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Official press releases from State of Maine agencies.



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Attorney General Janet Mills will Join Multistate Lawsuit to Stop the Rollback of Net Neutrality

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:43:03 EST

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that she will join the multistate lawsuit being led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop the rollback of net neutrality.

The FCC's vote to rollback net neutrality allows Internet Services Providers to slow or block access to certain sites or mobile applications, upending the idea of "net neutrality" that has allowed ideas and commerce to flourish across the web. Additionally, the vote follows a public comment process that has been viewed as fatally flawed and tainted by "fake" comments submitted during the FCC's comment process in which nearly two million comments stole the identities of Americans from across the United States. New York AG Schneiderman reports that over 400,000 "fake" comments from New York, Florida, Texas and California have been discovered to date.

"This rollback of the net neutrality rule is terrible for consumers, individuals and businesses who use the Internet daily to do banking, pay bills, do schoolwork, and do their jobs," said Attorney General Mills. "Additionally, if we as Americans cannot trust our government to conduct a truthful and legitimate comment period for one of the most significant regulatory rollbacks in this country's history, how can we trust that this is the right decision? The FCC's decision to vote on this matter during an ongoing investigation sends a bad message about their agenda. We should not tolerate this, and I am hopeful that other states will join us in opposing the FCC's action," added Mills.

The multistate lawsuit will be filed in the coming weeks.

###



Attorney General Janet Mills will Join Multistate Lawsuit to Stop Rollback of Net Neutrality

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:36:36 EST

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that she will join the multistate lawsuit being led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop the rollback of net neutrality.

The FCC's vote to rollback net neutrality allows Internet Services Providers to slow or block access to certain sites or mobile applications, upending the idea of "net neutrality" that has allowed ideas and commerce to flourish across the web. Additionally, the vote follows a public comment process that has been viewed as fatally flawed and tainted by "fake" comments submitted during the FCC's comment process in which nearly two million comments stole the identities of Americans from across the United States. New York AG Schneiderman reports that over 400,000 "fake" comments from New York, Florida, Texas and California have been discovered to date.

"This rollback of the net neutrality rule is terrible for consumers, individuals and businesses who use the Internet daily to do banking, pay bills, do schoolwork, and do their jobs," said Attorney General Mills. "Additionally, if we as Americans cannot trust our government to conduct a truthful and legitimate comment period for one of the most significant regulatory rollbacks in this country's history, how can we trust that this is the right decision? The FCC's decision to vote on this matter during an ongoing investigation sends a bad message about their agenda. We should not tolerate this, and I am hopeful that other states will join us in opposing the FCC's action," added Mills.

The multistate lawsuit will be filed in the coming weeks.

###



Governor LePage Thanks State Employees for Reaching an All-time High in Charitable Giving

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:00:10 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 15, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage thanked state employees for their generosity in donating to the Maine State Employees Combined Charitable Appeal (MSECCA). The 2018 goal was $420,000, and the state employees donated more than $558,000 in payroll deductions and one-time gifts, an all-time high.

Governor LePage stated, "2018 will be a safer, warmer, healthier and happier year for many in Maine and beyond, thanks to the generosity of Maine State Employees. I am pleased and proud that you have raised more than $558,000 for MSECCA this year, shattering the goal and making it the most successful MSECCA campaign ever."

The amount is the total contributions as of close of business on December 14, the deadline for payroll deductions. Additional one-time donations may be made through the end of the calendar year.

"I also challenged our employees to give to hurricane relief and I would match those donations up to $50,000. Maine state employees not only met my $50,000 challenge, they exceeded it by nearly $10,000. This means more than $106,000 will be going to hurricane ravaged areas in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Thank you for your outstanding generosity," said the Governor.

He continued, "I thank all the agency coordinators and volunteers for their incredible work on this year's campaign, and I especially commend Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt and his team at the Department of Transportation, who have done an exemplary job promoting this year's MSECCA campaign and working with all employees to make it the most successful ever."



Attorney General Janet Mills to FCC: Delay rulemaking for Net Neutrality

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:50:43 EST

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Andrew Roth-Wells Telephone: (207) 626-8887; 751-5892 Attorney General Janet Mills to FCC: Delay rulemaking for Net Neutrality AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills and 17 other Attorneys General wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking the Commission to delay its rulemaking deadline because of falsified comments made to the FCC.

"A careful review of the publicly available information revealed a pattern of fake submissions using the names of real people. In fact, there may be over one million fake submissions from across the country. This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale - and theft of someone's voice in a democracy is particularly concerning," wrote the Attorneys General.

Attorney General Mills announced her opposition to the FCC's stated intention to reverse Net Neutrality rules when the pending vote was announced in November, and is reviewing the proposal and discussing options with other attorneys general to protect consumers' rights.

Since then the Attorney General's office has received complaints from Maine residents who have found comments submitted in their name to the FCC in support of the proposed rule change that they did not submit.

Attorney General Mills, along with 12 other attorneys general, also submitted comments to the FCC in opposition to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking when it was originally announced in July.

"This is an assault on the public commons. Individuals and businesses use the Internet every day to do our banking, to pay our bills, to do our schoolwork, and to do our jobs," said Attorney General Mills. "This proposal will allow service providers to limit and slow down access to information based on their values and economic interests. The idea that we should all be able to access the same parts of the web and use applications freely, without interference from a provider, is critical to the free exchange of ideas fundamental to our democracy."

The Attorneys General ended the letter by writing, "It is essential that the Commission gets a full and accurate picture of how changes to net neutrality will affect the everyday lives of Americans before they can act on such sweeping policy changes" ###




Emergency Medicine Physician Placed On Probation

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:56:24 EST

AUGUSTA, ME - On December 12, 2017, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (Board), Office of Attorney General, and William P. Carter, III, MD entered into a consent agreement that resolved a complaint against Dr. Carter's medical license. The complaint was based on medical malpractice matters alleging failure to diagnose, and disciplinary action taken by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine for professional misconduct. The consent agreement places Dr. Carter's medical license on probation for at least six months. Dr. Carter currently practices in New Hampshire.

During the probation, Dr. Carter must have a Board-approved physician practice monitor. The monitor shall review at least 25% of all patient charts for any Maine-based health care provided by Dr. Carter and provide monthly reports to the Board.

All Board disciplinary actions are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Federation of State Medical Boards Action Data Bank. These reports are regularly reviewed by every state licensing board in the country.

The Board is made up of 6 physicians, 3 public members, and a physician assistant appointed by the Governor. Disciplinary actions taken by the Board are available to the public either by telephone at (207) 287-3601, or on the Board's website at www.maine.gov/md.

The Board of Licensure in Medicine is the State of Maine agency charged to protect the health and welfare of the public by verifying the qualifications of physicians to practice, and disciplining physicians for unprofessional conduct and incompetence. Any citizen can request an investigation of a physician or physician assistant by contacting the Board office by telephone at (207) 287-3608, by letter, or by visiting the Board's web site.



Department of Labor Provides Update on Unemployment Claim Filing on New System

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:14:41 EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2017Media Contact: Laura Hudson, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009AUGUSTA-On December 6, Maine Department of Labor launched our new ReEmployME unemployment filing system, part of a four-state unemployment insurance consortium with Mississippi, Connecticut and Rhode Island, after months of preparation and over a dozen various communications with those who would and could be most affected by the change - current and cyclical unemployment claimants, estimated to be roughly 7,000. As of this morning, a total of 7,193 current and cyclical claimants have successfully created their accounts and 5,986 weekly claims are in process. 2,646 claimants have received payments, which include multiple weeks. Volumes are where we expected them to be. Amy Vetter, Business Systems Analyst with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, has been onsite and assisting throughout the process along with several of her co-workers who also were part of the consortium since its beginning. "We are very pleased with how things have gone so far with this upgrade to ReEmployME," she said. "The issues that some Maine claimants have encountered are similar to issues Mississippi claimants encountered when we made the upgrade. From interface communication issues to data issues and everything in between, these things are an uncomfortable, but natural part of the process." She added that ultimately we will "experience what Mississippi has experienced: a stronger, stable, more robust system that will meet the full needs of Maine and all its constituents."The Department is seeing a common trend that unfortunately is slowing the process for as many as 800 or so claimants from receiving payments - incomplete Weekly Certification. A list of tips available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment should help address the most common issues we are resolving from claimants. Claimants can also view and download a guide to using ReEmployME at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/reemploymeguidelines.html .**Call Support Hours Extended**The Department has experienced overwhelming call volume, but is committed to taking as much time with each claimant as is needed to help them through this transition. This has led to calls-on-hold being dropped and longer than anticipated wait times. As a result, we have extended our customer service telephone support to 4:00 p.m. through next week to help any outstanding claimants finalize their claims and Work Searches on our new system. Since deployment of the new system, the Department has offered a special ReEmployME ‘account setup' telephone service at 207-623-6765 for anyone who needs help creating an account. Technical support can ONLY help claimants create a ReEmployME account and cannot troubleshoot issues. Claimants can call customer service at 1-800-593-7660 for help with any challenges they are having once their account is set up, or submit their issue online at http://www.maine.gov/labor/contact/index.shtml .**Work Search is Required when Filing**Whether filing a claim online or through the automated phone filing system, claimants must enter their required weekly Work Search online through ReEmployME for the claim to be processed. In the absence of the Work Search log, the filing process is incomplete and can not be processed for review. A large group of claimants completed the first part of the process using our automated telephone system, but have not gone online to ReEmployME to complete their required Work Search log. The department reached out to this group by email yesterday afternoon to help them with their challenges in completing the unemployment claim process.Claimants can report their weekly Work Search log by logging in to or creating an account on ReEmployME at maine.gov/reemployme, clicking on Weekly Certifications, and entering the required Work Search information when prompted. Maine CareerCenters and state librarie[...]



2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence Presented to Six Maine Companies

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:18:30 EST

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today presented six Maine companies with a 2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence during a reception at the Blaine House in Augusta. The 27th annual awards, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, recognize Maine businesses that demonstrate a high level of commitment to their community, employees and excellence in manufacturing or service provision."It's an honor to recognize these businesses, all of which represent the best of the best here in Maine," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "The businesses honored today are dedicated to quality workmanship, maintaining a loyal and dedicated workforce and giving back to the community. I thank each of them for doing business in our state and for serving as a great example for other Maine businesses."Since 1991, the Governor's Award for Business Excellence has been presented to 152 Maine businesses that go above and beyond normal day-to-day business operations. Previous recipients include Idexx Laboratories, L.L. Bean, GAC Chemical, Mathews Brothers, Jackson Lab and Moody's Collision Center. A 2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence has been presented to:**First National Bank** First National Bank has been serving Maine customers since 1864. A product of the mergers of the First National Bank of Bar Harbor and the First National Bank of Damariscotta, the bank has 16 locations up and down the coast from Wiscasset and Boothbay Harbor to Calais and Eastport with one inland branch, the newest, in Bangor. First National is the fourth-largest bank headquartered in Maine employing 237 Mainers. **Caron Engineering** Back in 1986, Rob Caron started Caron Engineering in the basement of his home in Wells. Rob had worked in the computer numerical-control machine-tool industry for many years and realized there were few products on the market for monitoring the health of cutting tools-with most of them being inadequate for the task. Caron Engineering's first and most recognized product, TMAC (Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control) was released three years later. Caron Engineering develops advanced hardware and software solutions for more intelligent machining, focusing on unattended operation, machine process diagnostics, cycle time reduction and operator error elimination. **Rockport Automotive Inc.** Rockport Automotive is an automotive service center located in Knox County. Their commitment to "Quality Service with Community Spirit" is exemplified in their Giving Back program. Each month, $5 from every oil change is donated to an organization. At Rockport, they believe education is the foundation of a great service experience, and each year more than 50 people attend free car-care clinics. Rockport Automotive specializes in the maintenance and repair of European, Asian and domestic vehicles, employing six full-time people in Rockport. **International Grand Investment Corporation** The International Grand Investment Corporation - or IGIC, purchased the pulp mill in Baileyville in 2010 from Domtar Corporation. Shortly afterwards, IGIC initiated a string of key capital investments to make the mill more competitive. These projects included converting the pulp mill boilers and kiln from oil to natural gas and making selected process changes to reduce cost and improve quality. In 2014, IGIC announced the formation of a new company under the IGIC umbrella, St. Croix Tissue, Inc. This additional investment of well over $150 million brought about the installation of two new tissue machines and the addition of 80 new, good-paying jobs in Washington County.**CRI-SIL Silicone Technologies, LLC** CRI-SIL Silicone Technologies is an award-winning, customer-centric, technology-driven provider of silicone elastomeric bases and compounds that serve industries worldwide in healthcare, automotive, military, aeros[...]



Governor LePage Thanks Veterans Administration for Improving Services for Maine's Veterans

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:20:58 EST

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage thanked the Veterans Administration (VA) for approving additional staff to address suicide prevention, drug addiction and other issues facing Maine's veterans.

"I thank Secretary Shulkin and Deputy Secretary Bowman for listening to our veterans and providing this needed support," stated Governor LePage. "My administration has placed a priority on serving those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, and I know that the Trump Administration places the same importance on honoring and supporting our veterans. The approval of these key positions sends the message to our veterans that we are here for you."

Staff of the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services (BVS) have been involved with the Veterans Treatment Court and other transitional programs for Maine's veterans. They have brought renewed federal attention to issues involving justice-connected veterans and their post-incarceration transition back into civilian life, including the lack of a dedicated, full-time health care for re-entry veterans specialist.

In response to Maine's requests, the VA conducted additional analysis, including a review of the homeless population rate, incarceration issues, the veterans crisis-line call volume, and other co-existing risks that are evident in a rural state, such as the propensity for isolation, and concurred that Maine needed additional resources to serve veterans in crisis.

As a result of these ongoing efforts, in addition to a recently approved suicide prevention coordinator, Maine has received approval for a veterans justice outreach specialist and a health care for re-entry specialist.

"Coordination with the Veterans Treatment Court and justice-connected vets has been and will continue to be a major priority for our office," stated BVS Director Adria Horn. "We are thrilled that our advocacy on behalf of the veterans justice outreach coordinator position will bring much-needed resources to our state. Secretary Shulkin has made Veteran Suicide a priority; it's refreshing to see action being taken to address that priority."

Governor LePage reminded veterans, "Some veterans avoid taking advantage of the benefits they have earned thinking that they should be reserved for another, more-deserving veteran. However, you and your families have earned these benefits through your service, and I encourage you to contact our own Bureau of Veterans' Services if you ever have questions about your benefits or if you want to connect other veterans with resources in the state. The Bureau is here to assist all veterans in Maine - and that includes you, your family, and your friends."

Veterans can go to http://www.maine.gov/veterans/ to access the benefits they have earned.



Commission Meeting Postponed

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:40:43 EST

The Maine Liquor and Lottery Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday December 12, 2017 has been postponed until December 19, 2017 at 9:00am.



State Treasurer Sends Unclaimed Property Notifications to Mainers

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:56:54 EST

AUGUSTA- December 11 - State Treasurer Terry Hayes announced today that the Office of the State Treasurer has sent notification of Unclaimed Property to 2750 Mainers. Notifications were sent through the U.S. Postal Service on a postcard.

Hayes reports that "if you do not receive a postcard from my office, you may still have property. Postcards were sent to select individuals with accounts that hold $1,000 or more, but there are hundreds of millions of dollars in additional property. Every citizen needs to review the list of Unclaimed Property. It should be just as routine as filing taxes each year."

Treasurer Hayes also warns about fraudulent schemes purporting to be from her Office. "If someone is asking for a payment or personal information, tear it up, or hang up the phone, because that is a scam. Call our office directly or go to our website."

At present, the Treasurer holds $241,879,913 of Unclaimed Property. It is easy and free to file a claim. To file a claim, go to https://www.maine.gov/upsearch and follow the easy to use instructions.

Unclaimed Property consists of money and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of inactivity. It includes items such as bank accounts, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, stocks and dividends, refunds, and safe deposit box contents.



Governor LePage Sends Letter to Legislative Leadership Outlining Principles of Medicaid Expansion

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:28:50 EST

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 11, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Today, Governor Paul R. LePage sent a letter to the leadership of Maine's legislature outlining the principles he will follow in the expansion of Medicaid as passed by the voters on November 7, 2017.

"The Legislature must now step up and identify a way to fund this, and it is their duty to the people of Maine to identify a way to pay for expansion that is both fiscally prudent and sustainable," stated the Governor.

"Implementation and funding of Medicaid expansion must be based on the cost estimates of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and must meet four basic principles. Following these principles will avoid the havoc caused by the previous expansion, which nearly destroyed the state budget and created a $750 million debt to our hospitals," the Governor noted.

The Governor's principles are as follows: 1. No tax increases on Maine families or businesses. 2. No use of the Budget Stabilization Fund or this year's money that will be directed to the fund with the goal of reaching $300 million; diversion of these funds would drain a key budget stability resource and only provide funding on a one-time basis. 3. No use of other one-time funding mechanisms or budget gimmicks. 4. Full funding of our Section 21 and 29 waitlists and no reduction of services or funding for our elderly or disabled populations and prioritization of our fiscal obligations, including Riverview.

A copy of the Governor's letter is available at the link below.



Maine CDC Sees Recent Increase in Number of Hepatitis A Cases

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:22:10 EST

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has seen an increase in hepatitis A cases with four cases occurring over the past three months.

Maine currently has six year-to-date cases of hepatitis A. While this increase in cases is unusual for this length of time, the overall number of hepatitis A cases in Maine for 2017 remains at a normal level. Outbreaks in several other U.S. states and European countries have shown that, while anyone not vaccinated against hepatitis A can get the illness, certain groups are at greater risk than others.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms can range from a mild illness to a severe sickness that can last several months. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including tiredness, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), that usually occur suddenly. Most children younger than six years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Hepatitis A spreads from person to person by swallowing something that is contaminated with feces from someone who is infected with hepatitis A (for example, contaminated food and water, or through fecal-oral sexual contact). Most infections occur from contact with a household member or sex partner who has hepatitis A. Hepatitis A spreads easily in areas where sanitary conditions and personal hygiene practices are poor. In the United States, hepatitis A is responsible for approximately 100 deaths annually.

To protect yourself from hepatitis A:

  • Get vaccinated, especially if you are a man who has sex with men, use drugs (injection or non-injection), are homeless, have chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis B or C, or travel to areas overseas where hepatitis A is common.
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper or engaging in sexual activity. Always wash your hands before preparing or eating food.
  • Talk to a healthcare provider if you think you may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis B, as well to make sure you are protected from hepatitis B.

For more information on hepatitis A visit: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm




Attorney General Janet Mills joins effort to preserve independence of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:10:25 EST

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Andrew Roth-Wells Telephone:(207) 626-8887 Attorney General Janet Mills joins effort to preserve independence of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Amicus brief states Trump's attempt to control agency leadership endangers consumers AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills joined a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Maine and 17 other states in English v. Mulvaney, a lawsuit challenging President Trump's decision to appoint Mick Mulvaney as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The brief argues that maintaining CFPB's independence is crucial to protecting consumers, and that Congress ensured this independence by creating a specific plan for succession.

Richard Cordray was the first director of the agency, which is designed to serve as an independent consumer advocate and check on the power of large financial-services businesses. He stepped down last month and, under the act that created the CFPB, his deputy director, Leandra English, became the acting director. Trump, citing an earlier federal law, claimed he had authority to appoint an acting director and selected Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney has been an outspoken critic of the CFPB and, while he served in Congress, voted to weaken the agency's authority and questioned its existence. Ms. English brought suit to challenge Trump's effort.

"The CFPB must remain independent of politics and must be led by someone who genuinely believes in the Bureau's mission," said Attorney General Mills. "The CFPB has been a crucial partner in protecting consumers in Maine and across the country. I will fight for it to remain an agency that protects everyday consumers, not corporate interests."

Since the CFPB began operations in 2011, the agency has handled more than a million consumer complaints and returned nearly $12 billion to the pockets of more than 29 million consumers wronged by financial institutions - five times more than the agency itself costs taxpayers to fund. Among other efforts to help consumers, the CFPB has reached multiple settlements with banks, debt collectors, and other predatory lenders. Recently, partnering with several state attorneys general, the CFPB acted against several predatory for-profit colleges, forcing them to pay restitution to consumers the schools lured in with unrealistic promises of a degree and gainful employment.

The amicus brief argues that allowing President Trump to circumvent the law regarding who serves as acting director seriously compromises the agency's independence. "Attempts to dismantle Congress's careful and concerted efforts in structuring the CFPB as a truly independent agency would, if successful, harm the Amici States' ability to enforce the many consumer financial laws that protect their residents," the brief says.

###



Town of West Gardiner now offering Rapid Renewal Service 

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:30:55 EST

**Residents can now renew vehicle registrations online**

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced that the Town of West Gardiner has launched Rapid Renewal, the Department of the Secretary of State's online service for the renewal of motor vehicle registrations.

Rapid Renewal is an e-commerce service allowing citizens to conduct business with municipal government and state government in one seamless online transaction. Rapid Renewal has gained national acclaim and Mainers have enthusiastically embraced it. While municipal participation in Rapid Renewal is optional, the service has now grown to 234 municipalities and has seen more than 1,512,408 transactions processed to date. The Town of West Gardiner will accept payments via e-check and credit card. Residents can continue to visit the town office to pay in person, but now also have the option of conducting these transactions online.

The Rapid Renewal service is currently offered by cities and towns from York County to Aroostook County, with populations ranging from Glenwood Plantation's three citizens to more than 64,000 in Portland. Through Rapid Renewal, citizens can quickly and easily renew their vehicle registrations and pay their municipal excise taxes online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rapid Renewal may be accessed through http://www.maine.gov/sos/online_services/index.html , the Secretary of State's site for online services.

Municipal officials who would like more information about participating in Rapid Renewal are encouraged to contact the Department of the Secretary of State at 626-8400 or by email at .



Maine Department of Labor Revises Rules under the Employment Security Act

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:59:39 EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8th, 2017 Media Contact: Laura Hudson, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA-The Unemployment Insurance Commission has revised four chapters of rules governing the state's unemployment insurance program administered by the Maine Department of Labor.

The state has adopted changes to four chapters.

Revisions to Chapter 9, Able and Available Requirements (rule number: 2017-P084), clarify eligibility for claimants who are only available for part-time work; provide factors for consideration in determining whether a claimant has an acceptable means of transportation to get to a job or to an area in which there are sufficient job opportunities; and clarify the application of the able and available requirements to claimants who are absent from their labor market area.

Revisions to Chapter 16, Benefits Paid to Illegal Aliens (rule number: 2017-P085 2017-P084), update references to federal agencies regarding immigration and add a provision to Section 2(A) permitting the use of other documentation as approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so that the rule does not need to be updated to reflect each new piece of documentation that DHS approves.

Revisions to Chapter 19, Other Remuneration (rule number: 2017-P086), simplify the allocation rules for "other remuneration" and modify the treatment of bonus payments to make it more consistent with the Employment Security Law.

Revisions to Chapter 20, Unemployment Fraud or Misrepresentation by Claimants (rule number: 2017-P087), remove the certified mail requirement from Section 2(B) and remove Section 2(C), as it is not legally required and not appropriate in all circumstances. Instead, the agency will prepare a standard operating procedure or other policy as to the methodology for interviewing the claimant in a fraud or misrepresentation case.

View the adopted changes to the rules here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/lawsandrules.shtml

The Employment Security Act is the governing statute for the unemployment insurance program in Maine, including both the Unemployment Insurance Commission and the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation.

Unemployment insurance provides a temporary source of income to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Unemployment insurance is funded solely by unemployment taxes paid by employers; employees do not pay into the unemployment system.

The Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-end-