This week will be the beginning of what could be an interest couple of weeks as the parties in the Maine Legislature have taken their feud up a notch. Coming up is the state budget for the next year and if we get one could be a fun battle to watch.
A couple of "children" began this round last week when the Democrats refused to confirm a commission appointment of Rep. Gov. Paul LePage. Then the Governor retaliated by refusing to sign the election result document of a Democratic Biddeford lady to keep her from being sworn in to the office she clearly won in a district election last week.
My optimistic hopes were also raised last week before being shot down by the latest conflict. Bipartisan support was shown for a couple of measures that will make Maine a little better place. They are awaiting the Governor's signature.
One of the bills was an act that will allow terminally ill people, along with their physician's approval, to seek out experimental drugs to help them live a little longer, or perhaps even cure them. Not everyone who has been told time was getting less neither wants nor is ready to die. The slow FDA in Washington takes years to approve new medicine because of the testing process. Much of it has already passed in European countries and at least partially passed in the United States. But until that medicine gets the final O.K., people can't use it. The new law in Maine would allow use of such drugs if requested by a patient.
Another legislative bill passed as part of a comprehensive reform bill that will allow Maine National Guard members to have their tuition in waived in the state colleges and the University system. It will help many Mainers become better prepared for the work force.
A third bill, this one sent to the governor, will protect gun owners in subsidized housing. Many such housing project prohibit keeping guns on the premises.
But then came the end of the week. On Thursday, a Legislative committee refused to confirm an appointment by the governor of a man that even Democrats had said was well-qualified for the post. The governor retaliated the next day by refusing to allow a citizen newly elected Democrat to be sworn in to the Maine Senate.
Tit for tat? Sort of, I guess, but it does seem like a childless course of action to me, and you all know I'm a supporter, usually, of Gov. LePage. The Dems said the governor was playing politics as usual; the governor said about the same thing about the Dems.
And now we're told the Republicans in the Legislature will do all they can do to block any partisan budget that the Democrats may pass in the coming weeks that do not include Republican input. That, probably, is in retaliation for the Democrats blocking just about everything the governor attempts.
This is a short session taking place in the second year of the Legislature and time is simply running out. It could lead to a government shutdown, but I'd bet that never happens. If I lost my bet though, I think the state just might be better off without the Government. There are a few services, though, I think even I'd feel sorry about our people really needing so probably it wouldn't be a total shutdown.
In any case, an interesting month is now ahead of us. A lot of people have simply got to start thinking about the good of Maine over their own very misplaced priorities. As I've said before, that which is best is usually somewhere between the positions of the two parties and only the working together can solutions be found.