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

Augusta’s adherence to austerity holds Maine back

August 15, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Conservative fiscal policies at the state and national level have been a key cause of the lackluster economic recovery following the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). EPI’s findings are especially relevant for Maine; while EPI cites the post-2009 recovery as one of the longest on record, Maine’s recovery has been even slower. The U.S. economy recovered its pre-Recession employment levels … Read the rest

Let’s make sure that every Mainer who aspires to succeed can go back to school

August 10, 2016 by
Jack Weiss

Jack Weiss

With summer beginning to wind down, thousands of Mainers are getting ready to go back to school. This September, Maine’s post-secondary schools—colleges, universities, and community colleges across the state—are preparing for an influx of students as Maine’s high school graduation rate continues to climb upward. But as the images of wide-eyed, young, and eager freshman dominate commercials for the Best Buy, The GAP and U-Haul Rentals, it … Read the rest

Failure to invest in Maine’s future is the real fiscal negligence

August 8, 2016 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

We all want a financially sound state government, but Governor LePage seems bent on undermining our public services in the name of fiscal integrity.

His most recent remarks bemoaning the unavailability of state surplus funds because of the so-called “cascade” follow his attempt this spring to move a $72 million surplus into the Budget Stabilization Fund. The governor’s statements are not only contrary to prudent budget management, … Read the rest

Immigrants, including refugees, are good for Maine

August 5, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

In a visit to Maine on Thursday, Donald Trump suggested that the presence of Somali refugees in the state was a security risk and an economic drag. However, the data do not bear this assertion out. No member of Maine’s refugee or Somali communities has been convicted of a terrorist offense.  Furthermore, New America, a non-partisan think tank specializing in international security issues, reports that of 539 Read the rest

Mainers’ personal income growth third slowest in the nation; are big businesses to blame?

August 3, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Since the Great Recession, Mainers’ personal incomes have grown at a slower rate than residents of nearly every other state, according to a new Pew Research Center study.  The Pew analysis of data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the personal income of Mainers grew by an average of just 1.0% each year from October 2007 through March 2016.  That’s the third slowest rate … Read the rest

New overtime rules will finally pay workers what they deserve

July 29, 2016 by
Jack Weiss

Jack Weiss

Every week, thousands of Mainers work overtime—more than 40 hours per week—to make ends meet. Many workers, even after working 50 to 60 hours per week, still cannot afford basic living expenses for their families.

Finally, new federal overtime rules assure that employers will compensate these workers for their extra time. In May, President Obama signed the new rules that will increase the salary threshold below which all … Read the rest

Leaked memo confirms Governor’s priorities remain the same – tax breaks for the wealthy, cuts in crucially important investments in our communities

July 28, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

An internal memo leaked from a member of Governor LePage’s administration to the Portland Press Herald reveals LePage’s plans for the upcoming legislative session and the 2018-19 biennial budget. For his final two-year proposal, the governor plans to pursue the same priorities that Mainers and legislators have rejected over and over again – tax breaks for the wealthy, funded by reductions in education, health care, and other services … Read the rest

How payday lenders skirt the law

July 20, 2016 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

The facts about how payday lenders trap working families in debt are shocking:

Read the rest

Women have higher poverty rates in retirement than men

July 13, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

Recently, my colleague Jody Harris posted about how devious payday lenders prey heavily on women. She added that, “Women continue to earn less than their male counterparts, and they also continue to be the ones who assume responsibility for taking care of children and elder parents.” Jody also noted that “Another troubling consequence of all this is that women earn less over their lifetimes so they … Read the rest

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