AUGUSTA – After blocking a special session of the 129th Maine Legislature, citing newfound safety concerns, Legislative Republicans released a new proposal today that would roll back health and safety guidelines amid the pandemic.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, released the following statement:
“The hypocrisy from my Republican colleagues is really getting old. After months of playing politics and calling for the legislature to reconvene, Republicans ultimately refused to do their jobs and blocked a special session. One of the reasons was that it just wasn’t safe. However, not even a week later, Republicans have found themselves on the steps of the State House calling for Maine to roll back COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. They are continuing to play political games with this pandemic when Maine people need leadership.
“This is becoming a trend. If my Republican colleagues really want to support small business, and really feel like COVID-19 isn’t a big enough threat to justify testing and other protections, perhaps they should reconsider their justification for refusing to do their jobs. It’s beginning to feel like we need to keep a scorecard to see where they stand from day-to-day. Yet, at the same time, the steps Maine has taken to respond to this crisis has led to a decline in cases per capita and allowed Maine businesses and communities to slowly reopen.
“Republicans say they want to support Maine’s tourism industry but without the Legislature in session, it’s all talk. Meanwhile, Democrats are hard at work trying to do real things for small businesses. The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee has been hearing from small businesses for weeks now. Today, they are hearing recommendations from the Economic Recovery Committee. I hope our colleagues’ latest proposal means they are finally willing to vote to return to session. Democrats stand ready to finish our work.”