Maine’s future economic success depends on having a well-skilled workforce able to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century – and the means of developing that workforce is through the education of our children. Research indicates that investment in education is not only one of the best economic decisions a state can make, but that the earlier we direct resources at students, the more impact it has on … Read the rest
History is happening: the percent of Americans without health coverage is the lowest it’s been since the 1990s. Medicare costs are declining – not just slowing – making the program more sustainable in the future. Maine’s 2015 marketplace premiums are either flat – or lower than last year. Health reform is working.
I happened across a time capsule this summer, and it brought home for me exactly how huge an … Read the rest
For months, we’ve written about Maine’s anemic economic recovery relative to the rest of the country. Today’s August jobs report does little to change that story. Maine has recovered just 63 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession and still ranks 43rd among all states and Washington, DC in its jobs recovery. By contrast, the US has recovered 110 percent of jobs lost in the recession and … Read the rest
Child poverty in Maine fell back to pre-recession levels in 2013, but income for the median household and the overall poverty rate saw no improvement, according to annual estimates released today by the US Census Bureau.
Maine has 548,000 households. Half of them have incomes above the median and half have incomes below. The Census Bureau estimates that income of the median household in Maine was $46,974 in 2013, … Read the rest
Next week the U.S. Census Bureau will have two major releases that will provide researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public with critically important data on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage nationally and state-by-state. On Tuesday (September 16) the bureau will unveil its Current Population Survey (CPS) and select information about health insurance coverage from its American Community Survey (ACS). On Thursday (September 18) the bureau will release … Read the rest
Increasing Maine’s earned income tax credit and raising the state’s minimum wage would go a long way toward making work pay for Maine’s families today and lay the foundation for a stronger economy tomorrow, according to new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
With wages for the typical Maine worker still well below pre-recession levels and no signs of growth in sight, lawmakers should act immediately when … Read the rest
The new report by the Alliance for a Just Society, “Families Out of Balance: How a living wage helps families move from debt to stability,” provides sobering data about how much Mainers must earn just to make ends meet.
Simply put, wages in Maine are insufficient to cover the cost of living – and even though the recession is officially over, too many people remain under- or un-employed. The … Read the rest
The facts are shocking. In the U.S. today, 1 in 7 Americans―more than 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors―rely on food pantries and food kitchens to eat.
Of the households trying to stave off hunger,
- 4% have someone in their home in active military service.
- 34% have at least one member working.
- 55% have unpaid medical bills.
- 66% have stopped buying medicine in order to
Late last month, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan announced the initial details of his plan to raise the city’s minimum wage. If passed, the bill would likely raise the wage from its current $7.50/hour to $9.50/hour in January 2015, with anticipated hikes following in each of the next two years.
The final fate of the proposal is still at least a few months away, but one thing is certain from … Read the rest
The classic “divide and conquer” strategy, often attributed to cunning Julius Caesar, operates on the premise that pitting your adversaries against each other before you strike is one sure path to victory. In a recent press release heralding $25.4 million in excess MaineCare funds now available to shore up struggling nursing homes, the LePage Administration appears to be following Caesar’s formula.
This funding is great news for nursing homes in … Read the rest