Watching the last days of this legislative session unfold in Augusta seemed, at least to an observer, the way democracy should work — by compromising and putting urgent needs above political posturing. Even passing the budget lacked much controversy.

Democrats have held the majority in state government for four years, and they have delivered big time for all of us. We won: a mechanism for holding utility companies accountable to the people for their quality and cost of service; a $50 million investment in energy efficiency upgrades that will create hundreds of good-paying jobs and reduce residential heating costs; $40 million invested in the Land for Maine’s Future program that conserves waterfront, farms, forests and other spaces that attract record numbers of visitors to Maine, and much more.

And despite great loss, Maine weathered the pandemic with some of the lowest fatalities and the highest vaccination rates in the country.

Maybe the most refreshing part of four years of Democratic leadership though was what didn’t happen. No obscene messages left by the governor on a state senator’s answering machine, no musing about bombing newspapers, and no withholding of voter-approved bonds for senior housing or the Land for Maine’s Future program.

It gives me hope to live in a state where steady progress towards shared prosperity is still possible, where our human rights still matter and where the intense vitriol that’s commonplace in many other states is absent. Let’s stick with what’s working for all of us.


Mary Hobson


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