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

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

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

BDN reports dire consequences for Maine children from LePage assault on TANF

June 23, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

In a painstakingly detailed investigation, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) has pulled back the curtain, exposing the LePage administration’s maneuvering to undermine the federally funded Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, “the federal government’s primary mechanism for delivering cash assistance and work support to low-income families with children.” The BDN found that the administration’s effort includes spending $7.8 million “in ways that run afoul of federal … Read the rest

New poll reveals overwhelming support for strict regulation of payday lenders

June 21, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

More than seven out of ten Americans want stronger regulation to rein in the predatory practices of payday lenders according to a survey released on June 15.

Payday lenders make small, short-term, unsecured loans at exorbitant interest rates (some as high as 400 percent or more) that usually come due within a few weeks after receipt of the loan. Unlike traditional bank and mortgage lenders, current federal lending … Read the rest

CBPP: Ryan’s “Vision for a Confident America” is less than 20/20 for Americans living in poverty

June 9, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein responded swiftly on Tuesday when US House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his long awaited plan for combating poverty, “A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America,” calling it “silent on the discrepancy between [Speaker Ryan’s] call to fight poverty and the House GOP’s own budget priorities.”

Greenstein noted that Republican budget proposals “would cut programs for low- … Read the rest

Is Maine’s current job creation strategy “off base”?

February 10, 2016 by

Mark Sullivan blog 11-16-2015Analysis in a new report (State Job Creation Strategies Often Off Base) from our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) concludes that:

“To create jobs and build strong economies, states should focus on producing more home-grown entrepreneurs and on helping startups and young, fast-growing firms already located in the state to survive and to grow ― not on cutting taxes and trying to lure

Read the rest

Maine’s working families set to score an important win in the tax package scheduled for vote in the House and Senate

December 16, 2015 by

More than 37,000 hardworking Maine families will keep a key income boost that helps them go to work and pay for basic necessities under a new bipartisan agreement in Congress that saves critically important provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

EITC-CTC 12-16-2015

The agreement announced late Tuesday night makes permanent provisions of the EITC and CTC currently scheduled to expire in 2017.  Without … Read the rest

Is DHHS SNAP mismanagement putting Maine families at risk of hunger?

December 15, 2015 by

In a blistering editorial published in today’s Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, and Central Maine Morning Sentinel, MaineToday Media condemned the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), earning the dubious distinction of “worst administered in the whole country, ranking 53rd out of 53,” according to the U.S. Department … Read the rest

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

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