Advocate’s email outlines House Democrat’s stall tactics and obstructionism
The Maine Legislature will be back in session tomorrow morning to take up a number of gubernatorial vetoes, but according to an email sent by substance abuse advocate Malory Shaughnessy to other state house advocates and lobbyists, Speaker of the House Sara Gideon is urging advocates not to work with House Republicans to solve many of the unresolved issues remaining before the legislature.
In the email, Shaugnessy writes that the Speaker and her top aides “called in several groups of people for meetings on various issue areas… they are basically saying they hope all of the advocates will stay strong and not collude with the republicans.” The email also states that the Speaker told the assembled advocates that Democrats “are playing hardball with the House republican caucus… it is sort of a game of chicken.”
Shaughnessy also says the Speaker advised all of them to harass “House republicans to ask them to do the rest of the session work and agree to an extension. If we can get to an extension of five days, the Speaker and Drew (Gattine) promise that our key bills are on their short list.”
This email clearly lays out in black and white what House Republicans have been saying for weeks. Speaker Gideon is clearly not interested in negotiating in good faith or passing bills that address the most urgent needs of the people of Maine.
House Republicans support:
- Funding for direct care workers of the elderly and disabled
- Opioid treatment
- Increased funding for nursing homes
- Services for developmentally disabled Mainers
- Funding for county jails
- Addressing the issue with school funding
House Republicans have been waiting for nearly a month to act on these issues, but the Speaker has continually refused to bring these issues up for a vote, instead continuing to attach Medicaid expansion to these important issues.
Below is a list of bills that House Republicans stand ready to support as soon as the Speaker allows for an up or down vote. House Republicans will not support any package that includes legislation having to do with Medicaid expansion. That bill must run on its own.
“The bills on this list should not be contentious, they’re simply good governance,” said Rep. Tom Winsor of Norway, the ranking House Republican on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. “Democrats insistence that bills pertaining to Medicaid expansion be attached to any spending bill is simply not acceptable to the House Republican caucus.”