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Official press releases from State of Maine agencies.



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Statement of Governor LePage on Budget: Pass House Republican Compromise and I will Sign

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:20:11 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 22, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today released the following statement regarding the House Republican Budget compromise:

"After weeks of gridlock, the budget compromise from House Republicans is fiscally responsible, supports important education reforms with increased funding for schools, prevents taxpayers' dollars from going to non-citizens and it takes care of elderly and truly needy Mainers now on waitlists for services. This budget also eliminates vacant positions within state government and reduces the tax burden on our job creators, small businesses and professionals who provide vital services to the Maine people."

"We cannot simply tax-and-spend our way out of a budget. Tough decisions must be made to deliver a budget that is balanced, fiscally responsible and benefits Maine's hard-working taxpayers. This is not the budget I proposed; I have agreed to support $125 million in new spending beyond what is fiscally prudent. However, this is my last and final concession. Taxpayers cannot afford any more spending without realizing improvement from our reforms, which will take some time. But House Republicans have worked very hard to put forth a reasonable proposal. If Democrats join with Republicans to immediately pass this budget, I will put my signature on it."



Secretary Dunlap Announces Results of Statewide Bond Referendum Question

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:27:07 EDT

**AUGUSTA** - The official tabulation of votes from the June 13, 2017 Special Referendum Election show that the bond issue was approved by Maine voters, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today.

The Elections Division has certified the results and Gov. Paul LePage signed the official vote proclamation this morning.

The certified election results show a total of 63,468 votes in favor of the bond issue, and 39,549 votes in opposition. Voters cast a total of 104,213 ballots in this single-question statewide referendum, with 1,196 blanks.

Question 1 asked: "Do you favor a $50,000,000 bond issue to provide $45,000,000 in funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share, to increase revenues and to expand employment or preserve jobs for Maine people, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio and $5,000,000 in funds to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in small businesses with the potential for significant growth and strong job creation?"

The Elections Division will post the results online this week at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/results/index.html . The legislation will become law 30 days from the date of the official proclamation (July 21, 2017).



Nominations Open for 2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:08:40 EDT

AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence.

"Every year I look forward to recognizing Maine businesses that go above and beyond and demonstrate a commitment to investment, innovation, employees, and communities," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "I am proud to present the Governor's Award for Business Excellence to those companies with outstanding leadership and direction. These businesses are a model of success in our state and deserve special recognition."

"After being in business for over 40 years, it was an honor to be recognized as recipients of the 2016 Governor's Award for Business Excellence," said Larry Geaghan, owner of Geaghan's Pub & Craft Brewery in Bangor. "There are many great businesses doing great things across the state and to be recognized by the Governor as one of them is certainly something to be proud of."

This award is presented annually to for-profit companies that consistently demonstrate high levels of achievement in manufacturing and service excellence, and a steadfast commitment to employees, customers and the community.

"For the past 26 years, the Governor has been honoring Maine's premier employers with the Governor's Award for Business Excellence," said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "We encourage any of Maine's for-profit businesses to consider applying for this recognition."

"Apothecary By Design (ABD) is proud to be a recipient of the Governor's Award for Business Excellence, because it recognizes the high standards and commitment ABD works to fulfill every day," said William Hall, Manager, Marketing and Communications at ABD. "Since accepting this honor in 2015, we've publicized it through our website, social media, and other channels."

Companies that have been in business in Maine for five or more years may be nominated or may nominate themselves. DECD strongly encourages businesses of all sizes to apply. Completed nomination forms, available on DECD's website at www.maine.gov/decd/start-grow/business-excellence, are due to the Department by Friday, August 25. Winners will be notified prior to an award ceremony to be scheduled in the fall of 2017.

The Governor's Award for Business Excellence, sponsored by FairPoint, was created in 1991, and 141 companies to date have received the award. DECD is proud to administer the excellence awards and to work with the Governor's office and review team to evaluate and score the applications.

For more information on the award, please visit www.maine.gov/decd/start-grow/business-excellence or email Torrey Gray, at torrey.j.gray@maine.gov.

###




Maine Forest Service concerned about holiday fire safety

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:50:59 EDT

**Cautions towns and residents about danger and liability associated with burn permits issued by privately owned entities**AUGUSTA - The Maine Forest Service is cautioning towns and residents against using third-party, non-sanctioned online burn permit systems after at least two fires occurred this spring. The fires likely would not have resulted if the officially sanctioned state online burn permit system had been used instead of that of a third party. On June 8, about eighty letters were mailed out to Town Managers and Fire Chiefs that use privately based online burn permit systems. It requested that each community "immediately discontinue its use of these (privately owned electronic burn permit) systems." Most have already complied and are utilizing the official state system (www.maineburnpermit.com) that has been in place since 2005, issuing over 88,000 online burn permits.Initially, most towns adhered to the letter and stopped using the privately owned online burn permit systems. This week, some of the subscribers to the privately owned online burn permit systems have allowed burn permits to be issued. With the 4th of July Holiday weekend approaching, the Maine Forest Service is concerned about escaped brush pile fires and the use of illegal burn permits. In the past, there have been a lot of wildfires during the 4th of July weekend.State fire safety officials have learned that at least one system has continued to issue permits despite the notification that their system is not legal under current Maine state law. The Maine Forest Service issued the letter based on a recent review of the legality of the privately owned online burn permit systems by the State Attorney General's Office. In short, the law only allows state owned online burn permit systems to be used. Maine towns and residents are warned not to use the illegal third-party systems because: -There is a question about liability should a permit issued by a privately owned system result in an escaped wildfire that destroys property or causes injury and or death -A burn permit is a legal document required to be administered by the Maine Forest Service, who authorizes town fire wardens to issue permits based on local conditions -If the state system is not used, it is possible that the person with no background or training in fire safety may approve the permit **THE DANGER OF PRIVATE SYSTEMS:**Several brush pile burns issued through privately owned systems have escaped. The most recent fire occurred in the town of China on April 15, 2017, when an escaped fire burned a barn and an apartment. The fire also knocked down power lines in the area. SEE: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/15/fire-destroys-barn-apartment-in-china/ Another fire occurred when a person, using a privately owned online burn permit system, had the fire escape and burn one acre in Litchfield on April 14, 2016. That fire threatened two structures and resulted in a summons for the landowner. In both cases, the wildfires occurred because the permits through the privately owned online systems were issued during the day, which is when most escaped fires occur. In 2012, careless issuing of permits through a private online system resulted in a wildfire in a town in central Maine. According to the Ranger, the Fire Chief "forgot to turn off the permit system" and allowed it to issue electronic burn permits on a class 3 (high fire danger) day in the fall. One of the fires escaped and the local Fire Dept. was called in to contain it. This would not have happened with the state system, because it automatically shuts down on a class three or higher day.The Maine Forest Service online burn permit system does not allow burning until after 5pm, when the winds die down and the temperature drops. If these citizens used the state system, it is likely that the escaped fires would not have occurred. There are only two ways to obtain a valid permit in Maine. One is a paper permit provided to towns by the Maine Forest Service at [...]



Maine Forest Service concerned about holiday fire safety

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:50:59 EDT

**Cautions towns and residents about danger and liability associated with burn permits issued by privately owned entities**AUGUSTA - The Maine Forest Service is cautioning towns and residents against using third-party, non-sanctioned online burn permit systems after at least two fires occurred this spring. The fires likely would not have resulted if the officially sanctioned state online burn permit system had been used instead of that of a third party. On June 8, about eighty letters were mailed out to Town Managers and Fire Chiefs that use privately based online burn permit systems. It requested that each community "immediately discontinue its use of these (privately owned electronic burn permit) systems." Most have already complied and are utilizing the official state system (www.maineburnpermit.com) that has been in place since 2005, issuing over 88,000 online burn permits.Initially, most towns adhered to the letter and stopped using the privately owned online burn permit systems. This week, some of the subscribers to the privately owned online burn permit systems have allowed burn permits to be issued. With the 4th of July Holiday weekend approaching, the Maine Forest Service is concerned about escaped brush pile fires and the use of illegal burn permits. In the past, there have been a lot of wildfires during the 4th of July weekend.State fire safety officials have learned that at least one system has continued to issue permits despite the notification that their system is not legal under current Maine state law. The Maine Forest Service issued the letter based on a recent review of the legality of the privately owned online burn permit systems by the State Attorney General's Office. In short, the law only allows state owned online burn permit systems to be used. Maine towns and residents are warned not to use the illegal third-party systems because: -There is a question about liability should a permit issued by a privately owned system result in an escaped wildfire that destroys property or causes injury and or death -A burn permit is a legal document required to be administered by the Maine Forest Service, who authorizes town fire wardens to issue permits based on local conditions -If the state system is not used, it is possible that the person with no background or training in fire safety may approve the permit **THE DANGER OF PRIVATE SYSTEMS:**Several brush pile burns issued through privately owned systems have escaped. The most recent fire occurred in the town of China on April 15, 2017, when an escaped fire burned a barn and an apartment. The fire also knocked down power lines in the area. SEE: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/15/fire-destroys-barn-apartment-in-china/ Another fire occurred when a person, using a privately owned online burn permit system, had the fire escape and burn one acre in Litchfield on April 14, 2016. That fire threatened two structures and resulted in a summons for the landowner. In both cases, the wildfires occurred because the permits through the privately owned online systems were issued during the day, which is when most escaped fires occur. In 2012, careless issuing of permits through a private online system resulted in a wildfire in a town in central Maine. According to the Ranger, the Fire Chief "forgot to turn off the permit system" and allowed it to issue electronic burn permits on a class 3 (high fire danger) day in the fall. One of the fires escaped and the local Fire Dept. was called in to contain it. This would not have happened with the state system, because it automatically shuts down on a class three or higher day.The Maine Forest Service online burn permit system does not allow burning until after 5pm, when the winds die down and the temperature drops. If these citizens used the state system, it is likely that the escaped fires would not have occurred. There are only two ways to obtain a valid permit in Maine. One is a paper permit provided to towns by [...]



More than a Dozen Augusta Area Employers Hiring at June 26 Job Fair

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:59:02 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2017

Contact: Peter Diplock, 207-624-5183

Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA-More than a dozen Augusta-area employers are recruiting on Monday, June 26 at the Augusta CareerCenter from 2 to 4 p.m. Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume and be prepared to interview. The CareerCenter is located at 21 Enterprise Dr., Ste. 2 in Augusta, Maine.

"In our tightening labor market, Maine CareerCenters provide the tools and resources to better connect job seekers and employers," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Workshops and one-on-one consultations facilitated by their career consultants can provide job seekers a path to education or jobs. Employers will find information and connections to employment and training resources that can help serve immediate or forecasted workforce needs. Connect with your closest Maine CareerCenter at www.mainecareercenter.gov."

Participating employers include:

- Assistance Plus - Bonney Staffing - Charter Communications - Crossmark - Ecocor LLC - Goodwill - Maine-ly Elder Care - Manpower - Modern Woodman of America - Woodlands Senior Living - Spurwink - T-Mobile - TD Banknorth

And More!

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O'Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

The Augusta CareerCenter, located at 21 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2, is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.gov .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-end-



Maine BMV unveils new video to help prepare road test applicants

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:24:54 EDT

AUGUSTA - Road test applicants now have a chance to view the entire process before their test date, in a new video offered on the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.

"What to Expect During the State of Maine Class C License Road Test" features driver license examiners from throughout the state, guiding an applicant through the process. Viewers will get a first-hand look at all aspects of the road test process, from the vision screening to the parallel parking maneuver, and have a better sense of what to expect during their own test at http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/exam.html

"Our goal in providing this video is to take away some of the anxiety that many people experience before taking their road test," said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. "We're hopeful that once people watch it, they'll see that our examiners are friendly and approachable people, and gain a sense of comfort from knowing how the process will proceed."

The live-action video is available to view on the BMV website Exams Page at http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/exam.html and on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuNcdIx6kL4&feature=youtu.be

The video was created in-house, filmed at the Augusta Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch during the spring of 2017. It is one of several resources for aspiring drivers in Maine, along with the road test study guide and the guides at http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/studyguides.html for both parents and teens on our Teen Driver Resource page at http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/teen.html .



Attorney General Janet T. Mills announces action to address the opioid crisis

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:50:30 EDT

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet T. Mills is working with a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General from across the country in evaluating the practices of manufacturers of opioids.

The Attorneys General are investigating what role opioid manufacturers may have played in creating or prolonging this epidemic. Since 2010 nearly 800 Mainers have died from an overdose of a pharmaceutical opioid, compared to about 600 who died from an illicit opioid.

"We need to get the genie back in the pill bottle; our society is awash in pills and it is killing us." said Attorney General Mills. "The vast majority of people arrested for possession of heroin or fentanyl tell us their substance abuse disorder began with painkillers. We have to confront all sources of the opiate problem, no matter the origin. It is now common knowledge that certain drug companies sold the public and medical community a bill of goods by marketing products as being non-addictive when in fact hundreds of thousands of people developed severe dependency to these substances."

Although the Office is not identifying the target(s) of its investigation at this time, Attorney General Mills wants to assure the residents of Maine that she is actively taking steps to help address this opioid epidemic.

In addition to this investigation the Attorney General's Office is sponsoring a public education campaign entitled "Dose of Reality" to remind all Mainers that painkillers can be deadly, that sharing prescriptions is dangerous and that pills should be properly stored and disposed of. For more information see: http://doseofrealitymaine.org/

###



Maine Unemployment Rate 3.2 Percent in May

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:21:19 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz 207-621-5009**Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data****Household Survey Estimates -** The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.2 percent for May was up slightly from 3.0 percent in March and April and down from 3.9 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed was down 4,000 over the year to 22,600. The slight unemployment rate increase was expected; it does not indicate a deterioration in workforce conditions (see note 1 below). The unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for the last eight months and 16 of the last 19.The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.3 percent for May was little changed from 4.4 percent for April and down from 4.7 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 4.1 percent.May unemployment rate estimates for other states in the region were 2.9 percent in New Hampshire, 3.1 percent in Vermont, 4.2 percent in Massachusetts, 4.1 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.9 percent in Connecticut.The employment to population ratio estimate of 62.0 percent remained above the U.S. average of 60.0 percent.Payroll Survey Estimates - The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate of 619,500 for May was up 3,400 from one year ago. Nearly all growth was in the private sector with little change in government jobs. The largest job gains were in the healthcare, construction, and hospitality sectors.**Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data**The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate estimate of 3.5 percent for May was down from 3.8 percent one year ago. The lowest rate was 2.7 percent in Cumberland County and the highest was 6.2 percent in Aroostook County.The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland (2.7 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (3.2 percent) metro areas and close to the average in the Bangor metro (3.6 percent).June estimates will be released on Friday, July 18 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html .Labor force and unemployment data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .Monthly workforce estimates are cooperatively produced and released by the Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.**NOTES**1. Preliminary labor force estimates, including rates (labor force participation, employment, and unemployment rates), and levels (labor force, employed, and unemployed) tend to move in a direction for several months and then reverse course. Those directional trends are largely driven by a smoothing procedure and may not indicate a change in underlying workforce conditions. Annual revisions (published in March each year) tend to moderate or eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of 2016 preliminary and revised unemployment rate estimates is available at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2017/03/2016-workforce-data-revisions-stronger.html.2. The 90 percent confidence interval for statewide unemployment rates in 2017 is 0.7 percentage points above or below the published estimate each month.3. To assess employment growth, we recommend looking at nonfarm jobs from the payroll survey rather than resident employment from the household survey. The payroll survey is larger, has smaller margins of error, and is subject to smaller revisions. More on the differences in accuracy of the two measures is at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2016/04/reports-that-maine-is-losing-jobs-are.html .4. Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month because there is variability in the sample of reporting employers and their representativeness for the universe of all employers. Additionally, [...]



Homeland Security agrees to extension of REAL ID compliance period for Maine

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:41:07 EDT

AUGUSTA - The Department of Homeland Security has granted an extension of the State of Maine's REAL ID Act compliance period, which will allow federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Maine.

The Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of the Secretary of State today that DHS has granted the State's request for an extension until Oct. 10, 2017. With this extension, Maine licenses and IDs are once again acceptable identification for access to military bases, nuclear power plants and other federal facilities.

The DHS is implementing the final phase of the REAL ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005 that seeks to improve the security standards for state-issued identification credentials. On April 28, 2017, Gov. Paul LePage signed into law LD 306, which requires the State of Maine to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Passage of this law has allowed the State to request this compliance extension while working towards implementation.

During the waiver period, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will work toward implementing the systems and procedures that will enable BMV to issue Real ID-compliant licenses and IDs. This system must be in place by July 1, 2019, per the new Maine law. At that time, any person who desires a Real ID-compliant license or ID will be able to obtain one at their local BMV office. In addition to the standard license requirements,link at http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/index.html Real ID applicants must provide proof of legal presence, such as a birth certificate (a copy of which will remain on file with the BMV) and submit to a photograph using facial recognition technology.

Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, citizens in states without either the compliant ID or a compliance waiver will not be able to use their IDs to board commercial aircraft. The State of Maine, however, expects to have a renewed, valid waiver at that time.

Once REAL ID-compliant credentials are available in Maine, those who have a valid license or ID will not be required to renew it prior to its expiration date, unless they choose to do so because they desire/need a REAL ID-compliant credential. Upon renewal, the BMV will issue REAL ID-compliant credentials unless a person states that s/he would prefer to opt out. Those who opt out will be choosing a "non-compliant" license. Beginning in 2020, those who choose to have "non-compliant" licenses will need to produce a passport or another acceptable identity document for federal purposes that require identification, such as boarding commercial aircraft and accessing federal facilities.

Please note that REAL ID does not affect:

  • Entering federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification Applying for or receiving federal benefits
  • Being licensed by a state to drive
  • Accessing health or life-preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant's access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations.


For additional information, visit the Department of Homeland Security website at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs .



Adults Over 65 Years Old Had the Highest Rates of Lyme Disease in 2016

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:43:40 EDT

AUGUSTA - Data released on the Maine Tracking Network today by Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) reveals that adults over the age of 65 years had the highest rates of Lyme disease in the state last year. While the number of reported cases of the disease increased for all ages in 2016, adults over the age of 65 experienced the sharpest increase, topping 400 reported cases, or 162 cases per 100,000 people in this age group alone.

(image)
Graph produced from the Maine Tracking Network


"In light of this data, we are calling on adults over the age of 65 to take the necessary precautions to prevent tick bites," said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Siiri Bennett. "It is concerning to see such a spike within this age group and it is the first time we are seeing this group surpass children between the ages of 5 and 14 years. This is why we are stressing the need to be aware, take extra preventative measures, and understand the risks."

To help residents avoid tick bites and promote prevention techniques, Maine CDC launched the Tick-Free ME challenge. The challenge, which is open to all adults over the age of 45 years, provides participants with prevention tips, and encourages participants to track how often during the month of July they wear protective clothing while outside, apply repellant, conduct daily tick checks, and perform home yard maintenance to reduce tick habitats.

"More than half of Lyme disease cases are acquired during the months of June, July, and August - so this challenge is a great opportunity to establish new habits or improve on tick prevention actions, and ultimately reduce the number of our residents who get Lyme and other tickborne diseases," said Dr. Bennett.

The registration deadline for the challenge is June 27th. To learn more about Tick-Free ME or to register for the challenge visit: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/lyme/tickfree/.

For More Information:

• View and explore the newly released 2016 Lyme disease data, including data for Maine towns, on the Maine Tracking Network: data.mainepublichealth.gov/trackinghttp://data.mainepublichealth.gov/tracking">data.mainepublichealth.gov/tracking /> • Get general information about Lyme disease: www.maine.gov/lyme
• Check out our videos on ticks and tickborne diseases at Maine CDC's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/MainePublicHealth



Registration Deadline Announced for Fuel Dealers Offering Pre-Paid Home Heating Contracts; Online Registration Process Available to Help Fuel Dealers and Public

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 17:10:58 EDT

Commissioner Anne L. Head at Maine's Department of Professional and Financial Regulation highlighted the June 30th deadline for fuel dealers to register with the state if they intend to offer pre-paid home heating contracts for the next fuel season.

She also noted that an online process is available to assist both fuel dealers and the public. The registration form and general information can be obtained from the Department's website (www.maine.gov/pfr), or directly at www.maine.gov/pfr/hho.html.

Intended to provide greater protections to consumers who use pre-paid home heating contracts, LD 1895, An Act To Protect Consumers by Strengthening the Laws Governing Prepaid Home Heating Oil Contracts, became law in 2012.

The law responded to examples of companies taking money from Maine consumers, but then failing to supply the fuel, leaving the consumers without fuel and unable to recover their money.

The law requires a fuel dealer who offers prepaid contracts for home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas to Maine residents to register the dealer's intent to offer such contracts with the Department by June 30th of each year. It also requires these dealers to file a report by October 31st each year to indicate the manner of compliance.

Additionally, the law requires that the annual report include a notice that a false statement is punishable as a Class D crime. The law provides that a violation of the requirements of Title 10, Section 1110 is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Consumers wishing to check whether a fuel company registers by the June 30th deadline, or fuel dealers seeking additional information, can call the Department at (207) 624-8511.



In Highlighting Elder Abuse Awareness Day, State Officials Urge Mainers to Report Suspected Cases of Financial Exploitation

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:21:39 EDT

Officials at Maine's Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (DPFR) are focusing attention on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day--recognized each June 15th throughout the United States and in other countries, and often referred to as the ‘crime of the 21st century,' because of its increasing prevalence and devastating impacts."The abuse of seniors is among the most under-reported crimes, and its impact can have devastating consequences for its victims," DPFR Commissioner Anne Head said. "Unfortunately, the perpetrator is often a relative or caregiver, making it more difficult for the senior to come forward. Each of us has a responsibility to report concerns about potential abuse."Commissioner Head noted that financial abuse is among the most common forms of elder abuse, costing its U.S. victims an estimated $2.9 billion a year. The Commissioner highlighted the Department's five agencies, all of which are dedicated to educating the public and helping the victims of financial abuse. She pointed out the Downeaster Guide to Elder Financial Protection available through the Department's Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection by calling 1-800-332-8529 or at www.Credit.Maine.gov under "Publications". She also highlighted the many resources available through the Bureau of Financial Institution's online Consumer Library (www.maine.gov/pfr/financialinstitutions).Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw, who serves on the Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention, noted the frequency of investment fraud and the importance of reporting suspected cases. "Of special concern, is investment fraud of seniors," Administrator Shaw said. "Victims can lose their entire life-savings, with little opportunity to recover financial stability." For investment-related questions or concerns, the Office of Securities within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation can be reached at 1-877-624-8551 and at www.investors.maine.gov.Signs that an older adult may be vulnerable to possible abuse or exploitation may include:-- Social isolation and/or recent loss of a spouse or partner-- Recent decline in health or in the ability for self-care-- Lack of familiarity with financial accounts-- Dependence on another to provide everyday care or essential services-- Willingness to listen to telemarketing calls or respond to solicitations from unverified charities or businessesRed flags of possible victimization include: -- Senior has injuries that are not adequately explained-- Change in appearance or poor hygiene-- Senior is missing checks, account statements or documentation regarding finances-- Running out of money at the end of the month-- Senior appears fearful or depressed-- Senior is accompanied by a caregiver who is overly protective or dominatingA partial listing of state agencies that can assist seniors, caregivers and others who wish to report possible cases of abuse is below.###Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services: www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads 1-800-262-2232 or 207-287-9200Adult Protective Services: www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/aps/ Hotline: 1-800-624-8404Legal Services for the Elderly: www.mainelse.org 1-800-750-5353Maine Area Agencies on Aging: List of regional agencies with full contact information: www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes/resource/aaa.htmMaine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation: (Five Agencies Offering a Wide Range of Assistance to Seniors and Caregivers) www.maine.gov/pfrOffice of Securities: 1-877-624-8551 (Investment Questions or Concerns) www.investors.maine.govBureau of Financial Institutions: 1-800-965-5235 (Banking Questions or Concerns) www.maine.gov/pfr/financialinstitutionsBureau of Consumer Credit Protection: 1-800-332-8529 (Credit, Foreclosure, General[...]



Governor LePage accepts resignation of Richard Rosen as DAFS commissioner

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:33:35 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage announced today he has accepted the resignation of Richard Rosen as commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

The Governor has appointed David R. Lavway, deputy commissioner of operations at DAFS, as the acting commissioner.

"I thank Richard Rosen for his many years of service to the State of Maine," said Governor LePage. "He has been a dedicated public servant to the people of Maine, and I wish him well in his future endeavors."



Be Tick Smart: Maine CDC Names the Winners of the 2017 Lyme Disease Awareness Poster Contest

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:41:46 EDT

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held the 8th annual Lyme Disease Awareness Month Poster Contest to raise awareness and knowledge about prevention against tick-borne illnesses. This year's theme was "Be Tick Smart" and called for students to illustrate at least one preventative method on the poster. http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/images/pr-ticksmart2017.jpg" style="float: left; width: 284px; margin: 0 10px 10px 0;" />One poster winner was selected from each of the four participating age groups and is viewable on the Maine CDC's website (www.maine.gov/lyme). Each winner received a Maine State Parks family day pass, a certificate, and tick removal kits for their entire classroom. Congratulations to the poster contest winners: • Lylah Shanz, 1st grade, Stratton School • Allison Hanscom, 3rd grade, Miles Lane School • Jayvin Saint Louis, 4/5 grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School • Emily Seavey, 6th grade, Lyman Middle School "With so many impressive submissions this year, we had a hard time choosing our winners. For the first time, we decided to recognize two honorable mention posters that we felt deserved to be highlighted," said Maine CDC State Epidemiologist, Dr. Siiri Bennett. 2017 Honorable mentions: • Kenzi Jo Richards, 4/5 grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School • Noah Koenig, 7th grade, Stratton School Each school was limited to three submissions per grade-making each poster worthy of recognition. To honor these students and their contributions to Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the state has provided a list of each student who participated in the contest. Those names are available online: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/lyme/month/index.shtml. The Maine CDC sponsored a number of activities throughout the month of May to promote Lyme Disease Awareness Month and plans to continue these efforts throughout the season. Registration for the 2017 "Tick-Free ME" challenge opened this month. The challenge runs through July, during which participants perform tick checks and monitor their use of repellents, protective clothing, and outdoor maintenance in an effort to promote improved tick prevention methods. Adults who are 45 years old and older are eligible to participate. Registration for the challenge is available at www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/lyme/tickfree/. With the help of our poster contest participants and other Lyme Disease Awareness Month partners, Maine CDC successfully raised awareness of tick-borne diseases and encouraged prevention to help Mainers be "Tick Smart." • Maine Lyme disease data including town level data are available at www.maine.gov/lyme using the left hand navigation menu to select "Maine Tracking Network: Lyme disease" • Check out our tick-related videos on Maine CDC's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/MainePublicHealth • If you are an educator please check out our tick and mosquito curriculum: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/school-curriculum/index.shtml [...]