recent past, it was only through public involvement that the Maine legislature defeated several initiatives favored by national progressives and their representatives in Maine.
Most involved infringing upon constitutionally guaranteed rights or undermining the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs and keep us safe.
These measures will be introduced again and House Republicans will oppose them with the help of the Maine people.
Protecting the constitutional rights, liberties, and freedoms of individual citizens is no small matter to us.
Although there are many, they involve questions like:
- Can people hold different opinions?
- Can people write and publish what they think freely?
- Can people practice and exercise their religious beliefs freely?
- Can people protest their government and policies that they disapprove of?
- Do people have the right to bear arms?
- Can the government search or seize your property without a legal basis?
- Can you be arrested and held without trial?
- Can the government treat you differently than other people?
If you are hesitant or troubled by the answers to these questions, you share our concern over how things are going and the importance of the U.S. Constitution as a protector of our rights.
These rights should not be Republican or Democrat. They are our shared heritage, and why America can and should be a shining beacon to the rest of the world.
House Republicans understand that public awareness and involvement in the legislative process is crucial to our future.
Working tighter side by side, we can make Maine a better place going forward.
This has been Representative Barbara Bagshaw with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
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