Transportation bonds: A public safety must, an economic development essential

November 2, 2015 by

Question 3 on the November 3rd Maine ballot asks the following:

“Do you favor an $85,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities and equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $121,500,000 in federal and other funds?”

rusting bridgeIn testimony supporting the proposed bond issue … Read the rest

USDA reports progress on child hunger, but still a long way to go to eradicate food insecurity for all Mainers and all Americans

October 28, 2015 by

Congress is currently deliberating over reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is crucial to protect school kids in Maine where the child food insecurity rate is the highest in New England.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued an encouraging update on October 26th about implementation of the bipartisan law passed in 2010.

No Kid Hungy logo‘The numbers released today . . . [reflect] the commitment by thousands of … Read the rest

Allowing working family tax credits to expire will make it more difficult for these families to make ends meet

October 22, 2015 by

Congress has the opportunity this fall to prevent key federal working family tax credits from expiring, resulting in cuts for 50 million working Americans, 16 million of whom will slip into poverty.  In Maine, these cuts to the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit (CTC) will affect 37,000 working families, including 64,000 children. More than 34,000 working Mainers, including 16,000 children will fall into or Read the rest

An agenda to give American families a much-needed raise

October 15, 2015 by

EPI Agenda to Raise America's Pay 10-15-2015FBOur colleagues at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) note that “wages for the vast majority of American workers have stagnated or declined since 1979—and wage stagnation’s reach has broadened over the last dozen years to include college-educated workers.” To address this extensive and growing income inequality EPI has proposed The Agenda to Raise America’s Pay. EPI identifies 11 steps for policymakers to consider:

  1. Raise the minimum wage.
Read the rest

Health Insurance Coverage in Maine: Heading in the Wrong Direction, Particularly for Children

September 17, 2015 by

New Census Bureau data released yesterday paint a bleak picture for Maine when it comes to improving access to affordable health coverage.

Maine is the only state that has not experienced an increase in the percentage of people with health insurance coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The new data also show that Maine currently ranks 24th in the nation in percentage of those with … Read the rest

Time to turn off Maine’s wasteful tax expenditure “faucet”

September 2, 2015 by

One of the most fundamental obligations of the governor and legislature is careful, vigilant stewardship of how the state spends taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. There are many competing priorities: education for our State House tax expenditure faucet FINAL blogkids, health care, public safety, investments in infrastructure for good roads and clean water— the list goes on. It is especially troubling to discover that the state has failed to account for tens of millions of dollars annually, hundreds … Read the rest

Fix the ACA family coverage “glitch”

August 18, 2015 by

ACAIn the two years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, more Americans have health insurance than ever before. In 2013, before the law took effect, there were 14 states with over 20 percent of their residents uninsured. Now Texas is the only state with more than 20 percent uninsured, but even Texas reduced the number of uninsured by nearly 7 percent. Over the same period, the number … Read the rest

Medicaid works in Maine

August 11, 2015 by

Here are just a few examples of how. Maine children, the elderly, and people with disabilities derive the greatest benefit. But we are all better off when kids get a healthy start, when our parents and grandparents receive proper nursing home care, when people don’t have to rely on emergency rooms but can see a doctor before they become sicker and require more expensive care. Medicaid isn’t just good for … Read the rest

Mainers’ food security depends upon a stronger, improved SNAP

August 10, 2015 by

SNAP logo_smallOver the course of one year, nearly 1 in 5 Mainers will rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to put food on the table. Even more, this figure is an underestimation of the number of people who go hungry in Maine, as many are unable to or prevented from utilizing SNAP. There are actions that both the state and the federal government can take to strengthen and … Read the rest

New high school equivalency test providing opportunity for hundreds of Mainers

August 6, 2015 by

Over 400 Mainers who would have been passed over by the traditional GED received their high school diplomas in 2014. That’s 400 more Mainers who now have a better opportunity for a job to support themselves and their families.

It’s because Maine dropped the traditional GED and opted for a new high school equivalency test, Hi-SET™, produced by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The GED was created for WWII … Read the rest

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