I’ve been a bit behind in the legislative updates due to a couple technical details. My programming friend Runar worked last week to get things back on track and we are good to go. And, well, honestly, last week was so profoundly marked by a cold and the flu - that I spent much of Wednesday at home sick. Things are certainly picking up this weekend though, and so, here we go again.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
at the calendar on the left - or click - below
Bill Text can be found using this link called
Directory of Bills
Link to Bill Status
This week in the House -
I’m watching a change set in. More and more bills are moving from committee to the House Floor and so more an more votes are cast to pass or not to pass bills. No one told me just how important this was - and so I had to be late to a meeting on Thursday. It’s a learning - it’s all a learning.
This week in the Education Committee
Last Monday, I had the chance to present a bill on the evaluation of Charter Schools. The concept is to provide a rich and thorough evaluation of charter schools before we engage in creating additional charter schools. While these special purpose schools serve different populations in Maine, they nonetheless use public funds - some 20M of public funds. The testimony for and against this bill was spirited - more spirited than I thought it would be. While the current legislation does call for evaluation, all the current evaluative documents are based on self-reports.
We can do better.
We are beginning that second eight week period - and the “square of the eights” is a great deal more real than I thought. I work very had to put all the formal dates, times, and events in my calendar and share that calendar with everyone. This is surely turing into a full time job.
In many ways, two core issues face us - and they are both issues on which the votes have delivereed a message. First, we need to fund education at a "Fair 55." That's what the referendum indicated and that's that the voters have said on at least two occassions. We can't be engaged in shenanigans to hidte parts of that 55% by removing other amounts. It's about a "Fair 55."
Second, I also believe the voters spoke loudly and cearly about a minimum wage, a fair minimum wage for everyone. There was no mumbo-jumbo in the referendum - and there should be none in the legislature. If in two years, we notice that something needs fixing, we can fix it then - but for right now we need to listen to the mandate we were given and enact the designated minimum wage laws.
If there were to be quibbling about these two issues, it would have happened at the ballot box. The ballot box was clear - get the job done - and that's exactly what I intend to do.
On next Thursday, I get to introduce a bill to increase the safety and signage around petting zoos.