2017-02-10 - Update

Legislative Update


Introduction
It’s always an interesting week - always.  Even with one day taken out of the legislative calendar by the storm, the work of being a legislator continues.  


House Calendars

      Tuesday, Febuary 7, 2017


   Bill Text can be found using this link called Directory of Bills

      Directory of Bills


   Link to Bill Status

      Bill Status

Events Calendars

Event Calendar


This week in the House -


This past week included one legislative session, and at this juncture, most of the legislative time is spent in referring bills to committee for further consideration. The real work is being done be all the committees who listen and consider the many different bills being presented.

We also heard the Governor’s State of the State address on Tuesday evening. While the speech was carefully crafted to show an unparalleled support for Maine’s aging population, I was left wondering what the real impacts would be of the budget.  While the Governor wants to remove the income tax, I wonder what the impact will be on property taxes?  Will senior citizens living at home now have greater property taxes?  Is that really protecting them? Is that creating the very situation that we want to avoid - by forcing seniors to leave their homes as they struggle with property taxes.

The Governor also said that we need to pay teachers “what they are worth.”  I was one of the first people to stand and applaud that statement.  Yet, I also know that the proposed budget removed the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for teachers on retirement.  How is that protecting Maine’s senior citizens?  If we are to pay teachers what they are worth, we can’t then take away the benefits we promised them.

One of my constituents sent along an interesting article on the impacts of the proposed budget. The article might be distrubing.  Click this link.

 

   The Beacon on the Budget


Reflections
There are lots and lots of issues on which to reflect.  Both nationally and statewide, we face burdens of equity, fairness, and income inequality.  Good jobs for Maine means good jobs for America -  and we have to create an educational system which matches our needs in the 21’st (and 22’nd) century.  

Often it seems as if we are living in a “post-modern,” “post-truth,” “post-manufacturing” world, yet our education system is firmly grounded in a 19’th century thinking.  In any kind of social transition, we need to figure out what should be altered, and what should be maintained .


As always, feel free to write to me and let me know your thoughts.


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