Maine lawmakers need to protect student loan borrowers

June 23, 2017 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

A new report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlights another way that the very companies that are supposed to be helping Maine student loan borrowers are cheating them.  The CFPB says that some lenders are wrongly denying access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to eligible teachers, nurses, and first responders.

And Maine lawmakers, influenced by these same companies, have backed away from legislation … Read the rest

LePage policies have left thousands of children without health care

June 21, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Thousands more Maine children have no access to critical health care services as a result of Governor LePage’s policies, according to data from the US Census Bureau and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The data, highlighted in a report by the Annie E Casey Foundation, show that the share of Maine children without any health insurance rose dramatically between 2010 and 2015. Approximately 3,600 … Read the rest

DHHS denies the facts, misappropriates funds Congress authorized to fight Maine’s soaring child poverty

May 11, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

For the last seven years, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  policies have contributed to the disturbing escalation in child poverty and stashed or misappropriated tens of millions of federal dollars intended for Maine children. Recently, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon unveiled a bi-partisan proposal (LD1475, An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families Today) to enable struggling families to … Read the rest

A Quick Take: Democrats’ Opportunity Agenda Invests in Maine Families, Kids, Communities

April 7, 2017 by
Megan Michaud

Megan Michaud

The Democratic Opportunity Agenda rejects the governor’s request for more tax cuts for the wealthy while increasing taxes for everyone else. It targets available resources to key priorities like getting treatment for those suffering from addiction, providing job training for careers that will support a family, and expanding access to critical early childhood education programs.

These investments are not only needed now, but are essential to rebuilding a … Read the rest

Not filing an income tax return? You could be leaving as much as $1,000 on the table!

March 31, 2017 by
Garrett Martin

Garrett Martin

As the deadline for filing income taxes approaches, tens of thousands of Mainers who don’t owe any income tax should still file a return in order to benefit from refundable state tax credits.

Maine’s income tax forms include two new refundable credits this year. That means that even if you owe no income tax, you could still get a refund of as much as $1,000.

The two credits … Read the rest

Trump budget would drain millions out of Maine’s economy; from agriculture to workforce development

March 16, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

President Trump’s budget proposal, unveiled on Thursday, would have dramatic and detrimental effects on Mainers across the state, as it eliminates or reduces federal spending on a number of critical programs that help Maine build a strong economy and vibrant, thriving communities. Nearly every department of the federal government faces a reduction in its budget, which translates to across-the-board impacts at the state level, from Read the rest

Older Low-Income Mainers Face 1500% Increase in Insurance Premiums Under House GOP Plan

March 14, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

New analysis by MECEP shows that the Washington Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will hit Mainers especially hard, due to the restructuring of federal subsidies for health insurance purchased through the individual market. The House GOP plan, officially known as the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA), was unveiled Monday. Among a number of provisions, it seeks to shift federal subsidies for health … Read the rest

The LePage administration’s Q2 analysis gets it wrong

March 10, 2017 by
Garrett Martin

Garrett Martin

Economic impact analysis is not an exact science. It is rife with assumptions. Bad assumptions result in bad analysis. And bad analysis yields bad public policy.

Look no further  than the “Kansas experiment” for the disastrous consequences of policy based on such junk science. The mastermind behind the Kansas tax reform, Arthur Laffer, is notorious for peddling an economic theory that has no grounding in the real world. … Read the rest

To pay for tax cuts for the rich, LePage budget shifts tens of millions of dollars onto the backs of homeowners

February 6, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

To see how the governor’s proposal to repeal the homestead exemption would affect property taxes in your town, CLICK ON THE INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC IN THIS BLOGPOST.

Governor LePage’s budget proposal offers tax breaks worth $23,000 annually to Maine’s 1%, while asking homeowners to pay an average of $300 more in already historically-high property taxes. The budget proposes elimination of the homestead exemption for Maine homeowners under the age Read the rest

Setting the Record Straight on the Impacts of Governor LePage’s Tax Plan

January 18, 2017 by
Garrett Martin blog 11-16-2015

Garrett Martin

The Maine Sunday Telegram’s (MST) recently published, above the fold, front page story on the impacts of Governor LePage’s tax plan comes up short in its analysis of the costs and benefits to Maine families of the LePage tax plan. Aside from overstating the benefits from proposed income tax changes, the article fails to account for the impact of proposed sales and property tax changes on the bottom … Read the rest

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