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Republican Party Platform 1966

by Action of
REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION
Augusta, Maine April 23, 1966

We herewith submit to the citizens of Maine the platform of the Republican Party.

We believe it is better to present many proposals rather than few, specifics rather than generalities. It is our belief that this is a sound outline for legislative action. We believe that the interests of Maine citizens can best be advanced by balancing progress with prudence, innovation with responsibility, to offer to all an opportunity to lead a rewarding and meaningful life.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

We believe in America and dedicate our efforts to strengthen our Country, economically, intellectually and morally. We believe that we should promote and defend freedom throughout the Nation and stand united behind our Country in its quest to extend freedom throughout the world.

We urge adoption by the Federal Government of a plan under which a portion of the money collected by the Federal Income Tax would be refunded to the states on a no-strings basis and in addition to present grant-in-aid programs.

We support the United Nations as an international instrument for the promo­tion of peace and the advancement of freedom to all men.

We call for a strong stand by Federal Government for reduction of import duties on poultry shipped to the European Common Market.

We pledge ourselves to work for lower freight rates on grain to aid Agricul­ture and the poultry industry.

We urge continuance of the sugar beet allotment for Maine in order to give the infant sugar beet industry the opportunity to become established.

We urge action by Congressional delegation to speed a determination of the feasibility of utilizing fish meal for human consumption.

Recognizing the advantages of a strong National Guard and all Reserve Com­ponents of the Regular Armed Services in time of conflict and in event of disas­ter or nuclear attack, we urge continued Congressional support for this important element of our Armed Forces.

We urge that prompt and efficient measures be taken to halt the outflow of U.S. gold and to restore a favorable balance of payments.

We urge the use of every proper governmental means to curb the growing trend of inflation.

We propose passage of amendments to Federal laws and regulations so as to enable Maine potato and apple growers and forest and mining industries to obtain sufficient labor force from Canada where there is not an available supply of domestic labor.

We urge our Congressional Delegation and the Governor to continue their efforts in behalf of the Dickey-Lincoln School project.

We urge complete removal of all Federal controls on residual oil.

We favor extension of the territorial limit to twelve miles at sea granting reciprocal rights with respect to Canadian vessels as are now enjoyed by United States vessels in Canadian waters.

We support continued control of Employment Security legislation by the States and oppose preemption of this field by the Federal Government.

We oppose reductions in Federal assistance to school lunch program.

We support the concept of Federal Income Tax credits to families sending children to institutions of higher learning.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Maine’s wilderness lakes and streams, its mountains, rivers and coastline offer unique rewards to all who would enjoy them. We must develop without ex­ploiting these resources, preserve without isolating them.

We urge passage of the bond issue supporting the Allagash Wilderness Water­way.

We urge the adoption of a system of classification of land use to avoid honkeytonk roadside development in wilderness areas.

We advocate the establishment of greenbelt areas adjacent to highways and waterways in which cutting practices and slash would be subject to regulation.

We urge placing lakes as well as rivers and streams under the jurisdiction of the Water Improvement Commission for more comprehensive control of water pollution.

We propose giving the Water Improvement Commission the authority to set the classification on all waters under its jurisdiction.

We urge the Water Improvement Commission to exert every effort to the end that within five years Prestile Stream will in fact be restored to B Classifi­cation.

We urge more adequate enforcement procedures for pollution violations and appropriation of sufficient funds to the Water Improvement Commission to enable it to have its own legal staff and enforcement personnel.

We favor a comprehensive study of water and shoreline resources of State.

Provide for a minimum size of shore lots on all shore front developments and require approval of sewerage arrangements of a plan of such lots prior to public sale.

STATE GOVERNMENT

We believe that government is an instrument of the people, to serve and assist them in those areas where the individual cannot serve himself. As an in­strument of the people, we believe the State government should be cognizant of the needs, desires and aspirations of all our citizens.

We favor and encourage development by either private or public corporations which will result in lower rates for electricity for Maine citizens and industry without increasing the burden of taxation upon our people.

We propose a study of the long range development of the Capitol area with the aim of preparing a master plan of future buildings to provide a harmonious setting for the State House.

Increase authority of the trustees of the State Retirement Fund to permit them to invest up to thirty percent in common stocks.

Appropriate necessary funds so that those afflicted with mental illness and tuberculosis may become eligible for Old Age Assistance.

Increase the State contribution to regional mental health centers from fifty percent to seventy-five percent.

Provide for more uniform opening and closing hours for polling places.

Appropriate sufficient funds to implement the Federal Medicare Act.

In order to provide full information to communities, we urge expansion of services of the Federal-State coordinator.

We urge support for the Constitutional amendment establishing the State Senate reapportionment plan.

Establish a student internship program under which college students would work in various State offices during their vacations.

We urge a professional study of the liquor laws with the aim of making them more understandable.

Eliminate the party box on ballots so that each voter would be required to indicate each candidate for whom his vote should count.

Change the June primary election to September.

Raise to a more realistic level the hospital board rate on cases paid by the State.

We urge expansion of homemakers service provided by the State to maintain the home where illness or social disaster would otherwise break up the unity of the home.

Advocate the establishment of time and one-half pay for all overtime work for over forty hours per week for all State employees.

Advocate amendment of the Constitution to remove the requirements of a referendum on bond issues unless petitions are filed objecting thereto bearing a number of signatures equal to one percent of the ballots cast in the last gubernatorial election.

In conformity with the practice in private industry, we recommend the estab­lishment of extra compensation for night time work for State employees.

Establish a flat mileage allowance for State employees of nine cents per mile.

With the advent of the benefits of the Medicare program, we propose a study of the feasibility of giving State employees the option of joining the Social Security system.

Establish a five-day work week for employees of the Maine State Police.

We propose a study of the feasibility of reducing the work week for all State employees to forty hours without loss in weekly pay.

Recognizing the fact that the new criminal rules and the new District Courts are imposing severe burdens on the county attorney’s offices, we urge a study of the feasibility of a district attorney system.

We favor a revision of the laws in order to centralize in the Attorney General authority and responsibility for homicide investigation and prosecution.

We favor establishing qualifications for medical examiners and for pathol­ogists who are to perform medico-legal autopsies.

We favor the appointment of judges of probate, making it a full time office, and establishing a system comparable to the present District Court system.

With the changing developments in the laws regarding search and seizure and admissibility of confessions, we recognize the need for more highly trained police officers. We urge the re-establishment of a municipal police training school operated by the State Police so that every local police officer may have an opportunity to receive regular training.

We urge the construction of a third institution on the State Hospital grounds at Augusta for the purpose of reception and evaluation of convicted persons before sentence, treatment of convicts from other institutions and for custody and treatment of those found not guilty by reason of insanity.

We favor a revision of the small loan laws with a view toward requiring full disclosure of interest rates and other charges, eliminating possible sources of abuse on the part of lenders and including loans of over $2,500.00 within their scope.

We recognize that the Indians of our State have gone from sovereign nations to dependent communities in a span of two hundred years, that until recently all that has been offered the Indian is a welfare program. We applaud the appoint­ment of a career professional as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. We urge that the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes be given the necessary governmental and economic assistance to enable them to have a choice and a voice as to their future role in our society.

LABOR

We urge a continuation of the favorable climate of labor-management rela­tions that has existed in Maine. We favor legislation that will enable labor to continue to play a dynamic role in Maine’s future economic growth.

We urge that workmen’s compensation be extended to include an employee who works for an employer of one or more workers.

We urge that employment security coverage be extended to include an employee who works for an employer of one or more workers.

Favor revising the minimum wage to encourage employment of high school or college students at seasonal jobs.

Advocate increasing the present minimum wage to $1.40 per hour, to be raised to $1.50 per hour in the second year of the biennium.

TRANSPORTATION

We recognize the unique geographical location of our State and we are aware that improved transportation can be the key to Maine’s needs, and a powerful stimulant to our State’s economy.

We favor creation of a Transportation Coordination Committee consisting of representatives from the Highway Department, Aeronautics Commission, Public Utilities Commission, and a public member for the purpose of coordinating and planning regulatory and administrative activities in the field of Transportation.

We urge that Maine seek inclusion in the concept of modern high-speed rail transportation now under study by the Federal Government.

We recognize the growing importance of air travel and support expansion of the authority of the Aeronautics Commission to meet the needs of the air age.

Recommend development of a long-range plan for airport construction and improvement of air service.

Encourage establishment of direct air service to Canada.

Encourage expansion of bus transportation to provide better service to com­munities on existing routes and to serve communities not now having the benefit of bus service.

We support the referendum question on the airport construction bond issue.

Recommend extension of Route 95 as a four-lane highway to Fort Kent.

Recommend construction of an East-West highway.

Recommend construction of an improved Scenic Coastal Route Eastward from Bath extending along the general line of Route 1 to Calais.

We urge the study of the feasibility of separating motor vehicle functions from the Office of Secretary of State.

Increase the authority of courts to suspend motor vehicle operator’s license upon conviction by lengthening the present maximum of ten days to six months.

SEA AND SHORE FISHERIES

If our coastal communities are to realize their potential role in Maine’s economy efforts must be made to develop new products, new markets, new methods and techniques in the fishery industry. To carry out these goals, we advance the following planks:

We support the Sea and Shore Fisheries Department research efforts and favor utilization in part at least of the Ira C. Darling Center of South Bristol for some applied marine research.

We favor the promotion of a magazine-type publication by the Sea and Shore Fisheries Department similar to the present Fish and Game publication to keep the interested public aware of Departmental activities.

We encourage the cooperation of all public and private interests in marine resources with our sister states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts and the Maritime Provinces.

We recommend additional appropriations for research in the propagation of inshore lobsters and its relationship to the offshore lobster population.

We favor the establishment of “Sea Grant Colleges” by the Federal Govern­ment to contribute educationally to our fishing industry and to marine research and to oceanography.

We recommend expansion of the Maine Industrial Building Authority to in­clude loans for fishing vessels.

We urge increased research in the area of shrimp fishery with attention to their habitat and canning and marketing problems with the aim of further diver­sifying our coastal economy.

INDUSTRIAL AND RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

We reaffirm our Party’s traditional dedication to the improvement and ex­pansion of Maine’s industrial and recreational capacities. We believe that the interests of each can benefit both. We should bend our efforts to capitalize on Maine’s unique advantages in each of these areas.

We favor an accelerated program of expansion of State parks with attention paid to areas not now served by a State park.

Establish a division of the Park Commission to provide advice and technical assistance to persons building or expanding camping, tenting areas, and coordi­nating the efforts of other agencies engaged in this activity.

We urge an accelerated program of construction of picnic and scenic areas adjacent to our highways.

We urge the establishment of a State program of acquisition and preservation of historical sites.

We urge an accelerated program of developing access sites and public land­ings on great ponds and other waters, and publication of a list and map showing the location of these sites.

We favor an increased appropriation for the Geological Division of the Department of Economic Development in order to effectively meet the expanding needs of the mining industry for basic data and feasibility reports.

We urge a continued effort by the appropriate agencies to pursue the possi­bility of holding the 1976 Olympics in Maine.

EDUCATION

Our most valuable asset is our young people. Every effort must be made to provide a program of education that will equip our youth to meet the challenges of modern living. A sound and forward looking education from the primary school through higher education is a vital factor in Maine’s future growth and develop­ment. We believe that the financial resources of the State should be enlisted to the extent that all youth of school age wherever they may reside in Maine shall be assured of quality education.

To accomplish these objectives, we endorse the following programs and principles:

That the financial obligations to towns , cities and school administrative districts as set forth in current legislation be fulfilled and be increased as necessary to relieve the mounting burden of taxation on real estate.

Believing in the equalization of school support, we approve the principle of the uniform tax effort and propose that the local effort be reduced from the present twenty to eighteen mills.

We recommend an increase in the foundation program allowance per pupil from the present $255.00 to $275.00.

We recommend support of Maine’s State Colleges adequate to insure a supply of well-qualified teachers for Maine schools.

We recommend additional funds be provided as necessary to upgrade the qua­lity of education in our post-secondary technical and vocational institutes.

We urge that the concept of area vocational schools at secondary level as an adjunct to the high schools of the State be encouraged both for the educational advantages inherent in this type of program and as a deterrent to the drop-out problem at secondary level. We endorse the recommendation of the State Depart­ment of Education that at least $500,000 be made available during the biennium for an expansion of the program to provide at least four secondary vocational school centers.

We favor school reorganization within the framework of the school adminis­trative district law as an economy measure and to improve school programs. As these reorganizations are carried out, we recommend that consideration be given to the problem of those cities and towns that, because of disproportionate valua­tion per pupil, find it disadvantageous to join school administrative districts. We urge that some method may be devised that will permit such district reorgani­zation without reducing state financial assistance to the area and without work­ing undue hardship on the taxpayers of any unit. At this stage we do not urge or support any legislation that would require municipalities in the State to become members of school administrative districts.

We recognize the invaluable contributions to the education of Maine youth by private secondary schools and offer encouragement to these fine institutions to continue their vital role. It is hoped that these schools that may serve as secondary education centers for school administrative districts may recognize the desirability of permitting such sending areas a voice in their policies and practices.

We urge increased financial support to the University of Maine to permit an increasing number of Maine youth to enjoy the advantages of higher education. We endorse the announced intention of University officials to direct their efforts toward improving and strengthening the quality of University education through an expanded program of research and an upgraded salary schedule that will permit the recruitment and retention of increasingly competent personnel.

We look forward to the report and recommendations of the Advisory Commission for Higher Education Study as providing guidelines for most effectively utilizing our higher education facilities in Maine, both public and private.

We vigorously support the concept of equal opportunity in higher education based upon an increased emphasis on the commuter college branches of the University of Maine.

We applaud the progress made in the areas of special education for physical­ly and mentally handicapped children and recommend increased support of this essential work. We endorse the recommendation of the State Department of Educa­tion that an increase of $350,000 be provided to meet the subsidy needs for the next biennium.

We favor a more realistic minimum salary schedule for teachers more nearly approximating actual salaries paid teachers in Maine.

We recommend that the instructional program at the Maine Maritime Academy be upgraded and that increased appropriation be provided to increase the level of teachers’ salaries.

We favor providing matching funds where necessary, so that Maine’s public schools and institutions of higher learning may take advantage of desirable Federal assistance programs.

We urge that the State of Maine associate itself with the National Compact for Education in order that Maine may benefit from a mutual exchange of ideas and services among the fifty states.

We support the establishment of a Student Loan program for first year stu­dents that will provide State guaranteed loans to needy and deserving young people in Maine desiring to pursue a program of post secondary education.

We recommend that the appropriations for the State College scholarship pro­gram be increased from the present $50,000 to $75,000 to reflect the impact of expanded enrollments and educational costs.

We support the referendum question approving a bond issue of $4,800,000 for the construction of a Maine State Cultural Building to provide facilities for housing the Maine State Archives, Maine State Library and Maine State Museum .

TAXATION

We recognize that all governmental services must be paid for by the taxpayer and decry the fiscal irresponsibility evident in the depletion of the unappropriated surplus by the opposition majority in the past Legislative Session. We do not favor deficit spending for current programs and support legislation to raise the revenues required for these programs by additional taxation.

MUNICIPAL PROBLEMS

The cities and towns in Maine have been caught between the increased costs of services and the fixed base of real property taxation. The result has been real property tax levels which have tended to discourage building expansion and imposed hardships on many taxpayers especially those living on fixed incomes. We propose that the State relieve some of this burden by assuming a greater share of the cost of some of these services by means similar to reducing the contribution of municipalities under the Uniform Tax Effort concept. We favor additional re­lief to the towns through programs such as:

Complete elimination of the municipalities 18% contribution to costs of the Aid to Dependent Children program.

A more realistic contribution to snow removal costs of municipalities.

Increased State financial support of costs of municipal highway construction and maintenance costs.

The Convention in addition adopted the following joint resolution.

RESOLVED: That the Maine Republican State Convention of 1966 urges adoption of the Constitutional Amendment proposed by Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois to authorize the States to apportion one branch of their Legislatures on other basis than solely by population if so voted in a referendum by their citizens.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention endorse the other Constitu­tional Amendment proposed by Senator Dirksen to permit Bible reading and prayer on a purely voluntary basis in the public schools.

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