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“Dirigo.” It’s our State motto, and it means “I lead.”

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

Being your Governor is a privilege and honor. As the CEO of our great State I have led, but only with the help of a great team.

We get things done, like paying Maine’s hospitals and lowering your taxes. We have cracked down on welfare fraud, and we are fixing the broken system by implementing real welfare reform. We improved the State’s credit rating, added millions to the Rainy Day Fund and cut government waste.

Perhaps the most important action we have taken is helping our seniors by finding money for our nursing homes. When Democrat leadership failed to recognize this funding crisis, I took action.

Being your Governor means I put Mainers needs first. It means tough decisions must be made in order to move forward.

Many liberals claim I do not work with Democrats to get things done in Augusta. However, this is a distortion of the facts. The numbers tell a different story.

Unfortunately, when liberals talk about how uncooperative I am, they don’t mention the more than 1,600 bills that went into law during these four years. Instead, they focus on the negative. The truth is, I do let common-sense laws go into effect, and I do work with our legislature to get things done.

In 2012 when the Democrats took over the Legislature, more than 700 bills were passed and went into law. It was 724 total and Democrats sponsored sixty-seven percent of those bills. On the other hand, I submitted 50 governor’s bills. The legislature killed 27 of them, and one was modified so much by the time it reached my desk, I vetoed it.

The Democratic-led legislature killed more than 50 percent of my bills, but I only vetoed about 10 percent of the legislature’s bills. That’s fifty percent to my ten percent, and they say working with me is hard.

When I veto a bill, there is good reason and there are what I like to call three veto buckets:

1) Unfunded mandates. This is the Legislature’s way of not paying for something and forcing Maine taxpayers to pick up the tab; 2) Tax increases. Taxes are never an option until wasteful government spending is gone. We aren’t there yet; and 3) Resolves, code name for “I don’t want to make a tough decision so let’s study it”. This is the kind of bill lawmakers put up when they don’t want to make tough decisions. Philosopher William James once said, “When you have to make a choice and you don't make it, that itself is a choice.”

Sometimes making a decision isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean it is wrong. We all must be able to work together, but someone also has to be willing to lead and make difficult decisions. Together, our administration will continue to lead the way – one decision at a time to move Maine in the right direction.

Thank you for listening.

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