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Democratic Party Platform 1948

Augusta, April 10. (AP) ─

A 12-point platform calling for benefits for teachers, labor and the veteran was prepared by the Resolutions Committee today for the Democratic State Convention.

It demanded defeat in referendum of the Barlow Bill to outlaw closed and union shop and jurisdictional and sympathy strikes.

Another plank said that health and welfare programs must be “based on the principle that people are more important than dollars and that actual need rather than an arbitrary formula must determine the amount of assistance granted.”

It recommended:

“1. Eliminate the requirement of financial affidavits as a condition to receiving old age assistance.

“2. Eliminate the admitted waste and inefficiency within the Department of Health and Welfare.

“3. Increase social security coverage to include qualified and deserving groups not now covered.”

Other points:

Finances

The State’s financial structure should be overhauled with the following objectives in view:

1. Obtain new revenue by eliminating the waste and inefficiency which admittedly exists in State departments.

2. Avoid a general sales tax or any other tax which is not based on ability to pay.

3. Full and complete public hearings on any proposals relating to our tax structure.

4. Avoid the use of emergency powers to deny the people their constitutional right to pass on new taxes.

Education

The State’s education system should be improved along the following lines:

1. Teachers’ salaries should provide an annual minimum salary of $1,800 to attract and retain competent personnel.

2. A satisfactory teacher tenure and retirement program should be enacted.

3. Where feasible school districts should be consolidated and the necessary funds to accomplish this purpose provided.

4. To the extent that the resources of the State are inadequate for the foregoing purposes a program of Federal aid should be supported, administered entirely by State and local authorities.

Labor

Labor and industry are to be commended on their excellent record of cooperation and production, and, to maintain that record, we recommend the following:

1. The Barlow Bill must be overwhelmingly defeated and the so-called anti-closed shop bill repealed.

2. The workmen’s compensation law should be revised to provide benefits adequate under the present high cost of living and to provide realistic definitions of industrial disease and occupational hazards.

Veterans

Maine’s debt to her veterans should be paid in part as follows:

1. Appropriation to the bureau of veterans affairs should be increased to adequately provider for qualified dependents of World War Two, and such other legislature (sic- “legislation”) as qualified vets may ask for.

2. Municipalities should be authorized to promote veterans’ housing at reasonable prices.

Conservation

Maine’s natural resources must be developed and conserved on the basis of the following minimum considerations:

1. An adequate state-wide fire protection and disaster organization should be created with power to enforce the fire laws.

2. A program of reforestation and soil conservation should be supported.

3. Passamaquoddy and other potential hydro-electric resources should be developed.

4. Maine’s fisheries should be protected and developed and free from arbitrary regulations.

Highways

The highway program should be based on the following realistic considerations:

1. Major highways should be constructed on the basis of actual traffic requirements and available revenues.

2. Rural areas should be provided with adequate year-around highway access to their markets.

3. The Maine motorist has reached the limit of his ability to pay gasoline taxes.

State Government

A state constitutional convention should be called to revise and simplify the State Constitution in general and specifically to accomplish the following changes:

1. To provide for bipartisan representation on the Governor’s Council.

2. To provide that all heads of state departments be appointed by and responsible to the executive.

3. To provide for legislative districts which will insure that both parties will be represented in the Legislature in proportion to their actual popular vote.

4. To provide a state election date which will coincide with the National election.

Legislature

Legislative machinery should be revised with the following objectives in view:

1. To insure bipartisan consideration of all legislation in committees.

2. To streamline the cumbersome committee system in order to insure efficient and businesslike handling of the people’s business.

Agriculture

The party’s National farm program should be continued, particularly those measures which place the farmer’s purchasing power in a parity with that of other groups.

Women

The participation of women in public affairs and their representation in public office should be encouraged.

Foreign Policy

In our struggle to strengthen the forces of freedom throughout the world we support continuation of a firm foreign policy, backed by adequate strength, the European Recovery Program, and a reorganization of the United Nations to make it an effective force for peace.

Source: Portland Press Herald newspaper clipping. Maine State Law Library. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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