Introduction - A busy week - full of issues to consider and votes to be discussed. The days are growing more intense as we enter the second eight week term. The silly rule of the “Square of the Eights” is holding more true than I first thought. And somehow last week we passed Spring - though it was not plainly evident. (It's taken a few days to get this update posted - I had to work througha coulple technical bugs.)
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Please see the calendar to the left, or go to this link -
This week in the House -
Our Republican colleagues fascination with the potential ethical breach of Representative Tipping surfaced again this week. Even though Representative Tipping had secured the approval of the Ethics Commission Director before working on Question 2 in the election, our Republican colleagues bring this issue up repeatedly. If there were a real issue, could that have been directed to the Ethics Commission directly? If there were a real issue, why isn’t it handled there first? We have a very busy legislative session ahead of us, and to take so much time discussion this seems small minded and obfuscatory. Let’s get on the work of passing good legislation that benefits the people of Maine.
In another committee, Local and State Government, I had the chance to present the bill on improving pedestrian safety. It was great to have Kelly Cho Foley and her mother there to also present testimony. I’m hoping that what I call “Jayden’s Bill” can improve cross walk safety around the state so that we never experience this kind of tragedy again. Here is a link to my testimony - LD876 Pedestrian Safety
This week in the Education Committee
In the Education Committee, I had the chance to present an act to move the budgeting process for schools to a biennial process. This just seems so very logical to me - all our superintendents and administrators work so very hard every year to prepare a budget, and they often do so in a vacuum with regards to state support. This bill would create time for them to think about educational leadership and student learning - and I think that’s the reason we hire them. Here is a link to my testimony.
For a few very glorious days, the Education Committee enjoyed the benefit of “doing the right thing.” On Monday, they approved education funding for local schools at 55%. That’s the law - that’s the right thing to do. To do otherwise is shortchanging our children, shortchanging our futures.
Yet, after some examination, it seems that our Republican colleagues will re-open this provision of the budget process and make an attempt to reduce that 55% level. I can never claim to be an expert in matters of the budget, but I know what I see on the horizon. It’s sad that our Maine children will not get an education which makes them successful in the 21’st century, and in some ways I feel we doom our future to mere mediocrity.