AUGUSTA — A recent editorial in the Portland Press Herald (Our View, May 17) suggested that Gov. LePage and House Republicans, led by House Republican Leader Ken Fredette, should come “back into session so that it can finish its work – all of it.” With all due respect, the editorial simply misses the mark, which should come as no shock considering that the Editorial Board is nothing more than an extension of the Maine Democratic Party.

“Sustainability” – now, there’s a word that doesn’t miss the mark. In the world of environmental science, it means “supporting long-term ecological balance.” In Augusta, “long-term balance” has become an oxymoron.

In 2010, Maine was in a financial free fall. There was no money in the rainy day fund; state revenues were crashing; Medicaid enrollment was 350,000 strong with a continuing string of supplemental budgets to fund over-utilizations and costs; we owed the hospitals $750 million; and the statewide unemployment rate was nearly 9 percent, with much higher rates of unemployment in the rim counties of Washington, Piscataquis and Aroostook.

The Press Herald editorial conveniently doesn’t seem to mention any of that.

No mention that today Maine people have nearly $200 million in their rainy day fund.

No mention that Republicans paid the hospitals in full the $750 million owed to them by the last expansion of Medicaid.

No mention that the Legislature, in a bipartisan fashion, made Medicaid eligibility rules more strict, thereby reducing the current number of Mainers on Medicaid by 20 percent, with no supplemental budgets cannibalizing funding of other departments like the Department of Marine Resources or the Department of Agriculture and Conservation.

No mention that three income tax cuts later, revenues continue to grow while Maine was still recently ranked third highest in the nation in overall tax burden by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Finally, no mention that Maine is at near full employment with historically low unemployment; what’s more, wages and salaries are finally growing, because of the market and not government-forced minimum-wage hikes that will further slow our economic growth in the future.

So, yes, House Republicans are ready to get back to work. But not under the pretenses set by Democrats of expanding Medicaid with no funding source to pay for it, needlessly spending more taxpayer dollars, and, yes, even trying to further erode the rights of gun owners with a late-session attempt to allow judges to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

Simply show us the bills. Let’s run them one at a time. They can live or die on their own merits. Maine House Republicans have repeatedly and very publicly stated our support of funding wage increases for direct-care workers, nursing homes, jails and tax reform.

The Portland Press Herald fails to call out or even mention House Speaker Sara Gideon’s public statements admitting her game-playing and use of intentional delay tactics to force an extension rather than run these bills, which have universal agreement. The Press Herald also neglects to mention the speaker’s warning organizations not to work with Republicans on an extension to get these priorities taken care of.

Remember: Democrats don’t have a majority in the House, only a plurality; they don’t control the Republican-led Senate, and we have a Republican governor.

Elections have consequences. Over the past eight years, Republicans have changed the course of Maine history by righting the ship of financial sustainability. We aren’t giving up just yet. House Republicans have stood strong and proud with Gov. LePage in writing Maine’s miracle turnaround story. So, Speaker Gideon, let’s get back to work. The time for your silly games is over. It’s past time we finish the people’s business.

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