RELEASE: Six conservative groups demand a better budget deal
AUGUSTA – Leaders of six major fiscally conservative groups joined together today to urge the Maine Senate to stand firm against any budget agreement that does not include income tax cuts and welfare reform. The five leaders include:
- Matthew Gagnon, Chief Executive Officer, Maine Heritage Policy Center
- Carol Weston, State Director, Americans for Prosperity Maine
- Mary Adams, Director, Maine Center-Right Coalition
- Robert Connor, Chair, Maine Taxpayers United
- Susan Dench, Founder and President, Informed Women’s Network
- Gordon Colby, Grassroots activist
“The people of Maine spoke clearly last November,” said Matthew Gagnon. “They demand a smaller, more limited government that lives within its means, they demand spending discipline, and they demand wholesale reform to Maine’s broken welfare system. It is unconscionable that any deal would be considered that did not achieve those critical policy goals.”
“We appreciate the need to come together to craft a budget,” said Carol Weston, “but there are fundamental principles that must be included in any deal. A constitutional amendment requiring future legislatures to achieve a two-thirds majority to raise taxes instead of tax reform now is not an acceptable concession, especially when one considers tax increases historically always get two thirds support. We demand real tax reform, spending reform, and welfare reform.”
“This is a historic chance for the people of Maine to finally see real tax relief,” said Mary Adams. “Allowing liberal lawmakers to preserve the status quo, and extracting nothing in return is simply unacceptable. We urge Senate Republicans to insist on tax relief.”
“Lower taxes and welfare reform are essential to making a more prosperous Maine,” said Robert Connor. “Taking a step toward eliminating the income tax will help ignite economic growth, and make Maine a more attractive state for working people. The people of Maine voted for this. The Maine Senate, recognizing this, has already declared its intention to eliminate the income tax. It is time to work toward that goal.”
Mainers have been fighting for — and voting for — real tax relief for decades. While it is important and positive to see the sales tax preserved as-is, the conservative movement spent 2014 devoting volunteer hours, hard work and financial resources toward electing leaders who would fight for tax relief. Keeping the tax code unchanged is unacceptable. The leaders of these six groups urge Senate Republicans to insist on real tax relief.
These organizations have one simple message: there can be no budget deal that does not include income tax cuts, spending discipline, and welfare reform. Lawmakers who vote for such a budget are defying the will of the people of Maine.
A copy of the letter sent to Maine Senate Republicans can be found below.
Members of the press may send inquiries to:
- Matthew Gagnon, Chief Executive Officer, Maine Heritage Policy Center, 272.9460, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carol Weston, State Director, Americans for Prosperity Maine, 592.8835, email@example.com
- Mary Adams, Director, Maine Center-Right Coalition, 924-3835, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Robert Connor, Chair, Maine Taxpayers United, 649-9977, email@example.com
- Susan Dench, Founder and President, Informed Women’s Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gordon Colby, Activist, 542.0045, email@example.com