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Preview: News from Senator Elizabeth Schneider-District 30

News from Senator Elizabeth Schneider-District 30



News from Senator Elizabeth Schneider



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U.S. Energy Secretary Visits UMaine

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 14:05:39 EDT

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*Photo: U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Senator Elizabeth M. Schneider.*

ORONO, ME-U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the University of Maine's AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center on June 14th to learn more about the work Maine is doing to promote renewable energy.

During his tour, AEWC Director Dr. Habib Dagher, Governor Baldacci, Maine's Congressional Delegation, and Maine Lawmakers like Senator Elizabeth Schneider spoke with Secretary Chu about Maine's goal of producing nearly 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power within 50 nautical miles of the Maine Coastline. Over the last two years, Maine voters have supported bond packages totaling $11 million to move the energy independence plan forward. Maine has been able to leverage an additional $25 million in grants from the Obama Administration with the help of our Congressional Delegation.

To help promote the offshore wind farm plan, a test site will be operational within two years to work out the bugs in this landmark project.

"It was a great honor to meet Secretary Chu, and I thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to come to Maine and see the great work we are doing," Senator Schneider commented.

Senator Schneider went on to add, "The offshore wind farm is not only going to provide a new source of renewable energy to our state and region, but also generate thousands of good-paying jobs, and billions of dollars in investments. Local Maine businesses like Sewall Company in Old Town and Cianbro in Brewer are poised for great opportunities to help, while new businesses will be created or come to Maine to be a part of this incredible project."

Senator Schneider concluded that the next few years are going to be very exciting for our state.

Secretary Chu is the second cabinet secretary from the Obama administration to visit the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center in the past year. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited the Center in August 2009.



$4 Million in Grants Available for Businesses and Groups Who Want to Advance Maine's Economy

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:48:46 EDT

AUGUSTA-Senator Elizabeth Schneider is pleased to announce that the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is now accepting applications for nearly $4 million in grant awards from the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF). Universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses are invited to apply.

The request for application or RFA is the third round of MTAF grant awards being made available to applicants. Since 2008, the MTI Board has awarded $46 million worth of grants spread out over 26 projects. An additional $3 million in grant money may also become available as a result of a research and development bond referendum in June.

Awards must be used for capital and infrastructure expenditures, such as equipment and facilities renovation, for research, development and commercialization activities within Maine's seven technology sectors. The proposed project must lead to the generation of high quality jobs in Maine. The award criteria also encourage collaboration among organizations to work together to move new technologies of particular importance to Maine to the market.

Some recent recipients of MTAF funded projects include Ocean Renewable Power Company's tidal energy turbine recently launched in Eastport and a renewable energy lab expansion at UMaine's Advanced Engineering and Wood Composite facility.

Applications will be reviewed competitively according to five criteria: economic impact, scientific merit, project team and institution, relevance to Maine's innovation economy, and collaboration that builds or complements existing collaborations. As it did with the first two rounds, MTI is contracting with the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, a respected scientific organization that has worked with over 30 states to implement research and technology commercialization programs, to conduct the initial external review of all applications.

The required "notice of intent to apply" is due electronically to MTI by May 4, 2010. The deadline to submit paper applications to MTI for this third round of awards is June 1, 2010. More information about how to apply for the MTAF awards is available at the MTI website at www.mainetechnology.org along with information about the program and application process.



Grants Available to Promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for Girls

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 10:54:43 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Elizabeth Schneider announced that grants are now available from the Maine Girls Collaborative Project of up to $1,000 to help Promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for Girls.

"STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields are in-demand however many young girls have not expressed interest in these areas of study," Senator Schneider said. "This grant program will aid organizations working to inspire girls in these important fields of study with the hope more women will reach their potential, and be our future innovators, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians." The goal of the mini-grants offered by the Maine Girls Collaborative Project is to help organizations who are trying to encourage the study of STEM fields for girls. Programs also serving boys are also eligible as long as girls are served in a joint program.

The deadline to apply is March 5th. For more information, please contact the Maine Girls Collaborative Project at 581-1501.



Training Teachers for Composites Education

Thu, 04 Feb 2010 15:32:39 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Elizabeth Schneider is pleased to announce a two-day workshop for high school teachers interested in learning how to create and run a high school composites class.

Instruction will cover kitting and infusion of a product using a mold and kitted materials that will be available for classroom use through the Maine Advanced Technology Center's (MATC's) Small Mold Library. Participants in the workshop will review lesson plans meant for high school students for five 80 minute sessions. These lesson plans may be adapted for use in science, technology, engineering, or math as well as used in composites technology education. The workshop will also provide written opportunities for the evaluation of student learning, an instructional video, and a resource list.

This workshop will give teachers the opportunity to develop lesson plans for a basic composite class to bring back to students. Educators should leave the course with experience in lessons they can offer, confidence in training others, and ideas to implement the composites education program. The first day of the workshop will take place at MATC in Brunswick February 27th, and the second day will meet March 6th at the Foster Technology Center in Farmington.

"This program to train teachers for composites education is a wonderful way to increase the opportunities for Maine students," said Senator Schneider. "By giving educators more opportunities to learn, a greater number of resources can be brought back to the classroom."

More information about the course and how to register can be obtained by contacting Debra Mattson, Director of the MATC at (207) 729-0273.



Nominations Open for Governor's Award for Business Excellence

Tue, 08 Dec 2009 10:49:30 EST

AUGUSTA-Maine Senator Elizabeth Schneider announced that the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Governor's Award for Business Excellence.

Senator Schneider, who is the Senate chair of the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee, said that "Maine people have a strong tradition of growing and developing businesses that reflect our strong work ethic and craftsmanship."

"The Governor's Award for Business Excellence is one more way that our state can recognize the innovative spirit that businesses small and large across Maine share. More than ever during this tough economy it is important to recognize the good work so many businesses are doing to keep Maine people employed while they produce a great product or service," Senator Schneider added.

Companies may be nominated or they may nominate themselves, and small businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. Nomination forms can be obtained by contacting Dora Dostie at 207-624-9807, by e-mail at dora.m.dostie@maine.gov, or by writing her at DECD, 59 State House Station, Cross Office Building, 3rd Floor, Augusta, ME 04333.

Although DECD is proud to administer the excellence awards, it works with a selection committee comprised of former award winners and business people to determine the new winners.

Winners of the 2010 award will be recognized during ceremonies at the Colby College Institute for Leadership next April. Questions concerning the nomination process should also be directed to Ms. Dostie. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, December 31, 2009.



Senator Schneider Presents Legislative Recognition to Eagle Scout Robert Bickford

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 14:52:00 EDT

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Senator Elizabeth Schneider recently presented Robert Bickford of Milford with a legislative sentiment at his Eagle Court of Honor recognizing him for his hard work. Robert is a member of Troop 76 from Old Town.

During the ceremony, Senator Schneider commented, "Even at his young age Robbie is an active citizen and very involved in community work. It is very difficult to become an Eagle Scout and wonderful to see so many community members take time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor to recognize the outstanding achievement. Only a tiny fraction of young men make it to the eagle level of scouting because it takes time, patience and much dedication. Robbie did an outstanding job on his service project."

His project involved screening in Adirondacks at the Pickerel Pond Maine Youth Fish and Game site. The Adirondacks are used for overnight, outdoor camping and they create a nice campsite for visitors. Without screens on the doors and window areas, the bugs can be quite difficult during certain times of the year.

"Robbie has been a big volunteer for this organization over the years and wanted to help improve the facilities. Robbie has strong family and community support and a sturdy foundation on which he will build a positive future. I am sure Robbie will go on to achieve great things for our state and nation" Senator Schneider added.

Photo: Left to Right Randal Bickford, Robbie Bickford, Senator Elizabeth Schneider, and Andrea Bickford.



Senator Elizabeth Schneider Votes 100 Percent of the Time

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 09:35:21 EDT

AUGUSTA-The Secretary of the Maine Senate recently released voting statistics for the First Regular Session of the 124th Maine Legislature and Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, was noted for being present for 100 percent of all eligible votes.

The voting statistics indicate that there were 214 total votes or roll calls, and Senator Schneider was present for every one of them.

"The people of Senate District 30 are some of the hardest working people in the state, and I would hate to let them down by missing a vote that could have a strong impact on our senate district," Senator Schneider said. "I am pleased that I was able to represent our region on every issue and every vote that came before the Maine Senate 100 percent of the time."

Senator Schneider noted tax reform, the expansion of the Pine Tree Development Zones statewide, and a resolution to Congress to increase truck weights on I-95 as some of her most important votes.

TOWNS IN SENATE DISTRICT 30 are Alton, Argyle Twp., Bradford, Edinburg, Enfield, Greenbush, Howland, Hudson, Kingman Twp., LaGrange, Lee, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag, Maxfield, Old Town, Orono, Passadumkeag, Penobscot Nation Indian Island (a/k/a Penobscot Nation Voting District), Springfield, Twombly a/k/a T3-R1, Veazie, Webster Plantation and Winn.



Senator Schneider Joins Leaders for Meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:45:35 EDT

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*Photo Caption: (Left to Right) Congressman Michael Michaud, Senator Elizabeth Schneider, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood*

ORONO-U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited the University of Maine's Advanced Engineered Wood Composite Center (AEWC) Monday, August 17, 2009, to learn more about the capabilities of UMaine's "Bridge in a Backpack." Secretary LaHood met with Governor John Baldacci, Congressman Mike Michaud, Senator Elizabeth Schneider, AEWC director Dr. Habib Dagher, and other dignitaries.

The bridge in a backpack provides bridge builders with an exciting new option to building bridges that are designed to last longer than conventional construction. A bridge can be built by inflating hollow carbon-fiber tubes that can fit in a bag. Once on site, the tubes are unrolled and inflated to the desired form or arches for a bridge project. As the arches are inflated, a special vinyl ester resin is infused to the form making the arches solid. Once the forms have dried, concrete can be poured inside the hollow arches to further reinforce the structure.

Secretary LaHood said he was impressed with UMaine's bridge in a backpack technology, and would report back what he has learned to President Obama's Green Cabinet, which includes a number of other top Obama Administration officials.

Senator Schneider commented that "Additional federal support for the Bridge in a Backpack program and AEWC could help create hundreds of new jobs for Maine people as a result of this innovation."

While in Maine Congressman Michaud, Governor Baldacci, and Senator Schneider also spoke with Secretary LaHood and his staff about the importance of increasing weight limits on I-95 north of Augusta from 80,000 to 100,000 pounds. Congress is currently considering a rule change that would help get bigger trucks off local roads, and Secretary LaHood recently pledged that he would help address this issue during a recent Appropriations Committee hearing. This work continues the efforts of local advocates like Albert and Belinda Raymond who previously formed a group called the "Coalition To Lower Fuel Prices in Maine" to help increase the weight limits on I-95 north of Augusta.

Additionally, Senator Schneider spoke with Secretary LaHood's staff about finding support to replace the walkway along the Orono Bog Boardwalk with a new composite path so that the public may continue to enjoy the beauty and fascinating plants and animals of a Maine bog. More than 30,000 people a year visit Orono's Bog Walk.



Maine Senate to Hear I-95 Truck Weight Resolution Thursday

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 15:55:39 EDT

Joint Resolution would urge President and Congress to raise truck weight limits on I-95

AUGUSTA-The Maine Senate and House Thursday are expected to take up a resolution urging the United States President and Congress to increase the weight limit on Interstate 95 north of Augusta from 80,000 pounds to 100,000.

Currently, federal law prohibits vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds from traveling on I-95. Despite the law, an exemption exists for I-95 and the Maine Turnpike South of Augusta.

Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, said that this issue is a big concern for Maine's truckers and local municipalities. She added, "When big trucks are forced off I-95 in Augusta, they hit the secondary roads. These roads are maintained by either the local municipality or the state, and they experience a lot of wear and tear. At the same time, bigger trucks and vehicles could save a lot of time and money if they could take advantage of I-95 north of Augusta."

Senator Schneider added that truckers and the public alike are concerned about the safety issues of large trucks traveling on secondary roads. "Most truckers I have spoken with say they would prefer to stay on I-95 as long as they could to avoid potential safety issues that can arise from traveling on secondary roads for long periods of time."

A full text of the joint resolution is below:

JOINT RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO RAISE THE WEIGHT LIMIT ON INTERSTATE 95

WE, your Memorialists, the Members of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Maine now assembled in the First Regular Session, most respectfully present and petition the President of the United States and the United States Congress as follows:

WHEREAS, Interstate 95 in the State of Maine, which is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways and is governed by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, is central to Maine's commerce and industry; and

WHEREAS, the weight limit on the Interstate Highway System is set at 80,000 pounds by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and consequently by Maine statute, yet the State of Maine has a 100,000-pound limit on its secondary roads, which does not match the national limit; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Government has given the State of Maine an exemption, which allows for a 100,000-pound limit, from the 80,000-pound limit to the last 5 miles of the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 95, and this exemption matches the limit for the rest of the State; now, therefore, be it

That We, your Memorialists, on behalf of the people we represent, take this opportunity to request that the United States Congress allow the State of Maine a 100,000-pound limit on all of the Interstate Highway System in Maine and that the United States Congress review this request when the Highway Bill comes up for reauthorization; and be it further

That suitable copies of this resolution, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State, be transmitted to the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States, to the President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and to each Member of the Maine Congressional Delegation.



Elizabeth Schneider Sworn-in for Third Senate Term

Wed, 03 Dec 2008 16:31:22 EST

AUGUSTA-State Senator Elizabeth M. Schneider, D-Penobscot County, Wednesday, was sworn-in to serve her third term in the Maine State Senate for the 124th Maine Legislature. Senator Schneider will once again serve the people of Senate District 30 in Penobscot County.

Commenting on being sworn-in to serve a third term in the Maine Senate, Senator Schneider said, "It is a great honor to once again represent the people of Senate District 30."

Senator Schneider added, "The upcoming legislative session will be challenging, but I am optimistic about the leadership on both sides of the aisle. They are strong intelligent people, and we will all work well together."

Senator Schneider was first elected to the Maine Senate in 2004 to the 122nd Maine Legislature, and was re-elected to serve two years later to the 123rd Maine Legislature. Over the past four years, Senator Schneider has served as the Senate Chair of the Legislature's Joint Standing committee on State and Local Government. She has also served as a member of the Business Research and Economic Development Committee and Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. She currently chairs the Community Preservation Advisory Committee. As a result of her legislative leadership, Senator Schneider was asked to serve on the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drugs (NLA-Rx) in 2004, and continues to serve on that board today.

Maine Senate President Libby Mitchell and House Speaker Hannah Pingree are expected to announce new committee assignments for lawmakers around the middle of December.

Senate District 30 includes the communities of Alton, Argyle Twp., Bradford, Edinburg, Enfield, Greenbush, Howland, Hudson, Kingman Twp., LaGrange, Lee, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag, Maxfield, Old Town, Orono, Passadumkeag, Penobscot Nation Indian Island (a/k/a Penobscot Nation Voting District), Springfield, Twombly a/k/a T3-R1, Veazie, Webster Plantation and Winn.



Senator Schneider and Congressman Michaud to Host Energy Conservation Workshop Wednesday

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 16:49:00 EDT

LINCOLN, MAINE-The public is invited to an Energy Conservation Workshop at the Mattanawcook Academy cafeteria, Wednesday, September 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

The workshop is hosted by State Senator Elizabeth Schneider and co-hosted by Congressman Mike Michaud. A special panel of guests including Energy Program Manager Jo-Ann Choate from Maine State Housing Authority, Dick Bacon from Efficiency Maine, Lincoln Fire Chief Phil Dawson, Cathy Maher, loan officer from Camden National Bank, and Danny Maher from Maher Heating will talk about a variety of resources and tips area residents may be able to take advantage of to lower heating costs.

Congressman Michaud will provide an update on what Congress is doing to help reduce heating costs this winter.

What: Energy Conservation Workshop When: Wednesday, September 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Where: Mattanawcook Academy, 33 Reed Drive, Lincoln, ME (Cafeteria) Who: State Senator Elizabeth Schneider, Congressman Mike Michaud, and a panel on Energy Conservation

Jo-Ann Choate from Maine State Housing Authority will talk about a variety of programs available to the public including the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, MaineHousing's Weatherization Program and Central Heating Improvement Program provide grants to low-income homeowners and renters to reduce energy costs by improving home energy efficiency, home energy audit services, and MaineHousing's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP).

Dick Bacon from Efficiency Maine will talk about rebate programs like the state's solar thermal rebate program, solar electric system rebates, and home auditing services that are available.

Lincoln Fire Chief Phil Dawson will talk about important safety tips to consider when heating your home this winter.

Camden National Bank loan officer Cathy Maher, an authorized lender for Maine State Housing Authority's HELP Loan, will be on hand to provide more details about that loan program.

Maher Heating, a service company for heating systems, will provide tips and ideas for homeowners to make their existing heating systems more efficient.



Excessive CEO Salaries of State Funded Nonprofits Focus of Work Session Thursday

Wed, 09 May 2007 16:26:38 EDT

AUGUSTA-The Judiciary Committee, Thursday, will continue work on a bill by Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, which would prohibit CEO's and directors of non-profits who receive more than 25 percent of their funding from municipal, county, state or federal from having excessive salaries and compensation packages.

Senator Schneider said, "The people of Maine have a right to know that their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely on the people and the services they were intended. I don't think Maine people feel their money is best spent on a CEO or Director of a non-profit organization whose salary is in excess of $250,000."

"Addressing the issue of excessive salaries in nonprofit corporations receiving taxpayer dollars is long overdue," added Senator Schneider.

Senator Schneider also commented, "Nonprofit corporations derive a public benefit because they serve a public good. Paying excessive salaries is not in the best interest of the public and lining the pockets of directors and officers goes against the very concept of what a nonprofit is."

The legislation Senator Schneider has proposed would limit compensation to $250,000. Senator Schneider has stated that she thinks that number may also be too high, and she hopes other lawmakers weigh in on the issue to find the right level of compensation.

More information about L.D. 1792, An Act to Limit the Compensation of Officers and Directors of Nonprofit Corporations can be found online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280024719

A work session will be held Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee room. Listen to the committee live at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/judiciary_cmte.html



Bill Would Lower Excessive CEO Salaries of State Funded Nonprofits

Thu, 03 May 2007 14:43:55 EDT

AUGUSTA-Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, Thursday, will urge the Judiciary Committee to support a bill prohibiting the CEO's and directors of non-profits who receive more than 25 percent of their funding from municipal, county, state or federal from having excessive salaries and compensation packages.

Senator Schneider said, "The people of Maine have a right to know that their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely on the people and the services they were intended. I don't think Maine people feel their money is best spent on a CEO or Director of a non-profit organization whose salary is in excess of $250,000."

"Addressing the issue of excessive salaries in nonprofit corporations receiving taxpayer dollars is long overdue," added Senator Schneider.

Senator Schneider also commented, "Nonprofit corporations derive a public benefit because they serve a public good. Paying excessive salaries is not in the best interest of the public and lining the pockets of directors and officers goes against the very concept of what a nonprofit is."

The legislation Senator Schneider has proposed would limit compensation to $250,000. Senator Schneider has stated that she thinks that number may also be too high, and she hopes other lawmakers weigh in on the issue to find the right level of compensation.

More information about L.D. 1792, An Act to Limit the Compensation of Officers and Directors of Nonprofit Corporations can be found online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280024719

A public hearing will be held today, Thursday, at 1:30 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee room. Listen to the committee live at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/judiciary_cmte.html



Legislation Seeks Fair Return on Tax Breaks for Big Business

Mon, 30 Apr 2007 16:58:31 EDT

Augusta-Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, Tuesday, will urge the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee to support a bill that would return business tax incentives back to taxpayers if it is proven that a business that has moved, consolidated, or closed failed to make a good-faith effort to use the tax incentives to improve the business.

Specifically, the bill would require a business employing at least 100 workers to reimburse the state for the full amount of economic development incentives distributed to it during a three-year period if the business closes or relocates and it is proven that the business failed to work in good faith to find a new owner or locate a new business to take its place within two months following the business closure or consolidation.

Who: Senator Elizabeth Schneider

What: Public Hearing: LD 1681, An Act To Preserve and Grow Maine Jobs

When: Tuesday, May 1st @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee

Listen to the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/bus_cmte.html

More info on this bill can be found online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280024551




Senator Schneider Seeks Economic Development Help for Maine Communities

Mon, 30 Apr 2007 16:39:52 EDT

Augusta-Senator Elizabeth Schneider, D- Penobscot County, Tuesday, will present a bill to the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee that would direct the Department of Economic and Community Development to establish a position in the department dedicated to providing community development assistance, including regional economic development assistance, to municipalities in all areas of the State.

The focus of this position must be on providing assistance to a municipality, upon the application of that municipality to the department, in preserving the character, integrity and viability of that municipality, with a special emphasis on preserving downtown areas.

Who: Senator Elizabeth Schneider

What: Public Hearing: LD 1794, Resolve, To Provide Regional Economic Development Assistance To Ensure Prosperity in Maine

When: Tuesday, May 1st @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee

Listen to the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/bus_cmte.html

More info on this bill can be found online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280024721