Entries Filed in 'Issue 29'

Democrats call Republican tax concept “irresponsible”

April 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitol news, Economy, Issue 29

The Republican plan proposed by Senator Trahan of Waldoboro will cost more than $500 million in the next four years, increasing the budget structural gap more than the governor’s proposed budget giveaways to the wealthiest Mainers and out-of-state corporations.

“We absolutely support reducing taxes and the tax burden for all Maine people, but this irresponsible proposal will undermine our ability to govern,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston, who is the House Democratic lead on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. “The Appropriations Committee is working day in and day out to find fair ways to lower taxes on Maine people without saddling our children with a massive financial burden.”

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Report says Maine needs new bonds for aging bridges

April 9th, 2011 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, Issue 29, Public Safety

Maine has significantly more than the national average of deficient bridges, according to a new report released by Transportation for America. The report shows that more than 15.4 percent of the state’s bridges are deficient and in need of reconstruction or rehabilitation. The national average is 11.5 percent, according to the report.

After the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007 Governor John Baldacci had the state review its bridges. Once those results were issued he presented the legislature with a bond package in 2008. Now those funds are beginning to run out.

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Democrats will not comply with balancing the budget on the backs of teachers

March 17th, 2011 · No Comments · Civil Rights, Community Maine, Economy, Education, Issue 29

The 125th Legislature has been active. The governor has just announced his budgeting priorities for the next biennium. And, of course, as is the nature of budget talks, lots of numbers have been thrown around. But I want to talk about something more important than how the math adds up. People. And in particular our school teachers and state employees.

The governor’s proposal cuts $524 million dollars from public employees’ and school teachers’ pensions. This is unfair. And it is wrong. Plain and simple, thousands of working Maine families will suffer as a consequence of Governor LePage’s cuts.

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The Fund for a Healthy Maine will be raided if Gov. LePage’s proposed budget passes

March 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Education, Health Care, Issue 29, Public Safety

Gov. Paul LePage’s budget proposal has made it clear that the Fund for a Healthy Maine is no longer off limits for general fund uses.

Gov. John Baldacci fought long and hard to make sure The Fund for a Healthy Maine was used solely for programs that would benefit the health and well being of the people of Maine.

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ConnectME Authority seeks public input on broadband access

March 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Announcements, Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, Issue 29

Since January of last year, the ConnectME Authority has been awarded nearly $5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to pursue a broadband mapping and planning project, creating the first comprehensive geographic inventory of high-speed Internet services statewide for use in identifying unserved and underserved areas and in planning expansion throughout the State.

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Portland opposes proposed changes to General Assistance Program

March 7th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitol news, Civil Rights, Economy, Issue 29

At a legislative public hearing today, City Councilor John Anton voiced opposition to proposed changes to the state mandated General Assistance (GA) program, as well as changes to the state’s MaineCare program, contained in the Governor’s proposed FY 2012-2013 biennial General Fund budget. The budget proposal calls for the reduction of the upper limit state reimbursement level for General Assistance from 90% to 75%, which translates directly into a cost shift of nearly $650,000 to the Portland taxpayer,

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More than 300 rally in opposition to LePage budget proposal

March 7th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitol news, Civil Rights, Economy, Issue 29

For another week in Augusta protests continued against Gov. LePage’s budget proposal that uses a false excuse( the pension fund) as its basis to balance the budget. Members of the Maine Can Do Better Coalition gathered with hundreds of concerned citizens in the State House Hall of Flags on Monday, urging the legislature to adopt a state budget that puts the interests of Maine families and communities first.

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Maine’s pension fund is NOT in a crisis.

March 4th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitol news, Community Maine, Economy, Issue 29

MYTH: Maine’s pension fund is in a crisis and on the brink of insolvency.

FACT: Maine’s pension fund is NOT in a crisis.

As of Fiscal Year 2010, the Maine Public Employee Retirement System paid out $660 million in benefits. As of December 31, 2010 the market value of the pension fund’s assets were $10.3 billion. Based on those numbers the state retirement system could continue to pay benefits for over 15 years at the 2010 cost level without making any additions to the fund. (Source: 2011 Pension Cost Report , 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

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Maine Hospitals Selected to Participate in Medicare Payment Program

March 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Community Maine, Health Care, Issue 29

Congressman Mike Michaud announced that four hospitals in Maine are now eligible to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which provides reimbursements to small rural hospitals that better reflect the true cost of providing care to Medicare beneficiaries. CMS has selected Inland Hospital in Waterville, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, and Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta to participate in the program.

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Issue 29: Deciding Maine’s Future

March 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Issue 29


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS—

Rep. Emily Cain, Minority Leader in her office.

Minority Leader Emily Cain wants a bipartisan productive legislative session

Glenn Cummings unveils Good Will-Hinckley as a potential magnet school

Michael Stoddard explains how the state’s weatherization economic development plan—works for you

MORE ON CLEAN ENERGY—

Maine's offshore wind potential

Wind-energy conference highlights huge job creation and energy savings potential

Cap and trade program, RGGI, brings in a total of $23,544,204

ECONOMIC GROWTH—

personal income growth

Maine is positioned well for economic growth. We look at why

Important Maine business and state government spending facts

CAPITOL NEWS—

LePage uses the unfunded liability as a false excuse to balance budget proposal

LePage’s environmental proposals, if enacted, will irreversibly damage Maine

Needed nonprofit bonding stopped by LePage: It’s seen as putting politics before people

ENVIRONMENT—

Maine’s renaissance in farming. We look at what it needs to succeed

The Maine Farmland Trust campaign to protect 100,000 acres

Maine eco-based tourism on the rise

Vernal pools, with their sounds of spring, need protection

Law keeping sprawl out of Maine communities— endangered


HEALTHCARE—

Gov. John Baldacci talks about how Dirigo Heatlh makes it easier to transition to the National Health Care Act. photo by Ramona du Houx

Dirigo took away some insurance company power to empower patients

MaineCare cares for citizens at reasonable costs

COMMUNITY MAINE—

Emerge Maine inspires and trains women to run for public office

Maine’s people veto could hold back extreme LaPage agenda

A unique bakery expands to including wedding specials

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