Saturday, July 01, 2006

Maine Legislators Announce Formation of First-in-the-Country Coalition to End the War in Iraq

A Coalition of 25 Maine Legislators announced on June 27th the formation of a coalition to educate the public on the cost of the war in Iraq in regards to education funding, health care, and homeland security.

Legislators from both the House and Senate discussed their support for U.S. troops and the goals of the coalition, including the need to end the war as safely and efficiently as possible.

Senator Michael Brennan, D-Cumberland, opened the news conference by talking about the need for the coalition.

“The ongoing war in Iraq is affecting Maine’s ability to invest in the future. In order to support the war, nationally, billions of dollars are being diverted by the current administration from spending for education, health care, transportation and homeland security,” said Brennan.

He added, “Cuts in spending for Medicaid have been made and at the same time, other programs such as special education have been under- funded. We believe every effort should be made to support our troops in Iraq. However, it is also time to bring an end to this conflict.”

The purpose of the coalition of Legislators for Ending the War is to:
-Educate the public about how the cost of the war is affecting Maine’s ability to invest in the future, specifically in the areas of health care, veteran services, education, transportation and homeland security;
-Educate our congressional delegation on how the war is affecting Maine, and to urge them to end the war as quickly and safely as possible.
-Develop a network of legislators in Maine and in other states who support similar goals.

Brennan also shared his concern for US troops.
“We support our troops and believe Maine people need to know how spending on the war affects our ability to preserve veteran services, health care for the elderly and disabled, education, homeland security, and other programs important many of us. At the same time, job creation that could have been realized by improving Maine’s transportation infrastructure has been limited by federal cuts.”


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