The Legislature is still in Special Session after adjourning last month in order to prevent a Republican proposal to give $200 million in income tax relief targeted to taxpayers, especially low- middle income earners most impacted by runaway costs for everyday items needed to live in Maine.
Since my last report, the Revenue Forecasting Committee met, and again revised projected state tax revenues up. Governor Mills released her plan to spend the extra money, but did not include any tax relief. My Republican colleagues have again called for tax relief, increasing their proposal to $400 million, roughly 3% of the state budget.
Since the Governor has repeatedly said that the partisan budget passed in March fully funded state government, I am disappointed that, so far, there is no money to help struggling families. I am hopeful that with all the taxpayers money available, and all essential services funded, money can be found to help the people who paid it.
On a positive note, my bill to keep our volunteer firefighters safer, by allowing them to have larger light arrays on the personal vehicles they use when responding to calls, is on track to become law. I appreciate the bipartisan support it has received and the opportunity to work with both parties on legislation that benefits Maine.
One of the privileges I have as a State Representative is the ability to recognize constituents and guests in the chamber of the House. Also, I have the chance to invite honorary pages to serve the House. Honorary Pages are usual school – aged children, who help serve the House for a day by passing notes between legislators. On May 18th, I was afforded the opportunity to welcome a group of 3rd and 4th graders from the New Suncook School in Lovell for this purpose. It was a pleasure to have them help during the session. I have also had constituents from Brownfield and Fryeburg visit. It is always nice to see familiar faces!
I appreciate the opportunity to serve you in the Maine House. I love hearing your thoughts and concerns, and appreciate your input!
Please let me know if there are bills or issues of concern to you, or if you have questions involving state agencies. I can be reached at Caleb.Ness@legislature.maine.gov.
Rep. Caleb Ness (R-Fryeburg