‘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

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

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

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

Senate Health Care Band-Aids Won’t Fix Damage in Tax Bill 

November 29, 2017 by

James Myall

US Senate Republicans have offered only temporary, Band-Aid fixes to try to reassure holdouts on their tax bill like Maine’s Senator Susan Collins. These proposals will not fully heal the wound inflicted on the health care system by repealing the individual mandate, a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act. Despite this, Senate Republicans are pushing ahead with their tax overhaul which is expected to explode the deficit, … Read the rest

New Analysis: Senate Child Tax Credit Proposal Stacks the Deck Against Rural Working Families

November 29, 2017 by

James Myall

New analysis by MECEP shows that the proposal by US Senate Republicans to increase the size of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will do little for the majority of children in Maine’s most rural and poorest counties while delivering significant benefits to wealthy families who live primarily in more urban and suburban areas. This analysis builds on last week’s analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities … Read the rest

Senate plan to increase child tax credit falls short for Maine’s most vulnerable children

November 22, 2017 by

James Myall

The Senate Republican tax plan fails to offer meaningful benefit to Maine’s working families with children. The plan’s signature change for working families, a change to the refundable child tax credit, is being pushed as “relief for hardworking families” —but as with so much of the bill, tens of thousands of low-income families are being overlooked for the benefit of the wealthy.

The change in the Senate bill … Read the rest

Here’s a Map: Repealing the ACA’s Individual Mandate Would Leave an Additional 50,000 Mainers without Health Insurance

November 15, 2017 by

James Myall

US Senate Republicans’ proposal to reduce access to health care in order to pay for additional tax cuts for the wealthy, large corporations, and foreign investors would drive up the cost of health insurance in Maine significantly, and cause 50,000 fewer Mainers to have health insurance in 2027, according to a MECEP analysis. This is because the GOP tax plan now includes a provision to eliminate the Affordable … Read the rest

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