‘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

“Tax Conformity” means bringing the disastrous Trump Tax Code to Maine. Here’s what you need to know.

January 26, 2018 by

UPDATED: This blog post was updated on February 5, 2018, to reflect the latest analysis from Maine Revenue Services.

Sarah Austin

This year, state legislators will face so-called “tax conformity” proposals that give them a clear choice: Will Maine enact the same disastrous, lopsided policies enacted by Congress with the Trump Tax Plan, or will we create our own path toward a tax code that meets the needs of all … 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

Out of work, out of hope – This is what a depressed economy looks like

September 21, 2017 by

James Myall

Tens of thousands of Mainers disheartened by the dim prospects of good paying, middle-class jobs have given up looking for work. Some are discouraged to the point of despair, turning to substance misuse and even suicide. That’s the stark and somber finding of MECEP’s latest report, The State of Working Maine 2017.

Using numerous data sets and incorporating the latest national research, the State of Working MaineRead 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

#DefendDACA: Dreamers are good for jobs and the economy 

August 23, 2017 by
Marpheen Chann

Marpheen Chann

New Mainers are part of the solution to Maine’s demographic problems and help us fill labor needs. Beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or “Dreamers”, are those who came to America as minors, have built and maintained their lives here, and know no other place as home. That is why we need to stop the efforts to dismantle DACA and allow Dreamers to fully participate and … Read the rest

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