2011 Scorecard Bills

LD 1207: An Act To Amend the Labor Laws Relating to Certain Agricultural Employees

This bill was originally intended to remove minimum wage and overtime protections and the right of employees to bargain collectively at the DeCoster egg farm in Turner (the only facility in Maine that meets the law’s requirement of having more than 300,000 laying birds).

More for Millionaires

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans and plunging our country into massive debt. Bush’s tax cuts have exacerbated the divide between the super-wealthy and the rest of us. Today, 1% of Americans now control 40% of the nation’s wealth. Millionaires and corporations are paying less in taxes than they ever have before.

Maine Small Businesses Take On the Credit Card Industry

Members of the Maine Small Business Coalition (MSBC) have made their voices heard this year, both in the Maine Legislature and on several national issues and have experienced increasing success in countering the agenda of groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Chambers of Commerce.

Defending Mainers' Right to Organize

On June 2nd, hundreds of union workers from the public and private sectors protested at the State House in Augusta to oppose LD 309, a bill that supporters called “Right to Work” but that MPA and our allies recognized as an assault on Maine workers and their right to collective bargaining. Workers, side by side with MPA volunteers and community members from all over the state gathered in the Hall of Flags and chanted, “Kill the Bill!”

Successfully Defending Maine's Environment

This legislative session saw the onslaught of anti-environmental legislation that Governor LePage and conservative Republicans promised to advance as soon as they gained power last November. The chemical industry and other corporate special interests jumped on the opportunity to push for hundreds of bills that have been voted down in past legislatures. This alliance between ideological politicians and industry-funded lobbyists resulted in a massive assault on dozens of environmental protections, but Mainers rallied to oppose this assault in historic numbers.

Fighting for Clean Elections

With the First Regular Session of the 125th Legislature now ended, supporters of the Maine Clean Election Act can breathe a sigh of relief. While not all of the news is good, the law withstood attacks both direct and indirect throughout the six and a half month long session. MPA is proud to be a member of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, who fought hard all winter and spring to protect Maine’s popular system to keep big money out of politics.

Race Matters

In April, The Maine People’s Resource Center—MPA’s sister organization—released the Maine Racial Justice Policy Guide. It documents the racial disparities that Mainers of color face in education, health, and income, and offers an analysis the public policies that are likely to positively or negatively impact these disparities. It also shows how the growth of communities of color in Maine is essential for our economic future.

Mercury Delay

The legal delays and stall tactics employed by Mallinckrodt continue to hold back cleanup progress at the HoltraChem site in Orrington. After almost a year, the company still has not complied with the final BEP order that requires them to remove two leaking landfills on the site, repair the remaining three, and begin the rest of the work needed to restore the site to a safe standard and stop mercury from leaking into the Penobscot River. The company’s current objections have taken two forms – stalling progress on site and filing a legal appeal.

Health Insurance Industry Deregulation

This legislative session there were a lot of changes to the healthcare system, and unfortunately most of them will make life harder for the thousands of Mainers who struggle to find quality, affordable health insurance. The worst of these was LD 1333, the insurance deregulation and rate hike bill, which was rushed through the legislature, passed along party lines and signed by the Governor in May.

Protecting Votes

On August 8th, the Maine People’s Alliance and a broad coalition of ally organizations delivered more than 68,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State, ensuring that a referendum to protect the right of Maine people to register on Election Day will be on the ballot this November.

Never before has a People’s Veto campaign succeeded in making the November ballot without hiring a professional petition gathering firm. From the beginning, the coalition decided to run a grassroots campaign focused on volunteer engagement. In the end, this incredible feat was accomplished through the hard work of more than 1,500 volunteers, representing every county and almost every town in Maine.