As winter takes over, I wanted to write a brief reflection on the 129th Legislature’s first session. From January to June, we processed over 2,000 bills, took hundreds of votes, and passed a bipartisan budget.

But to me, what happens in Augusta is not as important as what is happening in our hometowns, so I also wanted to share some of my reflections on what it’s been like to try and bridge the gap between politics and community.

When I knocked on doors during last year’s campaign, I heard the deep need for expanded health care coverage, lifting up working Maine families, supporting our schools, improving broadband access, property tax relief, and so much more. I am proud to say that the 129th Legislature made real progress toward these goals.

Our work concluded in the morning hours of June 20. We passed a bipartisan budget, which although not perfect came out of negotiation and partnership. It includes unanimous committee support to fund Medicaid expansion, K-12 education, technical education, and increased revenue sharing to reduce property taxes. It also includes funding for climate action, rural broadband, support for our seniors, and more child protective workers.

Although no budget can fund everything, it’s important to see one that reflects the true needs of our community and gets our state back on track. The budget was constructed within our financial means and with money still going into our “Rainy Day” fund.

Now to a more personal reflection. One of my greatest challenges this session was figuring out  how to best communicate with you. We voted on hundreds of bills this session on issues ranging from education and health care to rental car taxes and campaign finance. With every vote, I vote for our community. I do my own research on bills, read testimony from public hearings, and discuss the issue with my colleagues. Most important, I listen to constituents on all sides of the issue. I consume an enormous amount of information to make the best decisions.

Here is where I got frustrated: I wish that I had the time and capacity to explain each vote — to sit down, type out my thinking, post it publicly, and have a conversation. There just weren’t enough hours in the day.

I know that so many of you had questions about bills or were following a specific vote. I answered your questions as they came, honestly and openly. I posted on social media regularly, sent out a newsletter, responded to emails, answered phone calls, and hosted “Coffee with Chloe” every month in Jefferson. But there was still so much more that I wanted to communicate with our community.

That is why I offer this to you: If you’ve heard of a bill or vote that you want to know more about, or if you simply have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I will be honest about why I voted the way that I did or share information around that bill. That’s what our community deserves.

Chloe Maxmin of Nobleboro is in her first term representing District 88 in the Maine House of Representatives. She can be reached at: [email protected] 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.