‘LIFT 2.0’ bill will increase earnings, reduce poverty with job training, education

February 16, 2018 by

James Myall

On Tuesday, Maine’s Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, presented a bill to reduce poverty by expanding access to education and job training. The legislation will lift Mainers out of poverty and increase participants’ lifetime earnings — the knock-on effect of which will support Maine’s economy at large.

The bill — LD 1774, “An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families for Tomorrow” — is … Read the rest

Proposed changes to overtime rules would cut wages for up to 32,000 Mainers

February 7, 2018 by

James Myall

A bill before the Maine Legislature would cut wages for roughly 19,000 Mainers this year. It would do so by changing the state’s overtime rules to exclude more working-class Mainers from eligibility for time-and-a-half pay. By 2022, the bill would result in roughly 32,000 workers losing their ability to earn overtime based on MECEP analysis.

Specifically, the bill, LD 1769, would repeal state-level overtime rules and revert Maine’s … Read the rest

“Tax Conformity” means bringing the disastrous Trump Tax Code to Maine. Here’s what you need to know.

January 26, 2018 by

UPDATED: This blog post was updated on February 5, 2018, to reflect the latest analysis from Maine Revenue Services.

Sarah Austin

This year, state legislators will face so-called “tax conformity” proposals that give them a clear choice: Will Maine enact the same disastrous, lopsided policies enacted by Congress with the Trump Tax Plan, or will we create our own path toward a tax code that meets the needs of all … Read the rest

Lawmakers are considering a bill to cut the minimum wage. Here’s why they should oppose it.

January 24, 2018 by

James Myall

According to a recent MECEP analysis, the recent voter-approved minimum wage law is working. Workers’ paychecks are growing, and job growth continues at a steady clip.

Nonetheless, lawmakers are once again considering a proposal to undermine the successful minimum wage law. The most recent threat is LD 1757, a bill sponsored by Rep. Joel Stetkis, R-Canaan, that would cut the minimum wage and undermine the will of … Read the rest

Minimum Wage Increase Contributes to Largest Annual Wage Gain in 10 Years

January 8, 2018 by

James Myall

Wage and employment gains during the first six months of 2017 reveal that Maine’s voter-approved minimum wage increase has not hurt the state’s economy as the referendum’s opponents warned it would. Instead, one year after the first minimum wage increase went into effect, available data suggest that the initiative is working as intended by helping to increase wages with no apparent adverse impact on employment.

According to MECEP … Read the rest

Policy Insights 2018 Conference

January 5, 2018 by

What does a vision for economic justice and shared prosperity look like?

You are invited to join us for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges the new year will provide. MECEP’s Policy Insights 2018 Conference will take place Wednesday, January 31, at the Senator Inn in Augusta.

Policy Insights 2018 will give attendees the tools to understand and influence the most important policy discussions coming up in 2018 — … Read the rest

Legislature’s Opioid Task Force report overlooks key factors in addiction crisis

January 2, 2018 by

James Myall

Another year has come and gone with no sign that the pace of drug related deaths – more than one a day – is slowing.

On Wednesday, January 3, the Legislature’s Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis in the State will present its final report to the Health and Human Service Committee.

The final report includes many important recommendations, ranging from de-stigmatizing the language around drug … Read the rest

Maine families pay more under final GOP tax bill

December 19, 2017 by

Sarah Austin

House and Senate Republicans expect to vote on their tax bill early this week after an agreement on its provisions was struck Friday. The deal lowers the top individual rate to 37 percent, lower than either House or Senate versions of the bill, and pegs a new flat corporate tax rate of 21 percent.  

The deal, if passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, will ultimately increase … Read the rest

Study embraced by Senator Collins actually affirms that her plan will not prevent people from losing health insurance and paying higher premiums  

December 8, 2017 by

Garrett Martin

Earlier this week, Avalere health consulting released a report indicating that two proposals advocated by Senator Collins would reduce health insurance premiums. Senator Collins seized on this analysis. In a tweet on December 6, she claimed that the Avalere study “confirms my reinsurance bill & Alexander-Murray proposal would reduce health insurance premiums by 18% in 2019.” 

The problem is that Senator Collins seems to be ignoring a very … Read the rest

Health care for tens of thousands of Mainers under threat; proposed “fix” is insufficient

December 6, 2017 by

James Myall

Earlier this year, Mainers were justifiably proud of Senator Susan Collins for standing strong in the face of efforts to take health care away from tens of thousands of Mainers. Unfortunately, the tax bill making its way through Congress will have the same effect if passed. While Senator Collins has attempted to mute these adverse consequences by offering a separate proposal in conjunction with Senator Nelson of … Read the rest

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