Looming state shutdown dangerous for Maine’s economy

June 23, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

As the state’s two year budget comes due, Republican lawmakers continue to hold negotiations hostage over demands to repeal the voter approved 3% surcharge on household income over $200,000. The state is just seven days away from a potential state shutdown if a budget isn’t enacted on June 30th. Analysis released by the Maine State Employees Association and MECEP Friday shows the devastating impact a state shutdown could … Read the rest

Maine lawmakers need to protect student loan borrowers

June 23, 2017 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

A new report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlights another way that the very companies that are supposed to be helping Maine student loan borrowers are cheating them.  The CFPB says that some lenders are wrongly denying access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to eligible teachers, nurses, and first responders.

And Maine lawmakers, influenced by these same companies, have backed away from legislation … Read the rest

LePage policies have left thousands of children without health care

June 21, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Thousands more Maine children have no access to critical health care services as a result of Governor LePage’s policies, according to data from the US Census Bureau and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The data, highlighted in a report by the Annie E Casey Foundation, show that the share of Maine children without any health insurance rose dramatically between 2010 and 2015. Approximately 3,600 … Read the rest

Republican Education Funding Plan Would Raise Property Taxes

June 1, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Maine voters asked legislators to tax the wealthiest 2% of Maine households to fully fund education in the state. Now, Republican lawmakers are trying to weaken our commitment to local schools so they can overturn the will of Maine voters, give tax cuts to the wealthiest families, and shortchange Maine schools.   

Because of the legislature’s failure to pay state retirement obligations in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Read the rest

Governor’s Own Report Reveals the Human Cost of His War on the Poor

June 1, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Destitute and driven deeper into poverty. That’s the result of the LePage administration’s policies for one in seven families removed from the state’s welfare program in 2012. Instead of providing a path forward to help families put food on the table, oil in the furnace, and retain stable, good paying jobs, the administration’s policies have had the opposite effect for many families.

In their zeal to cut access Read the rest

GOP’s American Health Care Act Would Devastate Health Care in Rural Maine

May 16, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

New analysis from the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) demonstrates that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), as passed by the US House of Representatives, would undermine every part of the health care system in rural areas including most of Maine. By rolling back Medicaid expansion, allowing age-based price discrimination by insurers, and allowing states to waive requirements to cover pre-existing conditions, the AHCA threatens Read the rest

DHHS denies the facts, misappropriates funds Congress authorized to fight Maine’s soaring child poverty

May 11, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

For the last seven years, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  policies have contributed to the disturbing escalation in child poverty and stashed or misappropriated tens of millions of federal dollars intended for Maine children. Recently, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon unveiled a bi-partisan proposal (LD1475, An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families Today) to enable struggling families to … Read the rest

A Quick Take: Democrats’ Opportunity Agenda Invests in Maine Families, Kids, Communities

April 7, 2017 by
Megan Michaud

Megan Michaud

The Democratic Opportunity Agenda rejects the governor’s request for more tax cuts for the wealthy while increasing taxes for everyone else. It targets available resources to key priorities like getting treatment for those suffering from addiction, providing job training for careers that will support a family, and expanding access to critical early childhood education programs.

These investments are not only needed now, but are essential to rebuilding a … Read the rest

A Higher Minimum Wage is Good for Tipped Workers

April 4, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Workers who rely on tips don’t benefit from the existence of a lower tipped minimum wage. That’s the conclusion of a variety of sources that compare the earnings of workers in those states without a “tip credit” and those which maintain one. Maine’s tipped minimum wage is due to be gradually phased out by 2027, but a series of pieces of legislation have been introduced to roll back … Read the rest

The Tipped Minimum Wage is Unfair and Discriminatory

April 3, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Imagine you’re a cashier  at the height of flu season and three of your coworkers called in sick on a Saturday afternoon—one of the busiest times of the week. Lines are long, customers are grumpy, and your efforts to keep the line moving prevent you from being as personable as you would be under other circumstances. Despite circumstances beyond your control customers keep docking your pay. Through no Read the rest

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