Sen. Thomas Martin, a Benton Republican who represents District 25, recently broke the trust of his constituents.

A group of about 40 constituents, myself included, met with Martin last month at the Winslow Library.

We appreciated that he took the time to meet with us and to thoughtfully consider what we had to say about pending legislation, including L.D. 1725, that would weaken unemployment insurance.

We explained the negative impact that L.D. 1725 would have on laid-off workers.

Under L.D. 1725, unemployment benefits would be delayed one week for every week of unused vacation pay on the books when a worker was laid off. We explained that this was unfair because the workers would have earned their vacation time prior to being laid off, and it should have no bearing on their unemployment check. Martin agreed that this was unfair. We thanked him for his support on this issue.

Under pressure from Gov. Paul LePage and business, however, Martin changed his position and voted in committee to support L.D. 1725 and to arbitrarily delay unemployment for some laid-off workers.

Martin gave us his word and then went back on it for political reasons.

I know that our representatives won’t always agree with us, but what I do expect is that they will be honest with us and keep their word.

Kelly Bonnell