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Enough is Enough Lewiston will pay for decisions made in Augusta

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Decisions in Augusta have consequences. Lewiston is now going to pay for those decisions.

With the passage of LD 369, Lewiston is going to have to come up with God knows how many thousands of dollars in order to pay for the federal government’s refusal to do their job and remove our uninvited guests, known as asylum seekers, from our city, from our state and from our country.

This situation is the result of the Legislature’s approval of a bill to give taxpayer-funded benefits to asylum seekers and Governor LePage’s opinion that the Legislature had adjourned, so he believed he had more time to veto the bill—an opinion that was unanimously shot down by the Supreme Judicial Court. With his veto now null and void, the bill has become law.

However, there is a way the Governor and our federal delegation, Senator Susan Collins, Senator
Angus King and Representative Bruce Poliquin, could minimize or possibly eliminate the financial burden placed on Lewiston taxpayers as a result of this bill’s passage.

If they could secure for Lewiston state and federal funds that will allow us to remove condemned and decrepit buildings from our tax rolls, the tax revenues lost by creating an empty lot will be considerably less than the taxes that would have to be generated to pay assistance to our unwanted guests.

But as disappointed as I am with the Governor’s failure to veto the bill, I am also angry with our state legislative delegation. Did they put up any type of fight against this bill? State Sen. Nate Libby and Rep. Michel Lajoie voted on the side of Lewiston property taxpayers casting a “no” vote.

Our other legislative representatives, State Sen. Peggy Rotundo, Rep. Jared Golden and Rep. Heidi Brooks voted “yes” along with their Southern Maine leadership in support of the bill.
Two of these representatives live in apartments and don’t directly pay property taxes.

We also have the Southern Maine country club Republicans, led by State Sen. Amy Volk of Scarborough. She is one of the Republican RINOs that helped rewrite LD 369, changing it from removing asylum seekers from the General Assistance rolls to now guaranteeing them two years of Lewiston taxpayer assistance.

When you live in a place like Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Freeport or Yarmouth, it’s easy to be charitable and caring to our uninvited guests
when you don’t have to bear any financial burden. It is sad to live in a state where many of our legislators
place helping non-citizens above helping our state’s needy.

On weekends, the grocery lines are full of non-citizens with carts full of food being paid for by taxpayers. In contrast, we have our fixed income elderly citizens in the express line with three or four items counting pennies to pay for them. Why aren’t we giving them more help?

Then we have our severely mentally ill and handicapped residents. They are truly society’s needy, yet instead of supporting their needs, we continually underfund them. But, of course, they can’t vote.

The way our native-born citizens are treated is practically criminal. When you go to the polls on Election Day, hold those responsible for
this treatment accountable and mete out a
proper punishment: replace them.

 

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