Trump-GOP tax framework: A windfall for the wealthy, little left for most Mainers

October 4, 2017 by

Sarah Austin

The U.S. House tomorrow and the Senate in two weeks are expected to vote on their respective budget resolutions that will chart a course to enact President Trump’s proposed tax plan with simple majorities in each chamber. The Trump tax proposal is unprecedented in terms of how severely tilted the tax breaks are toward millionaires and billionaires. Two-thirds of the tax benefits next year would be slated for … Read the rest

Women have the right to vote, but still don’t get equal pay for equal work

August 26, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Today marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted white women the constitutional right to vote. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 are just some of the laws that have extended protections against

discrimination for women since the passage of the 19th amendment. Yet, there is still more progress to be made … Read the rest

Pine Tree Development Zones fail to create quality jobs in areas of need 

August 23, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

As part of a multiyear review of business tax credits, the state’s government accountability office reported today that the Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) program does not live up to its promise of creating good jobs in higher unemployment areas. 

Pine tree development zones, sometimes called enterprise or opportunity zones in other parts of the country, designate geographic areas in need of jobs and economic development and offer … Read the rest

What happens when those with the most pay the least taxes?

July 7, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

In the early hours of the morning on July 4th, Maine Lawmakers enacted a two year budget that repealed the voter approved three percent surcharge on household income over $200,000 and gave a massive tax cut to the top two percent of households. This is the third biennial budget in eight years that contained tax breaks for the wealthiest Mainers. The top five percent of Mainers … Read the rest

Looming state shutdown dangerous for Maine’s economy

June 23, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

As the state’s two year budget comes due, Republican lawmakers continue to hold negotiations hostage over demands to repeal the voter approved 3% surcharge on household income over $200,000. The state is just seven days away from a potential state shutdown if a budget isn’t enacted on June 30th. Analysis released by the Maine State Employees Association and MECEP Friday shows the devastating impact a state shutdown could … Read the rest

Republican Education Funding Plan Would Raise Property Taxes

June 1, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Maine voters asked legislators to tax the wealthiest 2% of Maine households to fully fund education in the state. Now, Republican lawmakers are trying to weaken our commitment to local schools so they can overturn the will of Maine voters, give tax cuts to the wealthiest families, and shortchange Maine schools.   

Because of the legislature’s failure to pay state retirement obligations in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Read the rest

Upside-down tax plan, missed opportunity, and unnecessary and harmful cuts in the governor’s budget proposal

January 13, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

At a time when Maine families are falling out of the middle-class, when experienced workers need new skills to secure good paying jobs in a modern economy, and when state infrastructure is in need of improvement and expansion, the state budget presents an opportunity to solve shared problems and return our quality of life to the way life should be.

Governor LePage’s final biennial budget, released last week, … Read the rest

More than One in Seven Working Mainers Will Receive Pay Raise Tomorrow

January 6, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

The voter-approved minimum wage increase takes effect tomorrow, increasing wages for 74,000 Mainers. Nearly 30,000 additional Maine workers are expected to receive a raise this year as employers adjust their pay scales to compensate workers earning wages near the new minimum.

The new law increases the minimum wage from $7.50 to $9.00 an hour this year and will increase the minimum wage by a dollar each year until … Read the rest

Demystifying Maine’s school funding formula to show how Question 2 will move our students to the head of the class

October 17, 2016 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Question 2 on this November’s ballot increases revenue for education by $159 million a year. The state would distribute revenue raised through the existing state funding formula, and state funding would reach  55 percent of statewide education costs, a funding benchmark Maine voters mandated in 2004. Fully 94 percent of Maine students live in districts likely to receive increased state funding if Question 2 passes. Question 2 would … Read the rest

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

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