The State House glows in an evening fog in Augusta on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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Recently, we’ve witnessed our Legislature pass a historic budget — historic for negative reasons. One party forces through a budget and ignores the other party’s voice; one party divides our state between a population that is heard in our government and another that is left feeling disenfranchised.

This is no lone incident: right at the start of the 131st Legislature, LD 1’s half-billion dollars in spending was set to be rushed through without a public hearing, if not for a few brave senators. In the depths of lockdowns and mandates brought on by COVID, the Legislature’s refusal to rein in what I believe were authoritarian excesses of the executive branch left many feeling abandoned — this constituent included. Only a few legislators were willing to stand and serve as an example, to face punishment for not following draconian policies.

We once again face the will of one party being forced on hundreds of thousands. Once again, a few legislators, a minority of a minority, firmly choose never to compromise — but they are not and must not be alone. All across this state, the people of Maine are speaking up for life, voicing their opposition at school board meetings, and journeying to Augusta to pack public hearings.

Even when one party rules, the game’s not over. Mainers must keep up the momentum and make their voices heard. I pray my neighbors from Kittery to Fort Kent would ask themselves: “How can I stand with my fellow Mainers today?”

Nathan Gould