Mainers vote for MECEP-backed initiatives to raise the minimum wage, rollback tax breaks for the wealthy to fund education

November 15, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

On November 8th, Maine voters approved two referendum questions the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) strongly supported and for which we provided critical research and analytical support.

MECEP helped to conceive Question 2, the initiative to rollback recent tax breaks for the wealthy to increase education funding. This measure places a three-percent surcharge on taxable annual household income above $200,000 and will generate more than $150 million … Read the rest

Question 2 will create a strong economy, thriving communities, and successful kids

November 1, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Maine’s future economic success depends on having a well-skilled workforce able to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century – and the means of developing that workforce is through the education of our children.  Research indicates that investment in education is not only one of the best economic decisions a state can make, but that the earlier we direct resources at students, the more impact it has on … Read the rest

No Communities Will Lose Education Funding as a Result of Question 2

October 19, 2016 by
Garrett Martin blog 11-16-2015

Garrett Martin

Don’t be deceived Sebago, Lincolnville, Greenwood, Bremen, Newry, Machiasport, and Jonesport. Despite Maine Heritage Policy Center’s (MHPC) bogus claim, a “Yes” vote on Question 2 will not cause you to lose education funding. In fact, you likely stand to gain funding if Question 2 passes.

Towns that lose education funding do so when they have a drop in student enrollment or an increase in property values. Question Read the rest

An outcry for payday lending reform

October 18, 2016 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

When MECEP joined a dozen nonprofit labor, business, senior, economic justice, and community organizations from Maine to call for stronger federal consumer protections against predatory payday lenders, we didn’t know we were enlisting in a movement!

But consumers from across the country poured out their stories to federal regulators about being fleeced by payday lenders. In fact, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) received 425,000 public comments supporting … Read the rest

Demystifying Maine’s school funding formula to show how Question 2 will move our students to the head of the class

October 17, 2016 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Question 2 on this November’s ballot increases revenue for education by $159 million a year. The state would distribute revenue raised through the existing state funding formula, and state funding would reach  55 percent of statewide education costs, a funding benchmark Maine voters mandated in 2004. Fully 94 percent of Maine students live in districts likely to receive increased state funding if Question 2 passes. Question 2 would … Read the rest

New MECEP report: Question 2 will raise more than $150 million annually to invest in student learning

September 20, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

On November 8, Maine voters will consider Question 2, a ballot initiative that would roll back recent tax breaks for the wealthy and dedicate this revenue to provide additional state level resources for schools. In our new report, Moving Maine Students to the Head of the Class, MECEP’s research and analysis concluded that the proposed three percent tax on income above $200,000 dedicated to K-12 education will … Read the rest

Mounting evidence reinforces the case for accepting federal funds to improve health care access and affordability in Maine

September 6, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Several recent studies and analyses of the 31 states that have accepted federal money to increase access to health care demonstrate the continued benefits of doing so. The research confirms that Medicaid expansion is a win-win-win – good for patients, good for the states, and good for everyone with private health insurance.

An August 8 study by researchers at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard Read the rest

Responsible Lending; Responsible Borrowing

September 1, 2016 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

Jack Weiss

Jack Weiss

What do people do when they need money quickly? Their car needs costly repairs so they can get to work. A medical emergency has resulted in a hefty bill. The furnace is broken, and the temperature is dropping.

Many Mainers turn to payday lenders for fast loans. But while they’re easy and fast to obtain, payday loans come at a high price—with interest rates topping 200%Read the rest

Faster internet speeds, wider availability would boost Maine’s economy

August 31, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

If it took a while for your internet service provider (ISP) to load this page onto your computer, you’re not alone. Maine has some of the slowest broadband connections in the nation.

High-speed internet is rapidly becoming a key driver of economic growth, nurturing high-tech jobs, allowing individuals to telecommute, and opening up new opportunities in health care and education. With Maine standing at, or near, the bottom … Read the rest

Increasing the minimum wage to $12 will raise the annual pay of 93,000 Maine women by an average of $3,200

August 19, 2016 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

This November, Mainers will vote on an initiative that would gradually raise Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $12 an hour by 2020. The effects of the initiative would be broad, including raising wages for 1 in 3 working Mainers by 2020 when the $12 minimum wage would be fully phased in. But, the advantages it offers for Maine women of all ages, including seniors and young girls, … Read the rest

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