Alliance

LD 1746: Supplemental budget to fix shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, again reminded the nation why we need bold investments in the economy to lift millions of Americans out of poverty, out of unemployment and toward a future where all have enough to thrive.

Just one year after Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) celebrated the first successful decade of Clean Elections in Maine, the 125th Legislature has contemplated seriously scaling back Maine’s first-in-the-nation law.

While efforts to repeal the law outright have failed, the legislature has dragged its feet on updating the law in the wake of a damaging U.S. Supreme Court decision.  That has left considerable uncertainty about how the program will work in the 2012 election cycle, currently underway.  

In January, more than 105,000 signatures from 450 Maine towns were delivered to the Maine Secretary of State’s office from Mainers who want to see the issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples on this November's ballot. MPA is a proud member of the coalition of groups supporting same-sex marriage in 2012. Together, these organizations have embarked on the first effort in our nation’s history to pro-actively put the freedom to marry to a statewide vote.

The beginning of 2012 presents a landscape filled with both challenges and opportunities for the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine (ACHM), of which MPA is a proud member. The Alliance hopes to build off of some significant victories achieved during the 2011 legislative session, to defend key environmental regulations that protect Maine and its citizens and to move forward with priority issues on both the state and federal level.  

Protecting Kids from Toxic Products

Maine People’s Alliance members are joining with thousands of others across America to confront those who are undermining America's economic recovery and democracy.  As part of an ongoing anti-big bank campaign, they delivered a letter this month to Bank of America (BofA) in Portland to warn the national bank that they will engage in protests at the corporate shareholder meetings of BofA and other unaccountable financial institutions.

Due mostly to a series of incorrect estimates and miscalculations by the LePage administration, Maine’s budget is facing a $221 million shortfall for this year and next in the Department of Health and Human Services.

To fill this gap, Governor LePage has proposed a massive set of cuts that would eliminate health care completely for more than 60,000 Mainers and deny basic health care services to hundreds of thousands more.

This legislative session MPA has been fighting a bill, LD 1725, presented to the Legislature by Governor LePage's Department of Labor, that would increase potential criminal penalties for unemployment fraud from a maximum of one year to 10 years in prison. This is an extreme proposal, especially for a state that has one of the nation's lowest unemployment fraud rates. In addition, the bill's increased work-search mandates will force unemployed workers to take a job well beneath their skill and wage level.

Americans and Mainers are starting to see the effects of the two major health reform laws of the last few years. The federal Affordable Care Act doesn’t cover everyone, but it has provided more access to care for more people and will do more as more provisions of the law go into effect. The health insurance industry deregulation bill, on the other hand, which was passed by Maine’s Republican Legislature and signed into law by Governor LePage last year, has decreased access by dramatically increasing rates. 

This scorecard of voting records of members of the 125th Maine Legislature showcases a sample of bills from across the issue areas that are most important to the members of the Maine People’s Alliance. Legislators’ overall percentage scores should give you a good sense of where they stand not just on the individual issues, but their fundamental values, including where they stand on community, investing in the future, fairness, equality, and justice for all Maine people.

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