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NAACP State Director Rachel Talbot Ross Responds to Governor LePage

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:26:44 EST

PORTLAND | In response to remarks by Gov. Paul LePage on WVOM radio Tuesday morning, Rachel Talbot Ross, president of the NAACP Portland branch and State Director of the NAACP in Maine, issued the following statement:


"Yesterday, our nation came together to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and civil rights leaders, including John Lewis. It's unfortunate the governor felt it was right to revise that history and disparage a congressman who, through his sacrifices, gave so much to ensuring our basic rights."


"The ripple effects of this insult reverberate far beyond Maine's African American community. It's a painful reminder to every person in Maine and those nationwide that the fight for equal rights and dignity continues."


"The NAACP remains dedicated to this fight today and tomorrow. We also welcome the opportunity to correct the governor's historical assessment of the civil rights movement."
Lindsay Crete | 207-231-1442 | Lindsay.crete@gmail.com



Sanford physician serves as State House Doctor of the Day

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:06:22 EST

State Reps. Patricia Hymanson, D-York and Anne-Marie Mastraccio, D-Sanford, welcomed Marshall Chamberlin, M.D. of Sanford, to the State House Thursday to serve as Doctor of the Day. A tradition since 1996, a physician is present for each day of the legislative session to assist in the event of a medical emergency.


Hymanson is serving her second term in the Maine House and represents Ogunquit, part of Sanford, part of Wells and part of York. She is the House chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.


Mastraccio is serving her third term in the Maine House and represents part of Sanford. She is the House chair of the Government Oversight Committee and serves on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Hymanson, Mastraccio], c. 231-1442



Rep. Parker visits Pollinator Project

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:30:31 EST

Rep. Jennifer E. Parker, D-South Berwick, met with Susan Ahl, head of the Pollinator Project at Reverie Farm in South Berwick last week. The Pollinator Project's goal is to help people learn about the benefits of increasing and sustaining pollinator habitat and pollinator-friendly practices in our own backyards and throughout our community. Pollinators, such as bees, are critical to flowering plants and food production.


"I am excited to learn more about their efforts as they continue to educate, inspire, and advocate for pollinators," Parker said.


Parker represents House District 6, which serves part of North Berwick and part of South Berwick.

Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Parker], c. 231-1442



Riley welcomes Spruce Mountain Elementary fourth graders to Augusta

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:40:48 EST

Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, welcomed fourth graders from Spruce Mountain Elementary School to the State House Tuesday. The tour was part of a field trip that also included the Maine State Museum next door.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Riley], c. 231-1442



Local lawmakers tour SMCC Midcoast Campus

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:57:57 EST

BRUNSWICK - Brunswick-area lawmakers toured Southern Maine Community College's Midocast Campus at Brunswick Landing Friday, Jan. 6. They met with students and faculty to learn about workforce development efforts, hear student success stories and get an update on some of the campus's new initiatives.


Photo:[from left to right] SMCC student Maeve Shea, Rep. Jay McCreight, D-Harpswell, Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, Rep. Denise Tepler, D-Topsham, Maine Community College System President Derek Langhauser and SMCC student Danny O'Neil meet at the nursing lab at the LLBean Learning Commons and Health Science Center on the SMCC Midcoast Campus in Brunswick (not pictured - Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Sagadahoc).


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Berry, McCreight, Tepler], c. 231-1442



Governor LePage released his $6.8 billion dollar budget on Friday at 10:30pm.

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 09:42:44 EST

AUGUSTA - Top Democratic lawmakers in the Maine House said they would be closely reviewing Governor Paul LePage's two-year budget proposal with a focus on increasing the number of people with good jobs and reducing the number of Maine kids and seniors living in poverty. Democrats will prioritize tax cuts for the middle class and investments in students, workers and communities.


Governor LePage released his $6.8 billion dollar budget on Friday at 10:30pm. Lawmakers and staff will be reviewing the budget details over the weekend.


Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:


"We will be carefully reviewing Governor LePage's budget proposal. Our focus will be on strengthening middle class families, schools, and seniors, while growing good paying jobs and a strong economy. This is the beginning of a long process and we are committed to the hard work ahead. We must be nimble and adaptive, but we will remain steadfast in our priorities. More jobs. Fewer Maine kids and seniors in poverty. I believe those are goals every person in this state shares. House Democrats look forward to a productive and dynamic budget that works for all Mainers."


The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee will begin work on the two-year budget proposal in the coming weeks. Rep. Drew Gattine of Westbrook, House Chair of the budget panel provided the following statement:


"Now we begin the hard work of crafting a budget that reflects the shared values of Maine people. Our committee will dig into the details, listen to public testimony and spend many hours focusing on how we can improve the lives of Maine families, support seniors and people with disabilities, strengthen our schools and jump start our economy. I'm optimistic Republicans and Democrats on the committee can work together to create a budget that Maine people can be proud of and continues our legacy of leadership."


Contact:


Mary Erin Casale, 207-415-4965



128th Legislature starts its work

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 09:36:34 EST

As the 128th Legislature starts its work, the Marine Resources Committee will begin to act on proposed legislation regarding our coastal fisheries. The harvesting of lobster, clams, scallops and other marine species are critically important to many of Maine's coastal communities and offshore islands. It is our job to ensure that harvesting is done in a sustainable way so future generations will also have these opportunities.


The committee's work will be defined by the fine line between the financial needs of today and the responsibilities of tomorrow. Our marine ecosystem and communities depend on it. The committee's focus has to be broad, avoiding near-sightedness that could impact our economy and environment.


The envy of the nation, Maine's lobster, clam, scallop and other marine harvests should allow as many people as possible to earn a living while maintaining our environment.
Additionally, a growing area of marine activity is aquaculture, and the committee has to balance that growth with traditional uses of our coastal waters. Aquaculture has the potential to greatly benefit coastal communities and maintain our working waterfront, but we have to ensure it can coexist with other users of the marine environment.
As House chair of the Marine Resources Committee, it is my hope that we strive for that balance in a bipartisan manner that takes public input and crafts policy with thought and respect for the people we represent.


Thank you for the opportunity to serve.


Sincerely,


Walter Kumiega
State Representative
Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle is serving his fourth term in the Maine House and represents the Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan's Island, Tremont, Vinalhaven and Marshall Island Township.



128th Legislature convened

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 09:20:30 EST

This past week, the Maine House of Representatives convened to begin the work of the 128th Legislature. For nearly two hundred years, Mainers have left their families to gather in Augusta and face the challenges of the day. They charted a course forward for prosperity which still helps guide us today.


I'm honored to have been re-elected to a second term in the House, and doubly so to have been named House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.


The committee will focus on issues of food production, access to markets, and the success of our family farms. We'll take a long and deep look at our forest products economy, and work with loggers and landowners to help them develop sustainable success. We'll continue to work to support those resources that are so important to all of us in our state parks, and the work that the Department of Conservation does to promote Maine's vast snowmobiling and other outdoor recreation opportunities.


Our top priorities of farm stability, food security, forest sustainability, and growing the rural economy will be the focus of my work, but I won't be working alone. I'm proud to be joined by my House and Senate colleagues from all corners of the state-from Saco to Sinclair and from Old Town to Wilton, and many other towns in between. Together, we'll put the people first, and work to find agreement on where we will most likely find success in the future.


Michelle Dunphy
State Representative



Our transportation systems

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:51:35 EST

Our ability to move people and goods from place to place plays a major role in whether Maine's economy withers or thrives. When our transportation systems are maintained, they allow Mainers to get safely to the destinations that shape their daily lives, including jobs, homes, and stores in need of customers.
In recent years, the state of Maine's infrastructure has declined precipitously. Since my service began in the House of Representatives and particularly as House chair of the Legislature's Transportation Committee, I have been focused on bringing people together to find a responsible, sustainable way to fund the state's infrastructure needs. If there is anything that government is responsible for, it is ensuring we have a safe and reliable transportation system. Our committee will continue this important work in the coming legislative session.
In addition to infrastructure investments, I'll also work with my fellow committee members to build better public transportation access for seniors, who face challenges whenever they try to go to the grocery store or to the doctor.
We will also address distracted and dangerous driving practices statewide as we work to ensure the safety of our roads and waterways.


By investing in our infrastructure, we can build a strong 21st century economy that reaches every Maine community, no matter how rural. Our businesses, schools, hardworking Mainers and burgeoning communities need an advanced, maintained and expansive transportation network that helps them thrive.
It is a privilege to work on these and other challenges facing Mainers during the upcoming session.


Andrew McLean
State Representative



Duchesne, Dunphy will chair key natural resources committees

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:56:12 EST

AUGUSTA - Reps. Bob Duchesne, D-Hudson, and Michelle Dunphy, D-Old Town, have been appointed to serve as House chairs of key legislative committees overseeing Maine's natural resources.


Duchesne will serve as House chair of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. The committee oversees the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as well as policy related to wildlife management, hunting, trapping, fishing, recreational vehicles and watercraft.


Duchesne will also serve as a returning member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which he chaired from 2009 to 2012.


Dunphy, a second-term legislator representing Old Town and Penobscot Indian Island, was appointed House chair of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. The committee oversees policy related to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, as well as the Land Use Planning Commission, state parks and historic sites, farming and the Land for Maine's Future Program.


Duchesne is serving his second consecutive term in the Maine House after previously serving eight years. He represents Alton, Corinth, Hudson, Milford and Argyle Township.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Duchesne, Dunphy], c. 231-1442



Nadeau reappointed to legislative panel on criminal justice, public safety

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:51:27 EST

AUGUSTA - Rep. Catherine Nadeau, D-Winslow, has been reappointed to serve on the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.


The committee oversees the state's Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Agency and Board of Corrections, as well as policy related to law enforcement, adult and juvenile corrections, fire safety and firearms. Nadeau has served on the panel since 2015.


Nadeau will also serve on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. The panel oversees the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as well as policy related to wildlife management, hunting, trapping, fishing, recreational vehicles and watercraft.


Nadeau is serving her third term in the Maine House. She represents Winslow and part of Benton.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Nadeau], c. 231-1442



Zeigler appointed to Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:47:27 EST

AUGUSTA - Rep. S. Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, has been appointed to serve on the Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee.


The committee oversees the Department of Environmental Protection and reviews policy relating to natural resource protection, air and water quality, waste management and the environment.


Zeigler is serving his first term in the Maine House. He represents House District 96, which includes the towns of Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Zeigler], c. 231-1442



Spear appointed to Legislature's State and Local Government Committee

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:42:08 EST

AUGUSTA - Rep. John Spear, D-South Thomaston, has been appointed to the Legislature's State and Local Government Committee.


The panel oversees the organization of state government, including state boards and commissions, as well as policy related to state and local government, oversight of state employees and state contracts.


Spear, who has been town manager and administrator for several Maine communities, is serving his first term in the Maine House. He represents House District 92, which includes Cushing, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston and Matinicus Isle Plantation as well as the unorganized territories of Criehaven and Muscle Ridge Islands Townships.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Spear], c. 231-1442



Terry appointed to Legislature's Taxation Committee

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:38:50 EST

AUGUSTA - Rep. Maureen "Mo" Terry, D-Gorham, has been appointed to serve on the Legislature's Taxation Committee.


The panel oversees the state Bureau of Revenue Services as well as policy related to state and local taxes, tax exemptions and credits.


A local chef and small business owner, Terry is serving her first term in the Maine House. She represents part of Gorham.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.

Contact:


Lindsay Crete [Terry], c. 231-1442



Rep. McCrea appointed to Education and Cultural Affairs Committee

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 16:33:18 EST

AUGUSTA - State Rep. David Harold McCrea, D-Fort Fairfield, has been appointed to serve on the Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.


The committee oversees the state Department of Education, along with the university and community college system, the Maine Arts Commission, Maine State Library, Maine State Museum and Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation.


McCrea is serving his first term in the Maine House and represents Caswell, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Hamlin, Limestone, part of Presque Isle, Stockholm and Cyr Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Connor Township.


A complete list of legislative committees and their newly appointed members can be found at ">http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jtcomlst.htm"> Joint Standing Committees of the 128th Legislature.


Contact:


Lindsay Crete 231-1442