2014 Legislative Scorecard

The recent legislative session has made one thing abundantly clear: elections matter.

When Governor Paul LePage won the Maine governorship with a plurality of the votes on Election Day in November, 2010 and Republicans won a small majority in the House and a larger one in the Senate, the political landscape in Maine shifted abruptly.

The new administration and Legislature ushered in a new set of priorities, following a game plan drafted in advance by national right-wing groups and fueled by the energy and anger of the Tea Party backlash.

LePage and his allies have since gone after Maine’s environmental protections, unions, pensions and workplace laws, immigrants, health care protections and fundamental voting rights. In almost every issue area, they’ve taken the side of out-of-state corporations over Maine communities, people and small businesses.

Fortunately, after a concerted grassroots effort, Democrats regained control of both houses of the legislature in 2012, though not by a margin large enough to override a veto. Despite the new majorities, Democratic leaders still faced an uphill battle against Governor LePage and a Republican minority that seem dead-set against governing cooperatively. A number of important pieces of legislation, including an increase in the minimum wage and expanded access to health care for 70,000 Mainers, could not survive LePage’s veto pen and too few Republican legislators were willing to stand up to the Governor and vote to override his vetoes.

The following scorecard of voting records of members of the 126th Maine Legislature showcases a set of bills from some of the issue areas that are most important to the members of the Maine People’s Alliance. Legislators’ overall percentage scores should give a good sense of where they stand not just on the individual issues, but their fundamental values, including where they stand on building strong communities, investing in the future, and advancing fairness, equality, and justice for all Maine people.