Crockett explains Medicaid vote
To the Editor:
Recently the Sun Journal ran an article on Medicaid Expansion (LD 1066), which created more questions than answers surrounding my vote on the issue. I was one of 6 Republicans to vote to accept $900 million in federal Medicaid funds because I felt it was the right decision for Mainers.
On the afternoon of June 19, –the Legislature’s statutory adjournment date – I voted to override the Governor’s veto. It takes two-thirds of those “present and voting” to override a governor’s veto. Regrettably, we fell short by two votes. During that roll-call vote, the Speaker attempted to open and close voting in less than a minute, with legislators literally running to get to their seats in time to vote.
After losing the vote, a motion to table and reconsider was brought forward. This was inappropriate given that it was the last day of session. Without enough votes to override the veto, the only means of winning at that point was to vote quickly when opposition was out of the Chamber or had left for the evening, thus limiting the opportunity for the opposition to vote. I informed leadership for both parties, as well as the media, I would not be an accomplice to this brand of shady politics and would vote to sustain the previous actions of the House, despite wanting the legislation. Consequently, because of the outrage of various members, the next vote was held around 7 p.m. and the previous actions were sustained.
I understand people’s passion for this issue. While it is unfortunate we lost, we can never let passion supersede the principles of fairness and due process. We teach our children to be good sportsmen, and when they lose, to do so with integrity. As leaders, we have an obligation to do the same, remembering the rule of law often times dictates that the process is more important than the outcome. When the process is undermined, the very voice of the people is snuffed out and their chance at a fair shot cut short. My final vote on June 19, was out of a desire for a fair process.