AUGUSTA – House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette (R-Newport) said in a statement on Tuesday that Democrats were jeopardizing the $100 million transportation bond by maneuvering to politically weaken Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
“Democrats are proving once again that they are willing to jeopardize the passage of a jobs initiative that enjoys broad, bipartisan support just so that they can get their way on contentious spending initiatives,” said Fredette.
“Every Mainer knows that our roads need repairs and that our state needs jobs. The problem is, over the years, our roads and bridges have fallen victim to a liberal spending addiction that crowds out funding for some of the most basic functions of government, including maintenance of our transportation infrastructure,” he said. “The Democrats’ desperation in holding transportation funding and hospital payment hostage to massive spending initiatives like welfare expansion and countless non-essential bonds proves that their addiction to spending is out of control.”
But it’s not just a spending addiction that’s driving the Democrats’ obstructionism, he said.
He said Democrats’ legislative actions revolve around the 2014 election and the possibility of installing a Democratic governor.
“All year, they have been playing a frenzied political game to take credit for everything that happens in Augusta,” he said, citing the hospital repayment bill as an example.”They tried to obstruct it with claims of unconstitutionality, with their own hastily-assembled version of the plan, and finally with welfare expansion add-ons.”
“Now, the governor has proposed a revolutionary new transportation bond that, for once, isn’t rife with political handouts, prioritizes economic development, and completes all projects start-to-finish,” he said. “This bond is ready to go. It’s had a public hearing and has been sitting on the table for four months. Now Democrats are jeopardizing its passage by insisting on rolling it together with their spending wish list.”
The $100 million bond has $76 million in road and bridge repair.
Of course, LePage has been sitting on a $48 million transportation bond from June 2010 and a $51 million bond from last November. Like any general obligation bonds, these two had to be approved by the voters.
Rep. Fredette: You weakened him, as well, by not voting to sustain his veto of the budget!