Senate and House Republican Leaders deliver the Republican response to the written State of the State address delivered by Governor Mills

Transcript of the Maine Legislative Republican Response to Gov. Janet Mills’ 2024 State of the State Address

Air date: Jan. 30, 2024

Sen. Trey Stewart, R-Aroostook: Good evening. I’m Trey Stewart from Aroostook County, the Senate Republican Leader.

Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor: And I’m Billy Bob Faulkingham from Winter Harbor, the House Republican Leader. Thank you for joining us tonight for the Republican Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address.

Stewart: First and foremost, we must pause from any political message to express our sincere and utmost condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the senseless tragedy that occurred in Lewiston last year.

Faulkingham: We will continue to support these folks however we can and stand together in honoring their memory and their lives.

As for the response, we need to set the record straight on few things that were shared today by the Governor.

Stewart: While she can try to paint a different version of reality for Maine’s people, we know that you aren’t buying it. The cold hard truth of our economy under Democrat control is that Maine people are struggling and things have gotten worse – not better – on their watch.

You don’t need to be an economist to recognize that when your bills are rising faster than your paychecks, it’s harder to make ends meet for your family. And nursing homes are closing across the state for a lack of a plan and leadership, leaving families to struggle with the consequences.

It seems like the only things that have gotten cheaper under Maine Democrats are lobster prices and cannabis. What’s worse is gas lighting people into thinking that everything is fine.

Faulkingham: Governor Mills was elected in 2018. For three consecutive legislative terms, Democrats have controlled the Governor’s Office, the Senate, the House and all constitutional offices.

Democrats think they can control the weather by making us suffer. Unless you want to freeze in your homes, or be stranded because your battery-powered car is dead, the Democrats are not working for you.

Governor Mills was elected at a time when the economy was thriving under a Republican President. When that President was replaced, the State of Maine benefited from an astronomical amount of federal funding – money printed out of thin air.

I am here today to declare the State of the State is an illusion. It is a house of cards on the verge of collapse.

Stewart: Well said. Next, let’s wade into the waters of immigration for a moment. Under current leadership, Maine has rolled out the red carpet and turned into the northern-most all-inclusive resort for anyone and everyone.

Free new housing, free healthcare, free food — you name it, we’re giving it away. All courtesy of the good, hard-working folks of Maine. While Texas has garnered the national spotlight on this topic, it’s hitting close to home, too.

In my own district in Aroostook County, illegal immigrants are crossing our border in droves and being released because of the same failed Democrat policies you see in Texas. They’re given court dates four years later and never seen again.

You can’t make this up. Our country and our state are in dire need of solutions to these problems.

Faulkingham: For Republicans, the solution is simple. Believe in the Maine people. Believe in their decisions. Help them by not making things harder for them.

This has been a giant wealth transfer from working people to support more government. Why should government get larger and larger while family budgets get smaller? Are you better off now than you were six years ago?

The government is taking from family budgets and paying for windmills, wiping out our skylines and threatening our pristine ocean waters. The government is paying for undocumented immigrants to have two years of free housing while our homeless suffer.

Stewart: That’s right, Billy Bob. Unfortunately, there are now more sightings of illegal Chinese marijuana operations, used needles on the streets and homeless tent cities than there are moose sightings. Portland, Maine is giving Portland, Oregon a run for its money as the poster child for “How to create a socialist utopia – and fail miserably.”

We’ve become the “Greenhouse Capital of New England.” And not the kind that’s helping the environment.

Our overdose deaths as a result of fentanyl entering our state have only gotten worse since the pandemic. Our state can’t even keep our children safe, with more children dying on the state’s watch year over year. Folks, Maine is in a race to the bottom – and we’re winning!

Faulkingham: Unfortunately, the Maine people are losing. I wanted the Governor to show leadership by publicly calling on the Secretary of State to let people decide whom they want to vote for. I wanted the Governor to lower the tax and regulatory burden on Maine people. I wanted the Governor to commit to lowering electric rates by reversing the flow of money to out-of-state solar and wind corporations.

There is no reason to pay artificially high prices just to follow a California agenda that will destroy our state.

Stewart: And if all that’s not bad enough, kids in Maine’s schools are being fed a new curriculum that should concern every mother and father in our state. One where keeping secrets from your parents is the new ‘extra credit’ and common sense and obvious truths get pushed aside for the liberal agenda. You may have even heard in the national news about one Democrat proposal to legalize child trafficking to get sex change surgery without parental knowledge.

It’s time for our collective voice to rise in a resounding chorus that declares, “ENOUGH.”

Faulkingham: I know I’ve certainly had enough, Trey. I wanted the Governor to publicly call on the Board of Environmental Protection to abandon their efforts to mandate electric vehicles. In a wild twist of irony, that decision was only postponed because of a storm that caused widespread power outages. Imagine if that storm happened when an EV mandate was in effect!

Stewart: Look, folks, we know the real guardians of Maine’s future aren’t seated in the legislative halls – they’re standing strong in every home, every town, every heart across our state. So, let’s march forward, not just in frustration, but with purpose. Our actions today will shape the Maine of tomorrow. We must recognize the truth of where we are at, including the harsh reality of life under total Democrat control.

Together, we can lift the veil from our eyes and recognize that we are in control of our own future. We have the tools to reshape our trajectory and make sure that the next generation will be better off than our own. That all starts with this November’s election.

Faulkingham: That’s right, Trey, the course of Maine’s future is chosen by her people. We all know what the problems are. Republicans have been offering solutions. Our solutions let individual Mainers decide what is best for their lives.

1.) Let citizens keep more of what they earn.

2.) Let citizens decide what kind car they want to drive.

3.) Let citizens decide whom they want to vote for on the ballot.

4.) Prioritize those who live here first before others skip the line for welfare benefits.

If those solutions seem simple, it is because it is common sense. People know what is best for their lives, not the government. Republicans believe in the Maine people. We believe in you!

Stewart: Thank you for tuning in tonight to the Republican Response.

Faulkingham: May God bless you and God bless the State of Maine.

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