Alliance

LD 1237: An Act To Prohibit Bullying in Schools (MPA Supported) 

Backed by MPA and our partners in the LGBT community, this bill ensures students will be free from bullying—both online and in schools. After passing in the Senate, the bill passed in the House during the special session.

Senate Roll Call 210

LD 145: An Act To Protect Homeowners Subject to Foreclosure by Requiring the Foreclosing Entity To Provide the Court with Original Documents (MPA Supported) 

 

MPA recently released the results of a public opinion survey question commissioned through the Maine People's Resource Center on a proposal to give people credit for work done caring for children and family members with disabilities when calculating their Social Security benefits. 67.5% of those surveyed favored the idea, with 38.7% expressing strong support for the proposal and only 10.6% strongly opposed. The poll of 475 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.5%, 95 times out of 100. 

 This year saw a number of contentious education bills move through the legislature as part of an education reform package pushed by Governor LePage. These bills would have allowed state funding for private religious schools and created an open enrollment program that would have drained funds from rural schools and created even greater inequality in Maine’s education system.

This legislative session saw a number of bills seeking to undermine economic security and weaken worker and consumer protections for Mainers. Six bills in particular attempted to undermine the power of collective bargaining for workers in Maine.

Assaults on Worker Rights

The Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, has done great things for Maine by eliminating some of the very worst practices of private insurance companies. So far in Maine 7,329 young adults have gained insurance coverage on their parent’s plans, 12,865 seniors on Medicare received a $250 rebate check to cover the cost of prescriptions, 187,251 people with Medicare received free preventative services or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor, and 226,000 people with private health insurance gained preventative service coverage with no cost-sharing.

The Maine People’s Alliance will work to register at least 5,000 new voters in 2012. Though voter turnout in a presidential election year is expected to be high, many of the Mainers who will be most affected by the issues MPA works to address aren’t registered to vote and therefore won’t make it to the polls to make their voices heard in November unless an effort is made to make sure they are registered and engaged.

In first few months of 2012 the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine (ACHM), of which MPA is a proud member,  scored some remarkable victories to protect consumers from toxic chemicals. 

In the last legislative session, Maine's landmark Kid Safe Products Act (KSPA) faced a serious challenge with the introduction of an industry supported bill that would have gutted its most important provisions.  Instead, the almost unanimous passage of a compromise bill actually strengthened KSPA and became a signature success in a difficult legislative session.  

In April the Maine People’s Alliance, in conjunction with groups across the country, educated and trained thousands of people on direct action and the roots of the economic crisis.  The trainings, dubbed the “99% Spring,” sought to train 100,000 people in the span of a week. 

MPA is proud to be a member of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign. This year, MPA is working to protect Maine businesses and workers from the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a massive international trade pact supported by the U.S. government that would work in the favor of transnational corporations at the expense of American workers. If it continues on its current course, the Trans-Pacific FTA will make it easier for corporations to shift jobs to countries where labor and environmental regulations are weakest and most exploited.

The Maine legislature this year voted to weaken Maine’s Clean Election system, despite a recent poll showing a majority of Mainers support a strong system of public financing. The poll, conducted by the Maine People’s Resource Center (MPA’s sister organization) and sponsored by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE), showed 69 percent of Mainers support Clean Elections. In addition, 80 percent of Maine voters believe that there is too much money in politics and that we must push forward with reforms to limit the influence of big money in elections and government.

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