Editor’s notice: This can be a draft of Janet Mills’ speech that was shared with the media previous to her inaugural address.
Madam Chief Justice, Mr. President, Madam Speaker, members of the 129th Legislature, members of the state and federal judiciary, former Governors, Tribal chiefs, members of the army, buddies, and household, honored visitors, and people four,346 associates of mine on Fb!
I additionally draw your consideration to the empty seat within the army part which honors and acknowledges all Maine Service members at present deployed.
It’s with humility and gratitude that I stand earlier than you this night.
I welcome you to a ceremony that represents each a change within the particular person who occupies the workplace of the Chief Government and the peaceable passing of the torch of progress.
There are numerous on this state who’re “the unsung” as poet Wes McNair has referred to as them.
They’re the firefighters and academics, the techies and lodge staff, the farmers and fishermen, the waiters and loggers, and the barbers and millworkers of our cities.
They’re our pals, our neighbors. They’re immigrants. Laborers. Veterans. Individuals with disabilities. Individuals from away. Individuals we depend on every single day. And lots of who depend on us.
This governorship is about them — the women and men of Maine.
This yr, for the primary time in our state’s 198-year lengthy historical past, after 74 males from York, Cumberland, Penobscot, lastly you might have elected a governor… from Franklin County!
I’m from the foothills of Maine, which bred Margaret Chase Smith and Carrie Stevens.
And Cornelia Crosby — referred to as Fly Rod Crosby — who turned Maine’s first registered information in 1897, and who famously stated, “I would rather fish any day than go to heaven.”
In current weeks I’ve acquired many letters. Eight-year previous Lucy wrote, “Now I feel like I could become governor someday!”
The morning after the election, one mom left a word in her daughter’s lunchbox, “Janet Mills won last night!” it stated. “She is the FIRST woman to be the governor in Maine EVER! Think about all the things you can do! love, Mom.”
I do take into consideration all of the issues they will do, together with their sensible brothers, uncles and fathers.
However really, this yr’s milestone will in the future be commonplace, like consuming milk or consuming toast. When future generations learn of today, they may marvel what the fuss was about.
Typically our tradition strikes slowly within the stream of change.
Streams, just like the individuals of Maine, change course every now and then to seek out the easiest way ahead.
Many days I awake to see the mist rising from the Sandy River because it steers its course to the Kennebec, the winter’s breath unveiling a brand new day in my hometown, a brand new day on this state.
Then I hear the acquainted sounds of chickadees, church chimes and Jake brakes.
That is house in Maine.
The Sandy River pours out of Rangeley Lake, meanders by means of city, and positive factors momentum on its option to the Kennebec.
There it joins different tributaries to develop into a strong waterway, a loud house to eagles and salmon, stripers and sturgeon, on its course to Merrymeeting Bay.
The Sandy River connects my city to these up and downstream.
We turn out to be one with the remainder of Maine, linked by water, woods, and land.
Former Governor Joshua Chamberlain described this hyperlink again in 1876:
“This great and wide sea…these beaches and bays and harbors…these things invite the brave, the noble…Thought comes here and dwells…They will love the land, and the land will give back strength.”
The Wabanaki individuals know this bond. Their knowledge was handed alongside by individuals like Joseph Attean, legendary Governor of the Penobscot nation, a courageous, open-hearted and forbearing particular person, who guided Henry David Thoreau in his first moose hunt, via the huge and primitive wilderness to Chesuncook Lake.
The plaque that overlooks Attean Lake — named for him – reads,
“Rise free from care, before the dawn, and seek adventure.”
As we speak we rise, a brand new day earlier than us, and search journey.
However at the moment our connection to the land is endangered.
After 80 years of research warning that carbon emissions are destroying our surroundings, the hazard is now at our doorstep.
The Gulf of Maine is warming quicker than virtually another saltwater physique on the earth, driving our lobsters up the coast.
Our coastal waters are rising acidic; temperatures are fluctuating, and sea ranges are rising, endangering our shellfish business.
Our forests are much less appropriate for spruce and fir and extra appropriate for ticks.
Local weather change is threatening our jobs, damaging our well being and attacking our historic relationship to the land and sea.
Tonight I say, sufficient. Sufficient with research, speak, and debate. It’s time to act!
Our new Administration will embrace clear power; change our modes of transportation; weatherize houses and companies, and attain a objective of 50 % of our electrical energy coming from Maine renewable assets.
These actions will create good-paying jobs, protect our surroundings, and welcome younger individuals to construct a inexperienced future right here in Maine.
And, by the best way, if you drive by the Blaine Home within the subsequent few weeks, search for the brand new photo voltaic panels that we’re going to set up!
We’d like a wholesome surroundings. And we’d like wholesome individuals.
Maine voters agree – which is why they voted to broaden Medicaid. Hospitals, nurses, docs and companies all agree as nicely.
Well being care is for everybody, not simply the nicely to do.
It’s for the small companies struggling to pay excessive medical insurance payments.
It’s for the household getting ready to chapter due to one sickness, accident or medical mishap.
It’s for the group that takes up collections in a jar on the nook retailer to pay for a neighbor’s medical prices.
It’s for individuals like Patty.
My good friend Patty was a vibrant, clever and charitable lady, an athlete, a mom of three sensible youngsters, beloved by all… and uninsured.
She died needlessly from breast most cancers, a illness that would have been recognized early, handled, and cured.
Patty’s story is just not distinctive. Lots of you have got buddies like Patty. It’s unacceptable.
Within the reminiscence of Patty and hundreds of others, our new Administration will increase Medicaid – and pay for it sustainably; work to make sure that each individual has main care; management the price of medical insurance; and rein in the price of prescribed drugs.
A serious a part of the well being care disaster is the opioid epidemic.
Historical past will observe that we’ve got deserted a whole era of individuals to this preventable illness.
The attract of opiates can fill a gap within the human coronary heart brought on by loneliness, stress, and hopelessness.
Whilst I converse, there’s somebody inside the sound of my voice about to eat a lethal drug, jeopardizing themselves, their pals, their households, and their communities.
If that individual is listening, please know that I–and lots of others — are right here for you.
You aren’t alone.
We’ll confront this illness collectively.
We’ll supply a serving to hand, not move judgment.
We would like you to outlive, to succeed.
We need to welcome you residence once more.
It’s time for motion — Narcan extensively obtainable, treatment assisted remedy, restoration coaches. This stuff might be a actuality.
And in unhappy reminiscence of the 418 Maine individuals who misplaced their lives to drug overdose in 2017, our Administration will create a Director of Opiate Response, an individual who will marshal the collective energy and assets of state authorities to stem the tide of this epidemic
A part of that effort can be to completely interact with individuals in our personal communities — to “take it outdoors,” as one in every of our favourite retailers places it, renewing a therapeutic bond we’ve got with the land.
Along with defending the medical well being of our individuals, we may even advance the financial well being of our individuals.
To employers, entrepreneurs and innovators, with new concepts for forest merchandise, aquaculture, recreation, renewables, and all the things in between, I say, “You are welcome here!”
We’ll develop a world-class workforce.
Fewer than half of Maine adults now maintain a postsecondary credential – both a university diploma or knowledgeable certification. But two out of three jobs require such credentials.
This imbalance is why we now have – on the similar time —employers saying they will’t discover staff, and staff saying that they’re caught in dead-end jobs.
Schooling is the important thing to serving to our individuals obtain their full potential.
Attracting gifted younger individuals to maneuver right here and make Maine their house can be a prime precedence of my Administration.
Any further, an indication will greet all these arriving in our state on the Kittery line.
It can say, fairly merely: “Welcome Home.”
I’ll work with the brand new Legislature to realize one of the best schooling for our individuals, from preschool via school and past, starting with full and truthful funding for faculties, together with our Profession and Technical Facilities.
And we’ll deal with our academics with the respect and dignity they deserve.
There isn’t any larger precedence than our youngsters.
And with so many younger individuals at Lengthy Creek, with youngsters ready for important psychological well being providers, and a few even dropping their lives to violence in their very own houses, it’s excessive time we put youngsters’s well being and security first.
I’ll begin with one easy step — calling collectively the Youngsters’s Cupboard for the primary time in years, to deal with these points.
These are the challenges we find out about. However we should even be ready for the sudden.
We all know that a recession is feasible within the subsequent few years.
We all know that sometime, robots, drones, driverless automobiles, broadband, and Three-D printing, will radically alter the best way Maine individuals stay, study, and work.
We have to be prepared.
I made my very own predictions again on the flip of the century.
Within the yr 1999, I wrote down in a journal an inventory of what I assumed would change and what I assumed would keep the identical within the new millennium.
I predicted that in 50 years there would not be the next issues: money, paper luggage, spare tires, lint, mud, or panty hose.
However in 50 years I stated there would doubtless nonetheless be: Stephen King bestsellers, Baxter State Park, individuals from away, and … Strom Thurmond.
As you’ll be able to see, I can’t depend on myself to foretell the longer term.
That’s why I’m enlisting assist.
I’m following the recommendation of author Kurt Vonnegut, who stated “Every government ought to have a Department of the Future.”
And so my administration will create an Workplace of Innovation and the Future.
This workplace will dive into main coverage challenges, foster collaboration and suggest concrete, workable options.
Now right here’s how I need to govern.
We’re all on this collectively. All of us need Maine to have an attractive surroundings; comfortable individuals; and affluent communities.
Although all of us agree on the objective, we differ about find out how to get there.
We’re Republicans, Greens, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and lots of extra apart from.
That is one thing I do know properly myself.
I imply, each Mills household reunion is sort of a assembly of the United Nations – everybody has an opinion and needs a microphone.
However these variations are what make my household robust. They make each household robust. They make Maine robust.
Our variety is a advantage – one which we should always harness to advance good public debate and good public coverage.
We welcome the voices of newcomers to the general public dialog — the younger, immigrants, individuals of various cultures, individuals of shade, individuals of various orientations.
All are necessary members of the Maine household.
My city has all the time had a commons, the place everyone might graze their sheep and cattle, promote produce and the place we might take pleasure in a live performance on a summer time night.
Now our state should discover its personal widespread floor, broaden our horizons and turn into one Maine once more.
From the tree streets of Lewiston to the rolling fields of the County, from the Daring Coast to the Peak of Land, from Cross Rock in Allagash to Portland’s Promenades, our individuals will as soon as once more discover unity of objective.
We’ll convey again Maine’s custom of civil discourse, expressed by Governor Israel Washburn, a good friend of Abraham Lincoln’s, in his 1861 inaugural:
“Waving aside petty schemes and unseemly wrangles…let us rise, if we can, to the height of the great argument which duty and patriotism so eloquently address to us.”
You recognize, I’ve fallen in love a couple of occasions in my life. And there are these on this viewers whom I’ve beloved for lengthy and for years together with family and friends and a few newly beloved.
However it’s the bond all of us share for our state, for youngsters eager for safety, for newcomers looking for to belong, for all of those that really feel left behind, who lengthy for respect and dignity.
One factor all of us love is our nice state.
And when a household, a group, a state consider in one another, assist one another, love one another, nice issues can occur.
Maine individuals have greatness inside them.
Maine is our residence.
We’re related by the rivers and the land, the forests and the mountains.
We’re related by love.
We’re strengthened by our connections.
We’re one Maine, undivided, one household from Calais to Bethel, from York to Fort Kent.
We meet this night, free from care, the heirs of Joseph Attean, Joshua Chamberlain, Fly Rod Crosby, and Israel Washburn.
Tomorrow we rise earlier than the daybreak — just like the mist over the Sandy River — and search journey, with hope in our hearts and love in our souls for the brand-new day.
To all of you, and to the individuals of Maine, I say, Welcome Residence.