Just as candidates make promises to their constituents and owe it to the voters to fulfill those promises, the groups and political parties who opposed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights have an obligation to give the taxpayers of Maine the relief they promised as an alternative to the recent referendum proposal.
A key component of an alternative was legislation called Joint Rule 219, which would have required a two-thirds vote, instead of a simple majority vote, in order for the state Legislature to override any of the spending restrictions imposed by LD 1. If the rules change had passed, the principles and spending controls of LD 1 (Gov. Baldacci’s alleged “historic” tax relief for the people of Maine) would still be safe.
Unfortunately for the people of Maine, Democrats in the House decided to shoot down Joint Rule 219. The vote was along party lines, 84-60.
That leaves the door wide open for further uncontrolled government spending at a time when the state owes millions of dollars, businesses are struggling, and many residents simply cannot afford the oppressive property tax rates.
Many original TABOR supporters were swayed to vote against Question 1 because of the promises of the Maine Education Association and the Maine Municipal Association – the promise that change was coming.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that, after an election year full of promises, it’s business as usual in Augusta.
Jonathan Browher, Lewiston