Maine needs a research and development bond

April 11, 2014 by

Maine needs jobs and good jobs at that. Bonding to invest in research and development will result in more, better-paying jobs. Consider the story of two companies that must innovate to compete.

Acadia Harvest in Brunswick is learning how to grow fish indoors. Kenway Corporation of Augusta is a composite manufacturer. Acadia Harvest is a new company. Kenway has been making fiberglass in Maine for 50 years. Both recognized the … Read the rest

Maine’s Jobs Report: A Bad Case of Déjà vu

March 17, 2014 by

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report and, like in his State of the State address, Governor LePage continues to tout a jobs record that is severely lacking.

In a release from the governor’s office, the subtitle reads, “15,000 private sector jobs created since 2011.” Once again, the governor would do well to keep these claims in perspective. Based on data the governor cites, Maine … Read the rest

The Truth about Governor LePage’s Own Jobs Claim

February 19, 2014 by

In Governor LePage’s recent State of the State address he touted his economic performance stating “Almost 13,000 new private-sector jobs have been created since we took office.”

Taken in isolation, this sounds pretty good. But compared with how other states have fared, Maine’s job creation performance leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, based on MECEP’s analysis of the most recent jobs data from the Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead the rest

Good news, bad news

February 5, 2014 by

Maine state government ranked above average for its sound budgeting practices in a report released yesterday by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. But, while Maine is better than many states at fiscal planning, there’s more we can do, especially around evaluating tax breaks for lucrative out-of-state corporations.

The good news: On a scale of 10, Maine ranked 7 for doing prudent things like producing an independent forecast of … Read the rest

Let’s remove obstacles to needed economic investments

January 8, 2014 by

bonds_smallThe legislature’s appropriations committee today is listening to the public’s opinion on two bills that, if passed, would direct the governor to carry out the will of Maine voters.

The proposed bills are: An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Issuance of Bonds That Have Been Ratified by the Citizens of the State (L.D. 138) and An Act to Clarify When Bonds May Be Issued (L.D. 904).  … Read the rest

The State of Working Maine in 2013: Beyond the Official Unemployment Report (Part 1)

December 11, 2013 by

On the first Friday of each month (unless there’s a government shutdown), the Department of Labor releases the official national unemployment report. The results often lead the nightly news and provide headlines in the next day’s newspapers. Financial markets and political polls rise and fall on these findings. In Maine, there is a similar, if more subdued, reaction around the middle of the month upon release of the official state … Read the rest

Bond Questions 2, 4, and 5: Maine needs to invest in higher education for struggling workers

October 31, 2013 by

Thirty-six percent of the building stock at the University of Maine is 50 or more years old. Dwight Eisenhower was president when the state built most of the lab space. Classrooms and laboratories at the seven university … Read the rest

Question 3 – Maine’s aged bridges need repair

October 30, 2013 by

You know the old line, “In Maine, driving is better in the winter because the potholes get filled with snow.” Mainers have always grumbled about road conditions.

It turns out we have something to complain about. Only it’s our bridges. Maine ranks 9th in the country for the worst bridge conditions. Of our 2,408 bridges, 356 or nearly 15% have structural defects.

When Mainers go the polls on … Read the rest

When small is mighty BIG!

October 18, 2013 by

IFA poster 10-18-2013Robert Reich is short, four feet, eleven inches to be precise. I mention his height because the former labor secretary and current professor at the University of California Berkeley makes it an integral part of the presentation in his thought provoking new documentary, Inequality for All, currently showing at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.

When Reich speaks about the ever-widening income gap in America between the uber-rich … Read the rest

Congressional Fiscal Shenanigans: O. Henry or Stanley Kubrick?

October 1, 2013 by

After weeks of gamesmanship, a minority in Congress succeeded in shutting down the federal government at midnight.  The full impact here in Maine is still uncertain.

We do know that on the cusp of peak leaf-peeping season, Acadia National Park will close and businesses on Mount Desert and throughout the surrounding area will feel the pain. Chris Fogg, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce told … Read the rest

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