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Preview: News from Senator Phil Bartlett-District 6

News from Senator Phil Bartlett-District 6



News from Senator Phil Bartlett



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Mainers Empowered with New Rights from Health Reforms Taking Effect Today

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 13:39:22 EDT

## Democratic Lawmakers say 9-23-10 marks new day for health care consumers ##

AUGUSTA-Democratic Lawmakers in the Maine Senate today said that September 23rd marks a key benchmark for consumers in our state and country's health care system. New provisions from the federal Affordable Care Act go into effect today, which provide health care consumers with a number of new rights and protections.

Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett, D-Cumberland County, said that new provisions beginning today will prohibit health insurers from denying coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions and stop insurers from putting a lifetime limit on benefits.

"For years, policy makers at the state and federal level have worked hard to increase consumer protections. The health care reforms going into effect today are the beginning of a series of changes designed to increase access to quality health care for every Mainer," Senator Bartlett said.

While there are a number of reforms taking effect to protect consumers, consumers will also find a number of new benefits protected under the law they may not have had before.

Senator Joe Brannigan, D-Cumberland County, Senator Margaret Craven, D-Androscoggin County, and Senator Justin Alfond, D-Cumberland County, serve as members of the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform Opportunities and Implementation. The Committee was tasked by the Legislature to study the health care reforms passed by Congress and seek ways to implement its changes in Maine.

Senator Brannigan, who also co-chairs the committee, said that health care consumers will appreciate new benefits from the health insurance reform law as they learn more about it. For example, the law now allows people to receive cost-free preventative services. "For years we have been hearing from those who work in the health care industry that preventative screenings are key to stopping problems before they happen. For some reason, prevention has not always been the priority for many insurance companies. This new provision will save lives and ultimately lower costs by catching issues early through screening," Senator Brannigan added.

Senator Craven said that she is pleased that changes today will allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents insurance. "Covering young adults until age 26 is important because many in this age group are often uninsured or underinsured for a variety of reasons. This change will extend the umbrella of coverage to increase the level of health insurance security for young adults," Senator Craven concluded.

As the federal law takes root, many consumers have asked policy makers if their health care options would increase or improve. Senator Alfond pointed out that additional provisions that are now law will provide consumers with the right to go to the nearest emergency room without penalty. Moreover, Senator Alfond pointed out that "Consumers will now be allowed to choose a primary doctor or pediatrician in their health care provider network. This option will give Maine people more choice to see the doctor they feel most comfortable with." Senator Alfond added, "Female patients will also have the right to see an OB-GYN doctor of their choice without a referral from another doctor."

Senator Brannigan added that new rights, benefits, and protections taking effect today from the new federal health care law are only the beginning of the new benefits that will be phased in between now and 2014.



Government Stakeholders to Converge on Portland to Discuss Jobs, Energy, and Economy

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 12:58:10 EDT

*Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference meeting in Portland will be the largest gathering of state elected and appointed officials in the Northeast this year*

AUGUSTA- Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett, D-Cumberland County, today announced that the Council of State Governments (CSG) Eastern Regional Conference will hold its annual meeting in Portland, Maine August 15-18 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. The theme for this year's conference is Repowering the Northeast: Innovative Jobs, Energy and the Economy.

Unlike many other non-profit governmental organizations that focus on one branch of government or another, CSG provides nonpartisan support and information on a variety of issues to legislative, administrative and judicial officials across the different branches of government at the state and local level.

The co-chair of the conference, Senate Majority Leader Bartlett said, "This is an exciting opportunity for Maine. The Eastern Regional Conference will actually be the largest gathering of state elected and appointed officials in the Northeast this year, and attendees will be discussing problems that people in Maine and the Northeast are really concerned about."

Senate Majority Leader Bartlett added, "In this time of economic challenges for our states and communities, the need to share information and ideas on cost effective ways to deliver essential state services has never been greater."

"CSG's Eastern Regional Conference is unique from many other government conferences because it focuses on regional neighbors and partners, and the membership transcends branches of government," Senator Bartlett concluded.

During the conference, the policy workshops will focus on economic and other critical policy issues relating to agriculture, criminal justice, Canada/US relations, education, energy and the environment, health, international trade, and transportation.

Approximately 500 CSG members from the Eastern Regional Conference are expected to attend. The conference includes members from northeastern states from Maine to Maryland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a number of Canadian Provinces.

More About the CSG Eastern Regional Conference In addition to break-out sessions, a number of important dignitaries will also be attending the Eastern Regional Conference including: Governor John Baldacci of Maine Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont, Deputy Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Kathy Dunderdale, and Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia Frank Corbett.

CSG's opening keynote speaker is Charles Colgan, Professor of Public Policy and Management, University of Maine. His long-term economic forecasts are used by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Economic Development Districts of Maine.

Other keynote speakers include Dr. Elliot Fisher, who is a professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Fisher is involved in research demonstrating that higher health care spending does not always result in better outcomes or quality. As states like Maine work to implement new federal reforms to our health care system, Dr. Fisher's perspective will be quite valuable to stakeholders at the state level.

About the Council of State Governments The Council of State Governments (CSG) was formed over 75 years ago during the Great Depression. Recognizing that leaders from all walks of government weren't doing a good job communicating with one another to solve our own country's problems, CSG was created.

Members of the media are invited to attend the conference. For more information, please contact CSG at (212) 482-2320 or visit the conference page at www.csgeast.org/content.asp?pageID=3.



Lawmakers to Receive Briefing On Website Attack Wednesday

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 16:08:56 EDT

*Functionality to legislative bill search page being restored*

AUGUSTA-Maine Senate President Libby Mitchell and Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett today said that lawmakers will receive a briefing at Wednesday's Legislative Council meeting as to how the Maine Legislature's bill status search database was hacked.

The Senate Leaders said that the Legislature's Information Systems Department has been working with the vendor that supports the search database, and that the problem was a security flaw from the vendor that made the site vulnerable.

"Our IT staff has informed us that the flaw has been neutralized and that they are currently working with the vendor to rebuild the bill status database so that it is up and running again soon," Senate Majority Leader Bartlett said.

Senate President Mitchell added, "We are proud of the high level of transparency the bill status search page provides for legislative bills before the Legislature, and we are pleased that our IT staff are working to correct the problem."

The Legislative Council will receive a full briefing from the Information Systems Department Wednesday, June 30th at 1:30 p.m. in the Legislative Council Chambers.



Senator Bartlett Urges Bishop Malone to Restore Funding to Help the Homeless

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 11:02:37 EDT

AUGUSTA - In light of the recent decision by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington D.C. based Catholic Campaign for Human Development to end funding for the Homeless Voices for Justice, Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett (D - Gorham) is urging Bishop Richard Malone to reconsider the withdrawal of financial support.

Senator Bartlett stated in a letter to the Bishop, "The actions taken against Homeless Voices for Justice, a group that seeks the same ends as Catholic Charities, are being widely viewed as nothing more than reprisal against a social service agency because of a political stance taken by its umbrella organization. It is unconscionable that the Diocese would use differing political views as a motive for cutting off funding to an organization that does so much to help the most vulnerable in society."

Officials from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development have alleged that the Preble Street Homeless Voices for Justice violated its grant agreement by supporting last November's "No on 1" campaign.

In 2009, the "No on 1" campaign worked to uphold a law passed by the Legislature that would have legalized same sex marriage in Maine. The Catholic Church led the effort to overturn the marriage equality law through its "Yes on 1" campaign.

Homeless Voices for Justice is a statewide grassroots effort that works on issues that impact the state's homeless population; such as supporting affordable housing and preventing violence against the homeless.

Senator Bartlett noted the similarity in the mission of Homeless Voices for Justice with that of the Catholic Charities of Maine, whose website states: "Our services are non-discriminatory and aimed at helping individuals identify and deal with social and health problems that are hindering their ability to become self-sufficient."

"It is my hope that Catholic Charities, and the Diocese, will continue to improve people's lives by working with individuals and organizations who share their goals, even if they are not in agreement on political matters 100% of the time," said Senator Bartlett.

###




Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett Praises Passage of Consumer Health Insurance Protection

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:28:08 EDT

AUGUSTA - The Maine Senate voted today in support of legislation to ban annual and lifetime health benefit limits on private insurance policies. The bill, if signed into law the Governor, will make Maine the first state in the nation to pass legislation limiting caps.

"No hard working Maine family or individual should face the risk of financial ruin because they have contracted a devastating medical illness," said co-sponsor Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett. "Battling an illness and receiving proper care should be the only concern."

According to Consumers for Affordable Health Care, health insurance companies in Maine have lifetime limits as low as $45,000 and as high as $5 million. Cancer is the most common condition to meet a lifetime or annual cap in Maine, with some of the drug treatments costing over $100,000 for a single course.

Based on a survey of carriers in Maine, the Bureau of Insurance indicated that these important consumer protections will impact premiums by a fraction of 1 percent.

"The cost for including this protection is very small - but it will be immeasurable to those who face a cap," said Senator Bartlett. "A fundamental principle of health insurance is that it should be there when you need it."

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Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett to Present Legislation to Protect Citizens' Credit

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 13:07:21 EST

AUGUSTA - An Act to Protect Maine Citizens' Credit would prevent health care providers, or debt collectors working for those providers, from reporting certain medical debts on a consumer's credit report.

"Credit reporting agencies have a tremendous amount of power to impact a person's life and no Maine resident should have necessary medical care harm their credit," said Senator Bartlett. "This bill would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to ensure the protection of one's credit." What: Public Hearing on LD 1676, An Act to Protect Maine Citizens' Credit Who: Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett Where: Insurance and Financial Services Committee, Room 427, State House, Augusta When: 1:00 PM, Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Full text of the legislation can be found at:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billtexts/SP064801.asp




Governor Signs Bartlett's Bill to Help Firefighters with Cancer

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 15:02:41 EDT

AUGUSTA - Governor Baldacci ceremonially signed L.D. 621, "An Act Allowing Workers' Compensation Benefits for Firefighters Who Contract Cancer," on Thursday.

The bill, which was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett (D-Cumberland) creates a rebuttable presumption under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 that a firefighter who contracts cancer contracted the disease in the course of employment as a firefighter, provided certain conditions are met.

The ceremony was attended by several of the bill's legislative co-sponsors, Harold A. Schaitberger, President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); John Martell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine (PFFM); several officers from the IAFF and PFFM; and approximately 25 firefighters from across Maine.

Senator Bartlett (D-Cumberland) represents Senate District 6 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, and Westbrook. He is the Senate Majority Leader for the 124th Legislature.

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Senate Majority Leader Bartlett Presents "An Act to Increase the Availability of Solar and Wind Power"

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 08:54:18 EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2009

 

Contact: Senator Phil Bartlett: (207) 287-1515

        Marc Malon, Legislative Aide: (207) 287-1515




 

 

Senate Majority Leader Bartlett Presents "An Act to Increase the Availability of Solar and Wind Power"

 

Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett (D-Cumberland) presented L.D. 220, "An Act to Increase the Availability of Solar and Wind Power," to the Joint Select Committee on Utilities and Energy yesterday. The legislation proposes to double the popular solar and wind rebate program, and to repeal the current statutory provision that abolishes the program on December 31, 2010.

 

"Greater use of solar and wind power helps to diversify our energy portfolio, and makes us less reliant on carbon-based fuels, including oil and natural gas," said Bartlett. "Moreover, by promoting small-scale wind and solar energy we also support an emerging market for renewables that over time will increase the availability of products and installers as well as helping to lower energy costs."

 

Commenting further on the legislation, Bartlett said: "With recent spikes in energy costs, we have seen a surge in demand for the program, leading to oversubscription. It is time to expand the program to help more homeowners and small businesses make the transition to renewable energy."

 

During the public hearing, several people presented testimony in favor of the legislation, including Pat Coon, founding partner of ReVision Energy, an installer of renewable energy systems, and Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

 

Senator Bartlett (D-Cumberland) represents Senate District 6 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, and Westbrook. He is the Senate Majority Leader for the 124th Legislature.



Energy Committee Holds First Meeting

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 08:38:05 EST

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release Thursday, February 4, 2009

Contact: Senator Phil Bartlett: (207) 287-1515
Marc Malon, Legislative Aide: (207) 287-1515



AUGUSTA - State Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett (D-Cumberland) called to order the first meeting of the Legislature's new Joint Select Committee on Maine's Energy Future today. As its first order of business, Senator Bartlett presented a proposal to set up a fund to capture additional Federal stimulus money for conservation and renewable energy. This will ensure that money received will be spent to further Maine's larger energy goals.

"I am pleased with how our first meeting went," said Senator Bartlett. "I can already see the intense interest among the members in thinking big and taking dramatic action to secure a sustainable energy future for Maine."

The committee, which was established by the Presiding Officers to create a comprehensive energy policy for the state, met in Augusta, where its members were briefed by John Kerry, the Director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security, Sharon Reishus, Chair of the Public Utilities Commission, and David Littell, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. It will meet again on Wednesday, February 11.

Senator Bartlett (D-Gorham) represents Senate District 6 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, and Westbrook. He is the Senate Majority Leader for the 124th Legislature.



Democrats Pick Bartlett to be Senate Majority Leader

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 14:23:42 EST

Bartlett is one of the youngest members in the history of the Maine Senate to be elected to leadership post

AUGUSTA-Maine Senate Democrats Monday elected Senator Phil Bartlett, D-Gorham, to be Senate Majority Leader in the 124th Maine Legislature. At 32, Bartlett is one of the youngest members elected to be majority leader in the history of the Maine Senate. Maine's Constitution requires state senators must be at least 25 years of age to serve.

As Senate Majority Leader, Bartlett is the spokesperson and caucus leader for the Democratic majority in the Maine Senate. Following the November 4th election, Senate Democrats improved their majority over Republicans by five votes. The new makeup of the Senate in the upcoming 124th Legislature will be 20 Democrats and 15 Republicans. Bartlett will help lead Senate Democrats through what is expected to be a tough legislative session. Commenting on his new leadership role, Senator Bartlett said, "We have a lot of challenges ahead of us in the coming months. I am committed to creating a strong bipartisan atmosphere that allows us to work together as Democrats and Republicans to help create new jobs, address our energy needs, and expand access to affordable health care to help move our state forward through these difficult times."

Bartlett is the first senator from Gorham to be Senate Majority Leader, and the second person from Gorham to hold a top leadership position in the Maine Senate. Josiah Pierce from Gorham was elected President of the Maine Senate in 1835.

Bartlett was re-elected to a third term representing Senate District 6 on November 4th, and previously served as the chair of the Utilities and Energy Committee in the 123rd and 122nd Legislatures. He has also served on the Natural Resources and Government Oversight Committees. One of his top accomplishment's in the 123rd Legislature was co-sponsoring the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Bartlett is a practicing attorney with Scaccia, Lenkowski, Aranson and Bartlett in Sanford, and he lives with this wife Susan and daughter Abigail in Gorham.

The 124th Maine Legislature will officially convene Wednesday, December 3rd.



Senator Bartlett Receives "Outstanding Service Award" for Legislative Work

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:57:14 EDT

Augusta, Maine-State Senator Philip Bartlett (D-Cumberland County) was recently awarded the Maine Wastewater Control Association's "Outstanding Service Award" for his work sponsoring and passing legislation to create a revolving loan fund for drinking water and wastewater management projects. The fund will allow municipalities access to Federal matching funds for waste water management projects at a five to one rate (five Federal dollars to every local dollar).

"I am very proud of this award," Senator Bartlett said. "This isn't the kind of legislation that usually attracts a lot of attention, but it is the kind of common sense bill that allows necessary projects to get done with a minimum cost to Maine taxpayers."

The Maine Wastewater Control Association is dedicated to promoting professional wastewater management standards and practices and to improving and protecting the water quality in the state. Their headquarters are located in Augusta. The award was presented to Senator Bartlett at their annual meeting in Bethel.



Senator Bartlett to Host Energy Conservation Workshop in Scarborough

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 10:51:39 EDT

Scarborough, Maine-The public is invited to an Energy Conservation Workshop at the Scarborough High School Cafeteria on Monday, September 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The workshop is hosted by State Senator Philip Bartlett (D-Cumberland County), and it will feature a panel including representatives from Maine State Housing Authority, Efficiency Maine, the Scarborough Fire Department, PROP, banks and oil dealers. They will talk about a variety of resources and tips area residents may be able to take advantage of to lower their heating costs.

"With the increasing costs of energy, we all need to know the resources out there to help us get through this winter," Senator Bartlett said. "We need to know about the tools we have available to help ourselves and each other."

What: Energy Conservation Workshop

When: Monday, September 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

Where: Scarborough High School Cafeteria, 11 Municipal Drive, Scarborough, ME

Who: State Senator Philip Bartlett and a panel on Energy Conservation

ABOUT THE PANELISTS A representative 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, 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.

A representative from the Scarborough Fire Department will talk about important safety tips to consider when heating your home this winter.

Charlie Kennedy from Key Bank will be on hand to provide more details about that available loan programs. Mr. Kennedy is also a board member from PROP (People's Regional Opportunity Program), and will talk about their programs as well.

Tim Kiely from Downeast Energy will be on hand to provide information concerning oil dealers and services and how they can help.



Senator Bartlett to Serve on Home Health Committee

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 15:44:43 EDT

AUGUSTA-Senate President Beth Edmonds has appointed Senator Philip L. Bartlett, II (D-Cumberland County) to serve as the Senate Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission To Study Long-term Home-based and Community-based Care. This commission is tasked with examining the state of long-term care in Maine and making recommendations to meet unmet needs and developing financing options to ensure access to and affordability of long-term home-based and community-based care in the state.

"This is an important issue for us to look at if we are to cope with Maine's aging population," Senator Bartlett said. "People want to stay in their homes as they age and need more help, and it is the most cost effective setting for providing that care. We have to make sure we can develop a system for delivering the help people need to keep them in their homes as long as possible in a safe and affordable manner."

The commission will report its findings to next legislature, which will convene in January 2009.

Senator Bartlett is a lawyer who resides with his wife and daughter in Gorham. He is in his second term in the Senate.



Governor Ceremonially Signs Water Bond Bill

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 13:54:46 EDT

http://s214.photobucket.com/albums/cc122/mainesenate/?action=view¤t=WaterBondBillSigning-1.jpg" target="_blank">(image) http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc122/mainesenate/WaterBondBillSigning-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

*From left to right: Senator Phil Bartlett, Representative Dave Miramant, Paul Rodriguez Maine Waste Water Control Association Board Member, Legislative Advocate Andrew Gilmore, Maine Waste Water Control Association President Chuck Applebee, Dave Anderson MWWCA Board Member*

Augusta -Governor John Baldacci Tuesday ceremonially signed a bill that authorizes a $3.4 million bond for drinking and waste-water management that will yield a five-to-one federal match. If voters approve the measure in November, Maine will receive $17 million in matching federal funds to keep our water clean.

"This bond is a win-win for Maine," said Senator Philip Bartlett, D-Cumberland County who sponsored the bond. "It will enable us to use federal money for projects that are desperately needed for the safety of our waste and drinking water systems. Without this bond the entire cost of these projects would be borne by the people of Maine," added Senator Bartlett, who attended the bill signing.

Also in attendance for the bill signing were Representative Dave Miramant, D-Camden, members of the Maine Waste Water Control Association (MWWCA), the Maine Water Utilities Association, and DEP Commissioner David Littell.

"We are very pleased with the strong bipartisan support and the hard work of many people including Senator Phil Bartlett, many of our members, the Maine DEP and the Governor," MWWCA President Chuck Applebee said. "If Maine voters pass this $3.4 million bond in November, it will attract another $17 million in federal dollars to fund critical drinking and clean water projects. This bond package is good for public health and safety and good for the state economy by putting Mainers to work on these projects and protecting and improving our infrastructure."

Quick Facts on the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs - Since 1988 Maine has invested $40.5M to leverage $200.9M in federal funds - Interest is at 2% below market rate - 99 communities have benefited - 92% of available funds are loaned out within one year Looking Ahead - In the next 5 years, 71 communities have projects totaling approximately $294,000,000 - In the next 15 years, there is approximately $422,000,000 in need



Governor to Ceremonially Sign Water Bond Bill

Fri, 23 May 2008 16:02:58 EDT

Augusta -Governor John Baldacci will hold a ceremonial bill signing for LD 2169, "An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Drinking Water Management and Wastewater Management" on Tuesday June 3rd at 9:30 a.m. in the Governor's office.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Philip Bartlett (D-Cumberland County), authorizes a $3.4 million bond for drinking- and waste-water management that will yield a five-to-one federal match. If voters approve the measure in November, Maine will receive $17 million in matching federal funds to keep our water clean.

"This bond is a win-win for Maine," Senator Bartlett said. "It will enable us to use federal money for projects that are desperately needed for the safety of our waste and drinking water systems. Without this bond the entire cost of these projects would be borne by the people of Maine."

For more information, call Senator Bartlett's office at 287-1515.