I realize our trusty State House is toiling away, wrestling with knotty questions, such as who can use what bathroom, whether the Whoopee Pie deserves higher recognition and passing fireworks legislation, but if legislators could possibly cut into their busy schedule, here are few ideas for actually helping citizens and taxpayers of Maine.

First, prosecute fraud and abuse. Paul Violette’s egregious expense account at the Maine Transportation Authority is a fine example of waste and fraud. Now, how about something more than a hearing, since the facts are in?

Lack of prosecution and giving him a fat pension is a green light to others in a position to bilk the state treasury, and there are some, no doubt. Let’s clean house! Isn’t the Republican speaker the pharmacist who bilked Medicare for a few million?

Second, can we please end the ridiculous give-away of Hollywood Slots money to the harness racing industry? If the sport is so important, let it finance itself. It’s ludicrous the taxpayer should be supporting harness racing.

Third, Maine should consolidate all casinos into one state-owned and state-operated gambling park where anyone who wants to can throw money down the drain. The taxpayers of Maine can reap 100 percent of the profits, instead of giving them away to out-of-state businessmen. Against current laws? Change the laws. We need the income.

Fourth, let’s reduce auto inspections to once every two years. Pretty simple.

Fifth, let Maine set a national example as the first state to set up a statewide single-payer universal care health care system, the solution 65 percent of Americans wanted from Washington in 2009, but were denied by greedy corporations insisting their executives make millions while people with coverage go broke paying for it. We’re sick alright. Sick of a rapacious, bloated system serving only management and stockholders, and the public be damned.

Sixth, let Maine also be an example as we rebuild our rail system statewide. Sell bonds. Use the bailout money. Rail always was, and can be again, the safest, most economic, and most eco-friendly system for moving people and goods. A fast, reliable freight line throughout the state would draw manufacturing here like nothing else. Sorry to awaken you dozing legislators, but please get going on rail.

Seventh, we need to pump a lot more money into education. In the long run it is children with superior science, math and engineering skills who will get the great jobs of the future. Maine schools and teachers and programs need money to turn out highly educated students, not a lackluster bunch hooked on Facebook, computer games, quart bottles of soda and the iPod. Sorry, Paul, but a job at Marden’s doesn’t sound that great.

Eighth, tax junk food. Smokers should not be singled out every time Augusta wants another sin tax. A 50-cent tax on every bag of nuclear chips, every bottle of sugar water (soda) and a buck on fast food burgers would fill the state coffers faster than you can say “special sauce, no onions.”

Ninth, legalize marijuana. The war on drugs is a joke, a complete failure. People will always smoke pot, especially when you tell them not to. Now even doctors agree it can be medically helpful. We’ve always been lied to on this one. Locking people away for smoking a joint is a stupid, expensive and an unjust response . Plumb ridiculous, when it’s alcohol that causes most crimes, most hospital deaths and most fatal car crashes.

.And finally, tenth, dare you cut not a cent from public programs that assist the elderly, poor and the sick. In a civilized society, the strong protect the weak. Sure, there are a few freeloaders, but I’d wager 95 percent of those now receiving aid desperately need it. In a nation as rich as ours, idea of cutting public assistance is a disgrace. Thanks for listening, my worthy state leaders. Now you can go back to sleep, head off to an expensive lunch, plan your golf holiday in Florida, or work on raising your own salaries.

Dennis Lopez lives in Rockport.