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Legislature should get back to work now

The newly sworn in 130th Legislature needs to begin work now, not wait until 2021. That is the overwhelming message that I have received from constituents since my election to the Maine House of Representatives in November.

It has been nine months without any real input from the Maine public and their elected representatives in the Legislature. People need a voice regarding decisions that are being made solely by Gov. Janet Mills and her administration, with little to no input. After declaring an emergency in March, we have now had nine emergency order extensions.

I understand that coronavirus, and the response to it, has restricted virtually every aspect of our daily lives. However, it should not prevent legislators from getting back to work by performing vital committee work focused on providing the public with an opportunity to express themselves on important issues that affect the health, lives and livelihoods.

My Republican colleagues and I want to go back to work now. This decision rests in the hands of Democratic leaders. I urge them to let the Legislature go to work now, in December. Public hearings can be held, experts can be consulted, and questions can be asked of the state officials whose decisions control our lives.

The public’s patience is wearing thin and people need a productive way to express themselves on the state’s response to coronavirus and how best to begin the long hard road back to a safe reopening of Maine life and its economy.

Rep. Jim Thorne

Carmel

Small town Maine

Here’s what makes Maine great. I was following the town front end loader as it ambled up the hill to the garage. An elderly woman was trying valiantly to clear snow around her mailbox. Unasked, the operator in one pass and within 15 seconds cleared it and went on his way.

That’s small town Maine.

Jim Austin

Dover Foxcroft

Stock market’s new champion

Once again our two-party primary system selected two poor candidates for Americans to choose from for president. We dutifully pounded Trump or Biden signs into our lawns or maybe attached a bumper sticker on our vehicles, but in the end collectively elected Joe Biden.

Donald Trump was voted into office in 2016 because voters were sick of “business as usual” in Washington, D.C. He responded by driving both the country and the Republican Party into the ditch, resulting in voters rushing back to “business as usual” President-elect Biden. Trump could have been a transformational president forcing the tough decisions we badly need, but instead apparently chose to be a clown singularly focused on the stock market while driving up the national debt.

It is indeed a fact the stock market has surged with Trump at the helm. But at what price? Bank certificates of deposit and United States savings bonds are paying 0.5 percent interest or less and could go lower, soup kitchens are overflowing with automobiles lined up to get a box of free food from various charities, the country is accumulating unprecedented debt and demanding much more stimulus spending with little discussion on how to pay for it.

Yes, the stock market sure is great. With COVID-19 raging, Trump is claiming credit for his administration’s outstanding response. Let us be clear, all he did was give the pharmaceutical industry our grandchildren’s credit cards and said whatever it takes. Their money drove that effort, not Trump. Now President-elect Biden has started by promising trillions of new spending with those same credit cards and the comforting phrase “pay their fair share.” The stock market has a new champion.

Richard Ginn

Bucksport