Legislative Update From Rep. Jeremy Saxton
I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the fall season.
You might recently have read a letter or an opinion column in one of our local papers criticizing my legislative attendance record and calling into question my commitment to representing the people of Phippsburg, West Bath and Harpswell. I wrote a response to the letters, and I wanted to make sure I shared it with all of you:
To the Editor:
In response to the recent letter concerning any time/votes I missed in my role as a state legislator – I fully agree that the people of House District 64 deserve a good representative and an explanation for my 72.1% roll call attendance.
Less than one year ago, I had a heart pacemaker installed after dozens of episodes in which I fainted and my heart stopped beating. This surgery required many follow up appointments with specialists. So, at the beginning of session, I did miss some votes in the House due to medical reasons.
Toward the end of session, bills return to the House for a series of rapid-fire procedural votes. In one day, a legislator could miss dozens of procedural votes due to the pace. I work for my family’s very busy marina and restaurant and I had promised them I would be back full time after the statutory adjournment date of June 19. The legislative session stretched into July and I found myself juggling my legislative work with my work that sustains my family and pays the bills. This is a struggle that I think most people in our region are familiar with.
In fact, after running the kitchen at the restaurant one busy night I received a call from my caucus leader that my vote was needed. I jumped into my car and drove to Augusta at 10:45 p.m. to cast two votes. I was happy to be able to do both jobs that night.
It’s possible that I may never achieve a perfect 100% attendance record, but the trade-off is that I am a real person who has similar challenges as the people I serve. I’m proud to serve in Maine’s citizen legislature and I hope that my constituents know that I will continue to represent them to the best of my ability.
Rep. Jeremy Saxton
House District 64
Please rest assured my commitment to you remains steadfast, and I hope that the quality of my votes and the long hours spent on the Marine Resources Committee untangling some of the state’s most controversial issues will reflect that.
Finally I want to remind you that you can always call or e-mail me any time with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.