In November 2016, the people of Maine voted to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and tie subsequent increases to the rate of inflation, or the Consumer Price Index. Time and time again, this law has been targeted by those who think they know better than the voters.

Those making tipped wages have already been left out to dry, with the repeal of the increases to match the tipped wage to the standard minimum wage. This defeated effort to roll back the minimum wage is just another move in a long line of undoing the will of the voters. A cabal of State House Republicans, following the lead of their governor and Ken Fredette, House Republican leader, shut down the state government in July 2017 to repeal the 3 percent surcharge on households bringing in over $200,000, meant to fund our schools. The Democrats had already conceded to repealing the voter initiative, so the official reason Republicans gave was their opposition to the lodging tax.

We need to put these days of overturning the will of the voters behind us. The voters of Maine are not stupid. This was put to the test this past November, when wealthy interests tried to get a casino in York County. It was defeated soundly, while at the same time, MaineCare expansion was passed by the voters. Mainers know when they are being sold a false bill of goods. We know when there are outside groups trying to hijack our democratic process.

I believe it is time to have better representation for Sanford and Springvale in the Maine House of Representatives in Augusta. This is why I will do everything I can to ensure that Democrat Jeremy Mele is the next representative for District 19.

Brett Vars

Springvale