LD 92: “An Act To Increase the Minimum Wage to $8.00 per Hour” (MPA Supported)
Mainers are working harder than ever and still not making enough to make ends meet. Everyone should be paid a fair wage and everyone should have a fair shot at success. While this compromise bill would not have increased the minimum wage to the level of MPA’s 2016 citizens intiative, any increase in the short-term is welcome. Unfortunately Senate Republicans, unsatisfied with even this modest increase, presented an alternative version of the bill that included rolling back Maine’s child labor laws and the removal of any increases tied to the cost of living. The bill died between the House and Senate when a compromise could not be reached between the competing versions of the bill.
House Roll Call: #174
Senate Roll Call: #296
LD 341: “An Act To Prevent Tax Haven Abuse” (MPA Supported)
Maine is a stronger state when everyone pays their fair share. This bill would have closed a common tax loophole that allows large companies to store profits made in Maine in offshore tax havens. It would have brought money back into local communities to help fund critical services. The bill was passed in the House but rejected in the Senate and died between chambers.
House Roll Call: #90
Senate Roll Call: #88
LD 297: “An Act To Increase Allowed Investments under the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program” (MPA Supported)
The amended version of this bill was a reaction to the revelations that out-of-state corporations had been using the New Market tax credits program (which they wrote and lobbied for) to bilk the state of tens of millions of dollars through single-day loans and other shady practices. The most high-profile of which was the Cate Street scam, through which the state is set to lose $16 million to companies involved in the now-bankrupt Great Northern paper mill. The bill would have halted and reviewed the tax credit program and allowed the state to recoup taxpayer dollars if investments were deemed to be “sham transactions.” The bill was passed in the House but rejected in the Senate and died between chambers.
House Roll Call: #336
Senate Roll Call: #332
LD 1312: “An Act To License Outpatient Surgical Abortion Facilities” (MPA Opposed)
MPA supports reproductive freedom for all women. LD 1312, commonly known as a Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) bill, sought to add unnecessary and burdensome regulations on Maine health centers in an effort to force them to close. A similar bill passed in Texas forced 32 clinics to close and now some women must travel over 200 miles to access a health clinic. Fortunately, this extreme bill was defeated in both the House and Senate.
House Roll Call: #105
Senate Roll Call: #217
LD 319: “An Act To Strengthen the Economic Stability of Qualified Maine Citizens by Expanding Coverage of Reproductive Health Care and Family Services” (MPA Supported)
Having children has huge personal, health, and economic impacts on women and families. Women need guaranteed access to health care whether they have children or not. Equality for women starts with affordable health care, including birth control, pregnancy and maternity care. LD 319 expands Medicaid eligibility for reproductive health care to 13,000 more Mainers while drawing down federal funding that will save the state around $3 million over the next three years. The bill passed both the House and Senate and was included in a handful of bills that Governor LePage failed to veto in the allotted time, allowing it to pass into law.
House Roll Call: #262
Senate Roll Call: #275
LD 977: “An Act To Improve Child Care in the State” (MPA Supported)
Increased support for childcare enables more parents, and more women in particular, to participate fully in the economy without being forced to choose between raising a family and holding down a job. LD 977 would provide $2.2 million in additional state funding to support childcare for working parents. This investment would be matched with $3 million in federal dollars and enable more parents to access quality childcare. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support but failed by one vote in the Senate.
House Roll Call: #161
Senate Roll Call: #154
LD 1019: Amendment to the Governor’s Budget (MPA Supported)
This year Maine has seen an unprecedented number of attacks on immigrants of color by the LePage administration and his allies in the legislature. In particular, many Republicans have been adamant on cutting asylum-seeking immigrants, who have fled to Maine to escape torture and persecution, from General Assistance – a public assistance program that helps pay for food and shelter while they wait for authorization to work by the federal government. In order to prevent 1,000 immigrant families from being made homeless, legislators introduced an amendment to the state budget to explicitly include GA funding for lawful non-citizens. The bill passed the House but failed to advance in the Senate. A standalone measure was later passed.
House Roll Call: #269
Senate Roll Call: #269
LD 1375: “An Act To Increase Accountability in Maine’s Welfare Programs” (MPA Opposed)
Governor LePage has made it his priority this year to demonize and attack poor families under the guise of “welfare reform.” This bill proposed by the Governor would have imposed harsh and unenforceable penalties on poor families who rely on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Real, substantive welfare reform should seek to move people out of poverty, not punish them for being poor. An amended version of the Governor’s bill was passed in the Senate, but was rejected by the House and died between chambers.
House Roll Call: #364
Senate Roll Call: #303
LD 384: “Resolve, To Study the Design and Implementation of Options for a Universal Health Care Plan in the State That Is in Compliance with the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (MPA Supported)
Access to health care shouldn’t be determined by a person’s bank account. Health care is a human right and that the only way everyone can be assured of access to quality, affordable health care is through a universal health care system. LD 384 would have convened a panel to study the feasibility of implementing a universal, single-payer health care system in Maine. The bill was vetoed by Governor LePage and his veto was sustained in the Senate.
House Roll Call: #237
Senate Roll Call: #377
LD 750: “An Act To Allow Regulated Metal Mining in Maine” (MPA Opposed)
MPA advocates for responsible stewardship of Maine’s natural resources and a clean, toxic-free environment. In 2012 the legislature passed a bill to allow metallic mining in northern Maine and consequently the Department of Environmental Protection was required to write rules to safeguard nearby lakes and rivers from water pollution. The rules presented were flawed and left serious concerns that local communities would be left with the bill for any mining pollution. LD 750 was an attempt by the legislature to revise the proposed rules but, unfortunately still did not go far enough in protecting Maine’s water and wildlife. The bill was voted down in the House and Senate.
House Roll Call: #156
Senate Roll Call: #287