As a member of the Regulatory Fairness and Reform Committee, I toured the entire State and heard from thousands of businesses. In a bi-partisan fashion, this committee crafted LD 1 to address a multitude of concerns such as reducing red tape, streamlining applications, shortening review periods, and having a business advocate. This was done to create jobs by encouraging new businesses to locate to Maine and to help existing businesses succeed.
I also sponsored legislation to attract more venture capital into Maine to help businesses expand. I currently support a transportation and research/development bond package to further stimulate the economy. I do not feel that helping businesses succeed means sacrificing the environment or diminishing worker’s rights.
Everyone needs to come to the table with an open mind and work together to stimulate the Maine economy.
We need to train the next generation for the new jobs being created. Maine has thousands of jobs being unfilled in high tech and specialized manufacturing industries due to lack of qualified applicants. That is why I have been a strong advocate for funding and expanding programs in the Community College System.
Maine companies are now working with these colleges and investing their own money into designing classroom programs to train students for the jobs they offer. We need to invest in education and make sure graduating students are prepared for higher education.
Change in Augusta will not come about by sending new faces into the same old system, we need to reform the way government does business.
Over the last eight years, I sponsored or supported numerous bills for reform. One was to stop legislators, like my opponent, from double-dipping by getting MCEA funds and having a PAC on the side to raise money from lobbyists and special interests. Another was to put limits on donations to PAC’s.
Maine is the only state in New England and one of only 12 states in the nation that does not put a cap on the amount of PAC contributions. I tried to create a more transparent, efficient and accountable legislature that would save taxpayers $15 million per budget.
I have advocated for reforms for lobbyists and less bills being submitted. This matters because of the influence over proposed legislation created by lobbyists and special interest groups that contribute money.
Rep. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, led the effort to raise $50,000 to create the silver coins and a bronze plaque that hangs in the Hall of Flags at the State House. Since last year, more than 1,000 of the state's approximately 10,000 female veterans have been recognized in ceremonies across the state. Valentino said the intent of the effort is two-fold.
"It's about recognizing women and getting them the services they need," she said, noting that there is no comprehensive list of women who are veterans. "So many of the women we've talked to in the past few years didn't even know they were a veteran."