Governor LePage Weekly Radio Address [AUDIO]
Here is Governor LePage's weekly radio address for Aug. 3, 2013 entitled, "We Can Only Move Maine Forward If We Work Together" Audio & text are below.
Text of Governor's Address:
While the media was sensationalizing the number of bills I vetoed, I was busy signing 341 bills into law, as well as 28 resolves. I allowed another 177 bills to go into law unsigned. There are many new laws on the books. And, more importantly, there are fixes to many bad laws.
Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.
Although I signed hundreds of bills, we need to keep working to lower taxes, reduce heating costs, decrease electricity rates and reform welfare. And there are a couple of issues I need to explain in more detail.
For instance, you may have heard of the so-called “Internet sales tax.” This is not a new tax. In fact, few Mainers realize that you are legally required to pay this tax every year on your annual tax return.
That’s right. Under the current law, you are supposed to add up all of your online purchases, report it and pay the tax. This system hurts the local Maine businesses that employ your neighbors and provide you with the goods and services you need.
When you shop online, you don’t see this cost in the purchase price. However, you do see it when you go to the local store. That is unfair.
It creates an advantage for big, out-of-state companies that hurt local businesses and local jobs. Complying with this tax is basically a clerical issue. It will level the playing field between online giants and local retailers. I do not favor new taxes, and I did not support a new tax.
Then there are two bills that I vetoed for technical purposes. But I am not done working on them.
The first is the so-called “drone” bill. I am 100 percent in favor of protecting our privacy and keeping our freedoms. In fact, this is a hallmark of our administration. However, the bill went too far and would create unnecessary litigation.
That’s why I will sign an Executive Order to establish guidelines that regulate the use of drones.
I am committed to protecting Mainers from unlawful searches and protecting our freedoms. I will be talking with experts this summer to make this bill as good as it can be.
Finally, there is the so-called “raw milk” bill. I do believe Mainers should be able to sell and buy food products that they choose to consume. However, there was a minor problem with this bill.
Specifically, I believe that the consumer should have the freedom to examine a farm before the milk is purchased. By selling it at the farm, a consumer can see the operation and make an informed choice. Nothing is hidden.
Therefore, I am going to introduce a new “raw milk” bill in January to do just that. I believe Mainers should have the right to buy this milk within full view of the farm where it was produced. Arming a consumer with information is power.
There were other large issues this session. The Democrats delayed and tried to stop my efforts to pay back the hospitals. But they came back to the table and agreed with my plan to pay this half-a-billion-dollar welfare debt I inherited.
After all the debate, it was a breakthrough for bipartisanship in the Capitol. I appreciate their willingness to support common-sense governance.
My signing and allowing 518 bills to become law, as well as the Democrats joining me in my effort to pay our hospitals back, is an indication we can work—and need to work—together in the future. Maine can only move forward if we work together.