Sen. Brakey Applauds Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Auburn, ME -- Today, State Senator Eric Brakey announces his support for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, commending the President for selecting a jurist with an impeccable record of upholding constitutional civil liberties, regardless of partisan politics.

"Neil Gorsuch's record proves his unwavering commitment to our Constitution; as such, he is an excellent pick to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. I am strongly convinced --- by his legal opinions defending the 4th Amendment and critiquing the over-criminalization in our criminal justice system --- Judge Gorsuch understands that our Constitution exists to protect the rights and freedoms of the little guy, not the convenience and agendas of big government.

"I urge Senator Angus King to put the American people ahead of his partisan obligations to the Senate Democrat Caucus by supporting a swift vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch, allowing him to begin his important work as our next U.S. Supreme Court Justice."

Eric Brakey is the State Senator for District 20 in the Maine Senate, which includes his residence of Auburn as well as New Gloucester, Poland, Minot, and Mechanic Falls. He serves as the Senate Chairman for the Health and Human Services Committee. He was first elected to the Maine Senate in 2014 and won re-election in 2016.

Senator Eric Brakey Receives Record Number of Votes in Senate District 20 Seat

AUBURN - State Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin), who was recently elected to serve his second term in Maine Senate District 20, received a record 13,045 votes in his district. Senator Brakey won his bid for re-election in a 24 point landslide with 62% of the vote, increasing his 2014 margin of victory by 3%.

It is uncommon for a Republican candidate not only to garner such a large share of votes but also to win this district in a presidential election year. In the past two presidential election years (2008 and 2012), the incumbent republican senator was defeated. Senator Brakey is the first Republican to win this district with more than 60% of the vote since Peter Whitmore in 1988 and Olympia Snowe in 1976.

Senator Eric Brakey was also the top vote-getter of all items on the ballot in his district this year. He won the City of Auburn with 58% of the vote, which was also won by Democrat congressional candidate Emily Cain with 51% of the vote. Overall, Senator Brakey polled 9 points ahead of all State House and congressional Republican candidates, suggesting strong crossover support from Democrat voters in the district.

“Our victory would have never been possible without the support of each person who supported our campaign for ‘Maine People, not Politics’,” Senator Brakey said. “Thank you to the people of Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls for putting your renewed faith in me to continue serving as your State Senator in Augusta.”

Senator Eric Brakey Applauds Steps Toward Funding for New Edward Little High School

AUBURN - State Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) is pleased to report that the Maine Department of Education is expected to recommend that construction of a new Edward Little High School be added to the “approved” list of school construction projects. This approval is the first in a series of steps that will qualify the project for state funds.

“This has really been a team effort,” said Senator Eric Brakey of Auburn. “Working with Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, Superintendent Katy Grondin, and other members of Auburn's legislative delegation, we've made the case for state support to construct a new Edward Little High School.  I am very excited to see that goal is today taking the first steps to become a reality. I am confident that this project will set an example by bringing regional resources together and creating new opportunities for our students.”

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Senator Eric Brakey Helps Constituents Reclaim Over Half a Million Dollars

Augusta – With the assistance of Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) the citizens of Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls have recouped over $500,000 worth of property from the state of Maine since 2015.  

“Any day is a good day when I can help people recover their own money from state government,” said Senator Brakey. “Facilitating the return of unclaimed property to my constituents is easily one of the best duties of serving in the Senate, and I will continue working to help connect folks with any money the State Treasurer is holding for them.”

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Welfare Reform is Working for Maine

June 8, 2016
Sen. Eric Brakey
Originally printed in the New Auburn News

Welfare reform is working for Maine.

When I was first elected two years ago to represent the people of Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls in the Maine Senate, voters made one thing very clear: they wanted welfare reform.  Since that time, as Senate Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, I have made welfare reform my top legislative priority.

While there is much work still to be done, we have made strides forward in the Legislature.  We finally passed legislation to ban the use of welfare dollars for purchases of alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets. We also increased penalties for those who commit fraud to receive General Assistance welfare benefits.

Perhaps one of the clearest examples of how welfare reform is improving the lives of Maine people was a change to the SNAP program (commonly known as food stamps), requiring able-bodied adults without dependents, receiving benefits longer than three months, to work, volunteer or participate in job training.  Liberals in the Legislature fought to repeal these work requirements, calling them harsh and unrealistic, but today, the results speak for themselves.

In the first three months after work requirements went into effect, nearly 80 percent of able-bodied adults without dependents were dropped from the program for refusal to participate in work, volunteering or job training, with caseloads falling from 13,332 recipients in December 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

But the most important result is what took place one year after these work requirements took effect: the average income of these able-bodied adults (both those who continued to qualify for the SNAP program and those who did not) increased by 114 percent, far outpacing income growth for Mainers at-large. These work requirements gave these able-bodied adults the push they needed to re-enter the work force, work more hours or find jobs with higher wages.

As Forbes Magazine has reported, “Thanks to this higher income, poverty rates have declined and now, working able-bodied adults are earning more than enough on average to bring them above the federal poverty line. Better still, the higher wages more than offset lost benefits, meaning those leaving welfare were better off than when they were trapped in government dependency. After Maine implemented its reforms, these able-bodied adults saw their incomes go up by a combined $18 million per year.”

The SNAP work requirement is effective public policy. Government should aid those in need, but welfare should be a hand-up, not a  hand-out. Able-bodied, non-elderly adults who receive cash, food or housing assistance from taxpayers should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of these programs. Giving welfare to those who refuse to take steps to help themselves is unfair to taxpayers and fosters a harmful dependence among welfare recipients.

As your State Senator, I will continue working to reform Maine’s welfare programs, focusing efforts on empowering independence, not enabling dependence.

Brakey announces re-election bid for state Senate

AUBURN — In his monthly radio appearance on Lewiston-Auburn station Z105.5, Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, announced the launch of his 2016 re-election campaign.

“My priority in the Senate is always to help my constituents back home while advocating for limited government, fiscal responsibility and personal freedom from Augusta,” Brakey said in a prepared statement.

“I look forward to continuing that work for two more years, and I am not taking a single vote for granted," Brakey said. "This summer and fall, I will be out in the community earning the support of the people of Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls. I look forward to visiting with the citizens of District 20, and am grateful for the bipartisan outpouring of support I have already heard.”

Brakey was first elected in 2014, when he received a majority of votes in all five municipalities in District 20, making him the only Republican challenger to win a majority in Auburn since Olympia Snowe in 1976.

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Sen. Brakey Launches Re-Election Campaign

Friend --

I want you to be among the first to know that I've made it official.

Today, I am launching my campaign for re-election to the Maine Senate. 

My mission is to continue fighting for principles of liberty, limited government and personal responsibility for all Maine people.

But I can't do it without your help.

Can I count on you to chip in $50, $35, $25---or any amount you can afford---so I can continue fighting for liberty?

This morning, I joined Matt Boutwell on Z105.5's "The Breakfast Club" to make my official announcement.  While there, we spoke about many of the accomplishments we have achieved over the last two years.  

To listen to my announcement, click here or on the image below.

Z101.5 Interview.
When I think back on the last two years and what we have accomplished, I couldn't be more proud. While there are too many to list them all individually, here are a few accomplishments I am especially proud of:

  • Welfare Reform - As Chairman for the Health and Human Services Committee, I negotiated and passed legislation to finally prohibit the use of Maine welfare dollars for the purchase of alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets and other inappropriate purchases.  I also sponsored and passed legislation to increase penalties for those caught defrauding municipal General Assistance programs.

  • Constitutional Carry - I couldn't be more proud to have led the charge to restore our 2nd Amendment rights as law-abiding citizens, making Maine the nation's 6th Constitutional Carry state.

  • Right to Try - I led the successful effort to push back against unconstitutional federal regulations, allowing terminally ill patients the "right to try" experimental medicines and treatments that have not completed the FDA approval process. With Governor LePage signing my bill into law, Maine has become the nation's 25th Right to Try state and the first in New England.

  • Opposing Corporate Welfare - Standing up for Maine taxpayers, I led the fight against a $50 million corporate loan program that would transfer money from Maine taxpayers to big, out-of-state businesses. Maine jobs will be created once we embrace free markets, not corporate welfare.

  • Lowering Taxes - We successfully lowered Maine’s income tax and gave tax cuts to businesses that invest here in Maine.  I am also proud to say that I voted against every effort to raise taxes on Maine people.

While you and I have accomplished much over these last two years, our work is far from over.

I need your help to stay in the fight.

Will you please make an investment today of $50, $35 or $25 so that I can continue fighting for our beliefs and principles in the Maine Senate?

This campaign is about "Maine People, not Politics."

I didn't run for office to serve party leaders or special interests.  I didn't run to play it safe or hide from difficult issues.  I certainly didn't run to tell Maine people how to live their lives or spend the fruits of their labor.

I ran for office two years ago because I believe in something.  

I believe in the Maine people.  I believe in the importance of taking a stand on difficult issues.  I believe in the ideals of personal liberty and limited government.

That's why I ran for State Senate two years ago, and it couldn't be more true today.

Augusta hasn't changed me, but we have certainly changed Augusta.

I hope you will join me and be part of that change.

If you believe, like me, that the fight for limited government and personal liberty is important, then please take a moment today and put those beliefs into action.

Make an investment of $50, $35 or $25 in our campaign today, so that I can keep fighting for our ideals in Augusta.

Thank you for all your support in the campaign ahead.

For Liberty,
Sen. Eric Brakey
Maine Senate #20
Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls

A Proud Mother

Lucinda Peaco Brakey

Dear Friend --

As Mother’s Day approaches I couldn’t be more proud of my son, Eric.

When our children are born, we all believe they are going to change the world.

With his work in the Maine Senate, my son Eric is doing exactly that.

Now, Eric is preparing for his re-election campaign, and I would like to ask for your help.

Eric’s campaign has already raised nearly $18,000, but we are only just over halfway to our goal.

Please send a contribution today---$100, $50 or $25---to help my son, Eric, and the people of Maine

Eric is working hard every day to prepare for this re-election effort.

Both my husband and I have given the maximum $750 donation to help our son win re-election and continue serving the people of Maine.

Eric is serving Maine with honor, common sense and compassion.

But Eric needs your help to win. We MUST reach our total goal of $30,000 by June to be successful.

There is an important filing deadline approaching near the end of May and the more funds Eric has raised, the more momentum we will have going into the summer.

I ask you to please, take a moment today and send what you can to help Eric move toward victory.

Lucinda P. Brakey

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Sen. Brakey's "Right To Try" Bill Signed by Governor

Augusta – Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) today applauded Governor LePage for signing legislation to allow terminally ill patients in Maine the option of using treatments that have not yet been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. 

“I am grateful Governor LePage signed right-to-try into law today, following its bipartisan passage in the Senate and House,” said Senator Brakey. “When someone is terminally ill, they are likely out of traditional options or close to it. With right-to-try as the law of the land patients have the ability to work with their doctors to determine if there is a treatment option available that may fit their needs. At that far stage of an illness, patients, doctors, and families should be making decisions – not the government.”  

LD 180, “An Act To Allow Terminally Ill Patients To Choose To Use Experimental Treatments,” was sponsored by Representative Thomas Longstaff (D-Waterville). Senator Brakey was the lead co-sponsor on the bill, having submitted the same legislation, and as chair of the Health and Human Services committee was heavily involved in shepherding the measure through the legislative process.

The law will go into effect ninety days after the Legislature officially adjourns for the year.

General Assistance Reform Law Goes Into Effect Today

Augusta – Beginning today, municipalities are able to deny benefits to people who are not making a good faith effort to pay back fraudulently received benefits. Previously, people only have had to wait 120 days and they are then free to receive benefits again – regardless of past fraud.

The change in law is due to the passage of LD 722, “An Act To Strengthen Penalties for Abuse of General Assistance,” sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin).

“I am pleased that this measure had bipartisan support in both chambers and is now law in Maine,” said Senator Brakey. “I think we can all agree that any form of welfare benefit is best used if it goes to those who truly need it, not those who fraudulently represent their needs.”

The measure is one of several welfare reform bills that passed the Republican Senate, but is the only one to make through the Democrat-controlled House as well.