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Gov. Mills Tours Seafood Businesses Benefitting from Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan

October21, 2022 Bucksport, MAINE —During a visit to Bucksport in October, Governor Janet Mills visited two local seafood processing businesses who received grants awarded through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to upgrade their infrastructure.  “Maine’s seafood industry – from our fishermen and aquaculturists to our processors and our dealers – is a cornerstone of our economy, employing thousands of people up and down […]

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Our Power applauds jobs expansion in Maine thanks to low rates in consumer-owned electric utility service areas

Madison , Maine Solar Farm November 3, 2022, Portland, ME:   The new $400 million investment in a Houlton-area manufacturing plant by LP Building Solutions adds to the mounting evidence that consumer-owned electric utilities are very good for business development in Maine. When asked to comment on this new investment, Wayne Jortner, lead petitioner on the Our Power citizen initiative and […]

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Maine PUC selects winning bids for Northern Maine transmission line and renewable energy projects

October 27, 2022 Hallowell, Maine – The Maine Public Utilities Commission selected two projects to promote renewable energy development in northern Maine, as required by law.  The first is for the development of a 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to connect renewable energy resources located in northern Maine with the New England grid and the second is a renewable energy generation project […]

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Central Maine Power rakes in $40.5 Million in profits for quarter as people struggle to pay bills

August 18, 2022 On August 16, Avangrid, Central Maine Power’s (CMP) parent company, announced CMP’s quarterly financial report. CMP is the major electricity company in the state of Maine. According to Avangrid, CMP made $40,459,000 in profits over the past three months (April, May, June 2022), up 23 percent from the same period in 2021. In response, Our Power Executive Director Andrew Blunt issued the following statement: “Our utilities are making money hand over fist while Maine people are struggling to make ends meet. Everyday, CMP is sending $444,604 to make Avangrid shareholders and executives richer and richer. In the midst of the inflation crisis we’re in, it’s unconscionable.” “Customers of Maine’s nine customer-owned utilities are paying literally half as […]

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Our Power applauds move by Gov. Mills to oppose CMP rate hike, but says tangible change needed

August 12, 2022 By Ramona du Houx Our Power Executive Director Andrew Blunt and Senior Advisor Former State Rep. Seth Berry, longtime House Chair of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the Energy Office of Governor Janet Mills will intervene at the Public Utilities Commission to oppose the latest request for a three-year rate increase by Central Maine Power. “Our Power applauds this effort by Governor Mills,” said Blunt. “But let’s be honest: the profits made by private utilities on investments like this are protected by US Supreme Court case law. State law and regulation is powerless here. Either we invest in improving our grid […]

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Biden administration Justice40 week of action highlights historic investments in overburdened and underserved communities

White House Office of Management and Budget released a snapshot of over $29 billion in new funding opportunity notifications and announcements that the Biden-Harris Administration has already rolled out to deliver on the Justice40 Initiative— MAY 23, 2022• STATEMENTS AND RELEASES from the White House White House announces that over $29 billion in funding opportunities have already incorporated Justice40 considerations […]

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Bill to clarify rule-making parameters for the Office of Marijuana Policy becomes Maine law

May 10, 2022 AUGUSTA – A bill to clarify new rule-making parameters for the Office of Marijuana Policy, sponsored by Rep. Lynne Williams, D-Bar Harbor, is now law. LD 1928 will implement changes to make the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act clearer and more specific, reducing the need for interpretation in rulemaking and protecting against administrative overreach. This includes added protections for Maine’s medical marijuana patients, their caregivers and small, locally-owned businesses. “This legislation will ensure that everyone involved with Maine’s medical marijuana industry can continue to flourish,” said Rep. Williams. “It will protect patients’ rights, provide new safeguards for local caregivers and support our small businesses and the communities in which they operate. I am grateful to all of […]

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ME Governor Mills signs legislation to expand sales tax exemption for nonprofit housing developers

May 10, 2022 AUGUSTA – Gov. Janet Mills recently signed into law a bill sponsored by Rep. Traci Gere, D-Kennebunkport, that will expand the current sales tax exemption for nonprofit housing developers. According to the Maine State Housing Authority’s 2021 Homeownership Housing Facts and Affordability Index, 15 of Maine’s 16 counties were classified as “unaffordable,” meaning a household earning area median income could […]

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Flags Lowered in Honor of One Million Americans Lost to COVID-19

May 12, 2022 In accordance with a directive of the President, Governor Janet Mills has ordered the United States and State of Maine flags be lowered immediately to half-staff through Monday, May 16, 2022 in solemn remembrance of the one million Americans, including 2,332 Maine people, lost to COVID-19. “The pandemic has taken its toll on many, but the greatest grief has been […]

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Attorney General Warns Mainers About $850 Relief Check Identity Theft Scam

05/13/2022  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2022 Scammers Pretending to Represent Revenue Services Stealing Identifying Information from Unsuspecting Mainers AUGUSTA – The Attorney General’s Office and Maine Revenue Services have been alerted that scammers claiming to be the “Maine IRS” have been targeting residents and requesting social security numbers, maiden names, and other sensitive information, stating it was needed to process $850 relief checks authorized by the Governor and the legislature last month.  “Maine Revenue Services already has all the information it needs to issue these relief checks, so no one should need to share any information to collect this check,” said Attorney General Aaron Frey. “As always, do not share any identifying information with anyone demanding such information over […]

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Maine lawmakers in Augusta support Biddeford Starbucks employees in their union quest

May 14, 2022 By Ramona du Houx AUGUSTA — On May 13, 2022, all three Democratic leaders in the Maine House of Representatives shared supportive statements at the news of Starbucks workers in Biddeford Maine filing a petition for a union election. The Biddeford store’s letter to the President and CEO of Starbucks is available here. Starbucks workers signed their letter ‘In Solidarity, […]

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Camden Library asks young readers “How Do You Book?” as part of Children’s Book Week, May 2-8

The Camden Public Library is joining the national effort to ask kids why they choose to read the books they do as part of Children’s Book Week, May 2 to 8, with generous support from First National Bank. Every weekday, Children’s Librarian Miss Amy will portray a different children’s book character; young readers are encouraged to tune in online or stop in for a visit to see what character it will be. The week will feature three story times, including two outside:  Outdoor Booktime for Babies on Wed., May 4, 10 a.m., and Pre-School Story Time, Thu., May 5, 10 a.m. Indoor Pre-School Story Time will take place on Fri., May 6, 10 a.m. Miss Amy will also offer crafts each weekday on YouTube and Instagram, and the […]

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Maine State Library Launches “Libraries Health Connect Program”

April 13, 2022 Starting this spring, residents in 10 communities across Maine will have a new, convenient way to connect with a healthcare provider. The Maine State Library’s “Libraries Health Connect Program” provides the technology and training needed for telehealth services through the public library. The State Library dedicated funds it received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to create the statewide telehealth initiative. Participating libraries include Alice L. Pendleton Library (Islesboro), Caribou Public Library, Cary Library (Houlton), Fryeburg Public Library, Henry D. Moore Library (Steuben), Paris Public Library (South Paris), Peabody Memorial Library (Jonesport), Pittsfield Public Library, Skowhegan Free Public Library, and Thompson Free Library (Dover-Foxcroft). Libraries were selected based on endemic community health issues and a lack […]

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Governor Mills signs Cuddy bill to support maritime education into law

April 10, 2022 AUGUSTA – A bill to support maritime education LD 1389, sponsored by Rep. Scott Cuddy, D-Winterport, was recently signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills. The Maine Ocean School (MOS) in Searsport, Maine opened in the fall of 2018 and accepts students from around the state into its hands-on educational program. MOS seeks to foster connections between its students and the ocean while helping kids develop real, transferable skills intended to prepare the next generation of leaders for Maine’s evolving maritime economy. “After working for several years to ensure the Maine Ocean School can continue operating in this manner, I am extremely pleased that we’ve landed on a solution that empowers the school, rather than the Legislature, to set […]

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Maine state Rep. bill to restrict foreign ownership of Maine utilities

By Ramona du Houx March 12, 2022 AUGUSTA – Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, presented LD 697, An Act To Enhance the Energy Security of Maine Residents, before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee on March 8, 2022. The bill as amended would require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to deny any future purchase of a Maine utility by a foreign entity if potential ownership jeopardizes reliability, customer privacy and safety, regulatory capacity or the state’s economy. For example Central Maine Power (CMP) is owned by a Spanish conglomerate and has been accused of unfair consumer practices in Maine. They used millions to try and influence the building of an electric corridor from Northern Maine to Massachusetts. The CMP “corridor” was stoped […]