Weekly Update -
Observations and Reflections
The legislature is still “gearing up” in that bills are taken up in committee and then referred for House action. This all takes time, so most of the real work of the legislative session is being done in committee.
In the Education and Cultural Affairs committee this week, we did take actions on a number of bills
1. The committee approved a free admission to the Maine State Museum and Archive for Veterans.
2. The committee approved, after a lengthy debate, the idea that the Department of Education, professionals in the field, and schools districts, should create and implement defined protocols for teachers and administrators to use when dealing with potential suicide cases.
3. The committee did not pass a bill that would have allowed a reduction in time needed to declare state residency for the purpose of reduced student loans.
Of course, that’s not all that happened in the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee; however, that’s the most substantial.
Weekly Calendar of Legislative Events/Meetings
Click this link ot see an events calendar - Events
Or, see the calendar in the side bar to the left.
As always feel free to contact me with qustions or observations.
Pedestrian Safety -
In another place
on Facebook, I ended up making some commentary about pedestrian safety in
and around Maine. As a pedestrian, I necessarily walk a great deal.
And I walk a great deal in Lewiston. When not in session, I will often
walk 10K steps a day as it my most normal method of
The city of Lewiston works very hard to maintain its sidewalks, and this is a special task especially in winter. I notice these kinds of things as I travel to and from Augusta every day.
And as I’ve written before, the river walk in Lewiston is a wonderful retreat in the middle of the city. It’s one of my favorite walks and I encourage everyone to check it out.
Could we do more? Yes - indeed. I did propose a bill to the Transportation Committee last year to have each town above 40,000 residents upgrade 10% of their crosswalks every year. The safety of our pedestrians can depend on well-planned crosswalks. The committee rejected the proposal - a disappointment, and perhaps someone else will pick it up.
At some point, we will see the demise of the automobile as the major means of transportation. This will happen first in urban areas, and in many ways it already has. As this process begins to unfold, then safe pedestrian walkways will become necessary. So will more mass transit like trains between urban areas.