The state shouldn't cut health care services for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Mainers while at the same time allowing new tax cuts that mainly benefit wealthy individuals and corporations. That was the message heard today from more than 50 lawmakers who have signed on to a plan for what they believe is a more responsible solution to the state budget than the massive cuts proposed by Governor LePage.

"There's a better way to deal with the budget and to safeguard the health of the people of Maine," said Senator Justin Alfond, speaking at a press conference today in the State House Hall of Flags. "Not only are the proposed cuts morally wrong, many of them also make no fiscal sense. They're going to cost us all much more in the long run."

The legislators were joined at the capitol by 175 members of the Maine People's Alliance, who traveled from across the state to spend the day talking to their own Senators and Representatives and urging them not to place the entire burden of the budget on those who can least afford it.

MPA members also delivered almost 4,000 personal messages written by those who would be affected by the proposed MaineCare cuts, health care professionals and others advocating for a responsible budget solution that makes sure the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share and invests in preventative care and improvements that save lives and cost less in the long run.

"The personal stories contained in these messages are heartbreaking. They illustrate the overwhelming human cost of these proposed cuts," said Representative Mark Eves. "If these changes go through, thousands of Mainers will lose a vital lifeline. For many, it will be a blow from which it will be difficult or impossible to recover."

One of those who will feel the impact of the proposed cuts is Melissa Dunn of Lewiston. Not long ago, debilitating anxiety and fear brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder after repeated sexual assault would have made it difficult for Dunn to speak in public, but today she addressed those gathered in the Hall of Flags and made the case for a fair budget.

"Because of MaineCare, I was able to see a psychologist, and I was able, slowly, to stop reliving the trauma and begin living my life," said Dunn. "I can't tell you how important it is to be able to talk to a doctor when I've just suffered a flashback or a nightmare. To know they're there to help you when you need it most. We shouldn't strip that away from so many vulnerable people."

View some of the delivered messages here: (PDF)

Legislators Who Have Already Endorsed a Responsible Solution
(more information at )

Sen. Justin Alfond
Sen. Phil Bartlett
Rep. Paulette Beaudoin
Rep. Roberta Beavers
Rep. Henry Beck
Rep. Devin Beliveau
Rep. Seth Berry
Rep. Anna Blodgett
Rep. Andrea Boland
Rep. Brian Bolduc
Sen. Joseph Brannigan
Rep. Sheryl Briggs
Rep. Mark Bryant
Rep. Alan Casavant
Rep. Ralph Chapman
Rep. Benjamin Chipman
Sen. Margaret Craven
Rep. James Dill
Sen. Cynthia Dill
Rep. Mark Dion
Rep. Timothy Driscoll
Rep. Mark Eves
Rep. Elspeth Flemings
Rep. Paul Gilbert
Rep. Adam Goode
Rep. Denise Harlow
Rep. Jon Hinck
Rep. Robert Hunt
Rep. Melissa Innes
Sen. Troy Jackson
Sen. Chris Johnson
Rep. Bryan Kaenrath
Rep. Peter Kent
Rep. Chuck Kruger
Rep. Walter Kumiega
Rep. Thomas Longstaff
Rep. W. MacDonald
Rep. Maeghan Maloney
Rep. Edward Mazurek
Rep. Jeff McCabe
Rep. Wayne Mitchell
Rep. Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig
Rep. Terry Morrison
Rep. Andrew O'Brien
Sen. John Patrick
Rep. Ann Peoples
Rep. Charles Priest
Rep. Helen Rankin
Rep. Megan Rochelo
Rep. Diane Russell
Rep. Linda Sanborn
Rep. Peter Stuckey
Rep. Charles Theriault
Rep. John Tuttle
Rep. Joan Welsh