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Maine Revenue Forecasting Committee projects additional $282.8 Million in revenue for current biennium 

November 29, 2022   Augusta, MAINE – Following its meeting today, Maine’s nonpartisan Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) is expected to upgrade the State’s General Fund revenue forecast by approximately $282.8 million for the current biennium, which ends June 2023. The RFC also increased its projection for Fiscal Years 2024-2025 by $488.6 million.    “The State of Maine continues to be in the black as a result […]

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Maine jury sends $3 million anti-racism message to Eastern Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Health

November 4, 2022 Largest-Ever Race Discrimination Verdict in Maine On November 2, 2022, a jury in the Bangor federal courthouse returned a verdict of $3,000,000 for David Ako-Annan against Eastern Maine Medical Center. This verdict found that EMMC engaged in unlawful racial discrimination when it terminated his employment; it also awarded $1,500,000 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000 in punitive damages for EMMC’s reckless disregard for Mr. Ako-Annan’s right not to be discriminated against because of his race. Plaintiff David Ako-Annan has lived in Milford for about ten years and is age 46. He was the practice manager between June 2013 and April 2019 at a primary care medical office in Orono operated by EMMC. Mr. Ako-Annan is a Black immigrant from Ghana who moved […]

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Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests to Prepare for Safe Holiday Travel and Gatherings

11/17/2022  Maine households may order a kit of five rapid COVID-19 tests for home delivery every month from Project ACT AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is encouraging Maine people to order free, at-home COVID-19 tests as part of their planning for upcoming gatherings and travel to protect relatives and friends and help limit the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season. Households that order through Project Access COVID Tests (Project ACT) may receive one free kit of five rapid tests mailed to their home address every month. Project ACT, a partnership between DHHS and The Rockefeller Foundation, has mailed 170,897 free, at-home COVID-19 test kits – for a total of 854,485 tests – to Maine households since its launch in January […]

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Baileyville Mill Workers on Verge of Strike Vote, to Project Union “Bat Light” on Mill

Friday, Nov. 18 Workers at the Woodland Pulp mill in Baileyville, Maine are demanding that the company present a contract offer that provides high enough wage increases to keep up with the cost of living. The members of USW Local 27 will be projecting the union’s “Bat Light” on the side of the tissue machines at the mill today with the message “Essential Workers Deserve a Fair Contract.” Union members are scheduled to take a vote on whether to strike or accept the company’s final after their bargaining session with the company on November 28. “Whenever there was trouble in Gotham City, they would project the Bat Light on a building to summon Batman. The USW Bat Light signals that […]

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Mills Administration Announces $23.7 Million Unemployment Tax Cut for Maine Businesses Strategic investments will reduce unemployment taxes in 2023

November 17, 2022 Augusta, MAINE – The Mills Administration announced today that many Maine businesses will see a significant reduction in unemployment taxes next year thanks to strategic investments by Governor Mills in Maine’s unemployment trust fund. In 2020 and 2021, Governor Mills directed that $382 million in Federal COVID relief funding be invested in Maine’s unemployment trust fund to prevent tax increases on Maine’s small businesses caused by unprecedented pressure on Maine’s unemployment compensation system. Because of these investments, Maine’s unemployment trust fund remained solvent during the pandemic, unlike many states that had to borrow and repay billions of dollars with interest to the federal government. As a result of these investments and Maine’s strong economic recovery, the unemployment trust fund currently […]

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Polar Express family event at the Maine Rockport Opera House Dec. 7

Film still from The Polar Express, image credit Warner Brothers, 2004. Families are invited to don their coziest pajamas and head over to the Rockport Opera House on Wednesday, December 7, at 5:30 p.m. for a special Polar Express-themed event, presented by the Rockport Public Library. Attendees will be greeted by the Polar Express conductor; costumed chefs will be serving baked goods and […]

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40 Attorneys General Announce Historic Google Settlement Over Location Tracking Practices 

November 15, 2022 AUGUSTA – Attorney General Aaron Frey today announced that Maine along with 39 other attorneys general, has reached a $391.5 million multistate settlement with Google over its location tracking practices relating to Google Account settings. This is the largest multistate Attorney General privacy settlement in the history of the U.S. Maine will receive over $4 million from the settlement.  “Google users were misled into believing they had control over their location data when they did not. Consumers have a right to know whether their data is being collected and what it is being used for,” said Attorney General Frey.  Location data is a key part of Google’s digital advertising business. Google uses the personal and behavioral data it collects […]

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Electricity rates to go up in Maine says PUC

November 16, 2022 By Ramona du Houx Hallowell, Maine –The Maine Public Utilities Commission accepted bids and set new Standard Offer electricity supply rates for residential and business customers of Central Maine Power Company (CMP) and Versant Power-Maine Public District (MPD).  For residential and small non-residential customers of CMP, the Standard Offer price will be 17.63 cents per kWh effective January 1, 2023.  The Standard Offer electricity supply amount accounts for about 60 percent of the total customer bill, therefore the total bill increase will be about 26 percent for an average customer using 550 kWh/month, or an increase of $31.98, from about $122.59 to about $154.58.  The standard offer price set last year was 11.8 cents per kwh, so the 17.6 cents […]

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Polar & Company Books, published in Maine

Fiction Thomas Votary, Medieval Oxford Coroner: The King’s Gold Double Leopards  Oxford has no law only landowners who try and control Votary so he won’t unveil their secrets but Thomas believes in justice & love. Soto’s SongTravel with Soto on his mystical journey through an imagined reality, where he gains perspective and listens to the wisdom in the air, water, fire, and earth. Art book. Conversations with Quetzalcoatl Humorous, lighthearted vignettes about pre-Columbian culture, with flashes of fantasy and wonder of the unexplained. The Proud andthe ImmortalTakes us into the world of a homeless community living in disused Amtrak train tunnels in New York City. My Tainted BloodFollows the author as a German/Jewish boy/teenager in wartime Breslau and post WWII […]

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Our Power Applauds Another Jobs Expansion in Maine Thanks to Low Rates in Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Service Areas

November 3, 2022  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 retired Senior Counsel to the Office of the Public Advocate, said, “It’s not at all surprising that more well-paid jobs keep coming to towns like Houlton, Kennebunk and Madison; that’s because those towns are served by non-profit, consumer-owned electric utilities. Manufacturing is very energy intensive, and electricity rates for CMP and Versant are about twice as much as they are in towns served by non-profit electric utilities. […]

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$25 million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan program to offer paid work experiences to Maine students

Career Exploration program to connect 6,000 young people with paid opportunities at Maine employers to strengthen Maine’s workforce October 28, 2022 The Maine Career Exploration program is a new $25 million, two-year initiative of her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to connect 6,000 young people in Maine to future career opportunities by funding paid work experiences with employers across the […]

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$7 Million in Energy Relief  Delivered to Thousands of Maine Small Businesses 

October 23, 2022 Augusta, MAINE – Maine small businesses and nonprofit organizations will soon receive a one-time electric utility account credit of more than $2,000 to provide relief from increased energy costs. This relief is the product of legislation sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, and signed into law by Governor Mills.   The program, created by LD 2010, Resolve, to Help Certain Businesses with Electricity Costs offers tiered relief based on electricity usage, and aims to assist small businesses and nonprofits in Maine facing increased costs due to volatile global energy prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Funding for the credit is provided through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, through funds allocated by the Legislature for small business relief.   […]

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Maine’s Energy Office releases updated guide to help people save money and stay warm this winter

Augusta, MAINE – With Federal forecasts expecting energy prices to remain high this winter, the Governor’s Energy Office has updated its winter heating resource guide to help Maine people and families take action to save money, improve their home’s energy efficiency, and find heating assistance if needed. The guide is now available on the Governor’s Energy Office website and as […]

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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 […]