AUGUSTA – The Maine State House grounds might be quiet right now, but starting Wednesday, January 8th it’s the next regular legislative session, and Democrats and Republicans are talking about what they want to see accomplished.
Senate Democrats said they’re looking to build on what they did in the first session, highlighting the cost of healthcare and dental care.
“We did a lot to bring some constraints in prescription drug rules, but there’s more work that we need to do there to make healthcare more affordable for Maine families,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, (D – Arrowsic).
Making daily life better for young families is something echoed by Republicans.
“Our total school age population has decreased 29 percent in the last 50 years, that’s K-12. That’s not healthy for any economy,” said Senate Minority Leader Dana Dow, (R – Waldoboro).
The senate minority leader said more needs to be done to help small businesses in order to get people to stay in Maine.
“We can’t be 44th in business climate in the United States we’ve got to have a better reputation. We need major tax reform, we need changes in some business regulations,” said Sen. Dow.
Republicans also point to spending and nursing home closures as issues they want to get under control.
Back to the majority leadership, Sen. Vitelli said she wants to work on broadband and environmental issues. She’s also working on a bill to make retirement savings more accessible.
“There are folks in the state that just don’t have access to a 401(k) and as great as Social Security is it’s really not sufficient to support people in their later years,” she said.
When the gavel drops next week, it begins the second regular session of the 129th legislature.