Floor Speech of Senator Chris Johnson (Lincoln) on LD1816

Posted on February 20, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Senate floor speech of newly sworn in Senator Chris Johnson, delivered during Feb. 16 evening session regarding emergency bill LD1816, “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Streamline and Prioritize Core Government Services Task Force for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2012 and June 30, 2013 and To Make Certain Other Allocations and Appropriations and Changes to the Law Necessary to the Operation of State Government”.

Watch here.

Despite the fact that 12 Democrats and 1 GOP Senator (Jon Courtney) voted against the bill, Maine GOP were quick to pounce specifically on Johnson:

New Senator Votes Against Local Hospitals
On his first day in office Senator Chris Johnson voted against local hospitals

Augusta, Maine – Today was an historic day for Maine’s newest state senator, Senator Chris Johnson. In his first day as a State Senator, Chris Johnson cast the deciding vote that will cut all MaineCare funding to local medical care providers and the vulnerable population they serve. Tonight, the Maine Legislature failed to pass a budget that would have provided funding for the MaineCare program for the remainder of State Fiscal Year ’12. Senator Johnson voted against this measure.

Prior to the Senate’s morning session Senator Johnson was sworn into office and by nightfall he had cast his first important vote as a Senator. The bill being considered by the Maine Senate was LD 1816, the supplemental budget to fund the Department of Health and Human Services. Without passing this important legislation the state will be forced to stop paying medical providers, including Miles Hospital in Damariscotta and Saint Andrews in Boothbay, and will put the most vulnerable of Maine’s citizens at risk.

A bipartisan amendment was agreed to by legislative leaders from the House Republicans, House Democrats, and Senate Republicans along with the Governor to improve the bill and ensure passage of LD 1816 and avoid catastrophic consequences. In the amendment was additional money to Maine’s hospitals to help ensure they can continue to provide services to the people of Maine. With this improved bill before him, Senator Johnson found himself with a choice; support the bill to guarantee services will continue to be provided to Maine citizens or oppose it, Senator Johnson chose to oppose the agreement on ideological reasons.

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