ELLSWORTH — State Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) has announced that he will be seeking re-election to his fourth term representing District 137 in the Maine House of Representatives.
In making the announcement, Lockman had the following message for his constituents:
“It is an honor to serve as the representative for the people of District 137.
My bride Debbie and I have lived and worked and raised our kids and grandkids in rural eastern Maine since we were married 46 years ago. We know how important it is to attract good-paying jobs to small-town Maine for the next generation of Maine families.
One of the reasons I’m running for re-election is to finish the work I began in my first term.
When I arrived as a freshman legislator at the Statehouse, Maine state government was a deadbeat debtor. We owed three quarters of a billion dollars to Maine hospitals for unpaid Medicaid bills. Previous legislatures had foolishly expanded medical welfare to include able-bodied young adults with no children. As a result, elderly and disabled Maine people for whom the program was intended were shoved aside and consigned to the notorious ‘waitlists.’ But the state still couldn’t pay its bills because so many non-elderly, non-disabled adults signed up for free healthcare with no co-pays and no deductibles. For the better part of the decade before I was elected to the House, medical welfare for the able-bodied cannibalized the rest of the state budget.
In my first term, Governor LePage took the bull by the horns and proposed paying off the hospital debt with revenue bonds from the state’s wholesale liquor contract. As a freshman legislator, I was shocked at the petty partisan opposition that erupted. For the entire six-month session, the majority party dragged its feet and threw up roadblocks to paying off the hospital debt. Finally, at the very end of the session, the partisanship evaporated, and we passed the Governor’s plan unanimously.
It was a real eye-opening experience for me. I was proud to be a vocal advocate for paying off the debt, and calling out the obstructionists who were more interested in scoring political points than doing the right thing.
My objective is to always put Mainers first, and that’s why I have fought so hard to fully fund the notorious Medicaid waitlists on behalf of Maine’s most vulnerable citizens. Many of these people have lived here and worked here and paid taxes here all their lives. They deserve better than being forced to wait for needed in-home services, while the Legislature spends scarce resources on non-essential programs, including welfare for non-citizens.
I will continue to advocate for imposing fines on any municipality, such as Portland, that harbors illegal immigrants. Maine families who have lost loved ones to violent criminal aliens don’t understand why the Legislature refuses to put a stop to this madness. Not to mention the annual cost of illegal immigration to Maine taxpayers of $40 million a year.
And I’m looking forward, before the current session ends, to seeing enactment of a bill I co-sponsored to redirect state funding to career and vocational education programs in rural school districts.”