Preview: News from Senator Joe Perry-District 32
News from Senator Joe Perry-District 32
News from Senator Joe Perry
Copyright: Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.
Senator Perry to Host Housing and Energy Forum
Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:49:04 EDT
BANGOR, MAINE-The public is invited to attend a Housing and Energy Conservation Forum Wednesday, August 26th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm. at Bangor City Hall.
The forum is hosted by Senator Joe Perry and will include special guest speakers Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) Director Dale McCormick and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Energy Programs Director John Brautigam.
MaineHousing Director McCormick will provide the public with information about the $5,000 grant in the Gift of Green program for new homebuyers, pre and post weatherization home energy audit opportunities, and information about the $8,000 federal tax credit for new homeowners among other topics. PUC Energy Programs Director Brautigam will provide information about programs like Maine's Solar and Wind rebate program, the Kill A Watt Electricity Monitor and tool kit, CFL Light bulb savings and recycling options, and information about federal tax credits for insulation, windows, and sealing.
Who: Senator Joe Perry, MSHA Director Dale McCormick, and PUC Energy Programs Director John Brautigam
What: Housing and Energy Conservation Forum
When: Wednesday, August 26th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Bangor City Hall, Council Chambers, 73 Harlow Street
Senator Perry said this is the second year in a row he has organized a forum on energy conservation issues, and wanted to update the theme of this year's forum with information about a variety of state and federal programs for new homebuyers. Senator Perry added, "Some of the housing programs people may have heard about provide Maine people with some pretty amazing opportunities to become new homeowners despite the weakened economy. I just want to make sure everyone knows about these programs before some of them-like the $8,000 housing tax credit-expire."
Senator Perry also pointed out that "At last year's forum, there was limited state or federal tax credits for homeowners who wanted to update their windows, doors, or even their heating systems. As a result of federal stimulus money, there are a variety of new opportunities that people may not be aware about or may want to learn more about now as we get closer to fall and winter."
Legislation Would Boost Standards for Poultry Production, Says Senator Nutting
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 14:47:28 EDT
AUGUSTA-State Senator John Nutting, D-Leeds, today said that recent concerns about animal cruelty at Quality Egg in Turner could be avoided in the future if a bill he has proposed passes.
Senator Nutting said he has proposed a bill that would direct the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources to develop best management practices for poultry production and adopt rules to allow the Maine quality trademark to be used on poultry products.
Although the bill has already received a public hearing, it is scheduled for a public work session tomorrow, April 3 at 9:30 a.m. before the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.
More information about LD 692, Resolve, Directing the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources To Develop Best Management Practices for Poultry Production, is available online at:
Senator Perry Seeks to Raise Awareness for Autism with Specialty Autism Plate
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 14:16:12 EDT
Launches Web site to help public sign up for Autism Plate
AUGUSTA-As the World celebrates Autism Awareness Day today, Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, said he hopes to increase the public's knowledge about Autism in Maine by supporting a new specialty license plate to support Autism programs for children and families with Autism.
To help increase awareness for the cause, Senator Perry has proposed a bill that would authorize the creation of a new Autism specialty license plate. The theme for the plate is "Give Autism a Hand." As with any specialty license plate, supporters are required to gather 2,000 signatures along with a $25.00 deposit from those who are interested. The Legislature must also approve the proposed request.
For those interested in supporting the plate, Senator Perry has launched a Web site: http://www.autismplate.org
, which provides visitors the option to preorder a license plate. A link is available on the home page or under the tab "Preorder Your Plate." Anyone with a current Maine license plate should be prepared to enter their current plate number to preorder the plate. The initial conceptual design for the plate is also available on the Web site.
Maine has the second highest rate of autism in the country, and the numbers continue to grow every year. "It is estimated that one out of every 87 children in Maine is autistic. There is no cure for autism, so we must as a community become aware of the challenges faced by children and families with autism," Senator Perry said. "This plate will help educate the public, as well as raise money for children and their families."
Approximately 270,000 children and young adults age three to 22 have autism. The estimated annual cost according to fighting autism.org is $8 billion dollars.
More information about World Autism Awareness Day can be found online at:
Senator Perry to Present Bill to Provide Tax Relief for Maine Residents Deployed for Military Service
Thu, 26 Mar 2009 14:26:40 EDT
AUGUSTA-Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, Thursday will present a bill to the Legislature's Taxation Committee, which would allow municipalities to exempt Maine Residents deployed in the military from paying the motor vehicle excise tax.
Current law exempts from excise tax motor vehicles owned by a resident or nonresident on active military duty who is permanently stationed at a military base in Maine. This bill would allow a municipality to also exempt from the motor vehicle excise tax those deployed for 30 days or more in the National Guard, the Reserves, and the Armed Forces.
Who: Senator Joe Perry
What: LD 459, An Act To Provide Tax Relief for Maine Residents Deployed for Military Service
When: Thursday, March 26, 2009 @ 1:00 p.m.
Where: Committee on Taxation, Room 127, State House
Bill Link: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280031001
Senator Perry to Present Bill to Establish a Specialty Plate to Help Fund Autism Programs
Thu, 26 Feb 2009 08:36:14 EST
AUGUSTA-Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, Friday will present a bill to the Legislature's Transportation Committee, which would establish a specialty license plate to help fund autism programs.
Senator Perry said he and Representative Don Pilon, D-Saco, have been working with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities New England (CARD NE) and Giving Autism Balance and Equality (GABE) for months to raise money for the specialty plate.
The theme for the plate is "Give Autism a Hand." As with any specialty license plate, supporters are required to gather 2,000 signatures along with a $25.00 deposit from those who are interested. The Legislature must also approve the proposed request.
Who: Senator Joe Perry
What: LD 343, An Act To Establish a Specialty License Plate To Increase Funding for Autism Programs
When: Friday, February 27, 2009 @ 10:00 a.m.
Where: Transportation Committee, Room 126, State House
Bill Link: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280030819
Maine has the second highest rate of autism in the country, and the number continues to grow every year. "It is estimated that one out of every 87 children in Maine is autistic. There is no cure for autism, so we must as a community become more aware of the challenges faced by children and families with autism. This plate will help educate the public, as well as raise money for the cause," Senator Perry said.
Approximately 270,000 children and young adults age 3 to 22 have autism. The estimated annual cost according to fighting austim.org is $8 billion dollars. The cost of education for a child with autism is four times as much as education for a typical child. Any awareness and money that we can raise will help.
Joe Perry Sworn-in for Third Senate Term
Wed, 03 Dec 2008 15:31:37 EST
AUGUSTA-State Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, Wednesday, was sworn-in to serve his third consecutive term in the Maine State Senate for the 124th Maine Legislature. Senator Perry will once again represent the municipalities of Bangor and Hermon in Senate District 32.
Commenting on being sworn in to serve a third term in the Maine Senate, Senator Perry said, "I am very thankful that the people of Bangor and Hermon continue to place their faith in me to represent them in Augusta."
"While there are many challenges that face our state over the coming months, there are also many opportunities that we can capitalize on to move our state forward during this global recession," Senator Perry added. "I hope to use my time and energy in Augusta to see that we seize opportunities and work together on important goals like lowering our overall tax burden and creating new good-paying jobs."
In addition to serving two previous terms in the Maine Senate in the 122nd and 123rd Maine Legislatures, Senator Perry served in the Maine House of Representatives for eight years beginning in the 118th Maine Legislature. During his tenure in the House he served on the Banking and Insurance Committee and the Taxation Committee.
Over the past four years in the Senate, Senator Perry has served as the Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, and as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In addition, Senator Perry has served on the Government Oversight Committee known as OPEGA and the Legislative Youth Advisory Committee.
Maine Senate President Libby Mitchell and House Speaker Hannah Pingree are expected to announce new committee assignments for lawmakers around the middle of December.
Senator Perry and Representative Pilon to Submit Bill Creating Autism Specialty License Plate
Fri, 10 Oct 2008 14:36:46 EDT
Public can help fight autism by pre-ordering an autism plate at Cross Insurance Agency offices across Maine or at the Fourth Annual Autism Resource Fair in Augusta Saturday
AUGUSTAâ"Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, and Representative Don Pilon, D-Saco, are co-sponsoring a bill to the Maine Legislature to help support an effort by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities New England (CARD NE) and Giving Autism Balance and Equality (GABE) to establish the first-ever specialty autism license plate for the State of Maine.
The theme of the autism plate is âGive Autism a Hand,â and supporters need 2,000 signatures along with a $25.00 deposit from each prospective plate owner to meet state criteria for establishing a new license plate. In addition to those requirements, legislative approval is also required. Working with the GABE and CARD NE, Senator Perry and Representative Pilon are submitting legislation in support of the autism plate, and hope to lobby fellow lawmakers on it when the upcoming 124th Maine Legislature convenes.
âIt is estimated that one out of every 87 children in Maine is autistic. Compared to national numbers, Maine has the second highest rate of autism in the country and the number of children here and around the country with autism grows higher every year. Despite the fact there is no cure in site for autism, we must as a community become more aware of the challenges facing the children and families impacted by autism,â Senator Perry said. âAn autism license plate will be one more way we can help educate the public and perhaps raise a little money for this cause at the same time.â
"Advocating for your child is the greatest gift you can give them; supporting autism awareness through the specialty plate is the greatest gift you can give all individuals with autism," Karen Crystal, co-founder and Spokesperson for GABE said.
Anyone interested in supporting the creation of a new autism plate can stop by any Cross Insurance Agency office. Cross Insurance has generously offered to support this effort by promoting the autism plate in each office. For more information on an office in your area, please go to www.crossagency.com/locations or call 800-999-7345. People will also have a great chance to express their support for creation of an autism plate at the Fourth Maine Autism Resource Fair on Saturday October 11th from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. All proceeds collected are used to offset the initial costs for manufacturing the new plate. Additionally, all donations collected entitle donors to their own set of autism plates once they are issued.
âWe are pleased to be a part of this effort to establish an autism license plate to help raise awareness for this important cause. We would like to invite anyone who may want to preorder a plate to stop by one of our offices,â Cross Insurance Agency Executive Vice President Brent Cross said.
According to the Web site fightingautism.org, approximately 270,000 children and young adults age 3 to 22 have been diagnosed with autism. The estimated annual cost of autism on our national economy is over $8 billion dollars. The site also points out that the annual cost of education for a typical child is around $10,000, while the annual cost of education of a child with autism is estimated at $40,000. Typically a child with autism requires specialized medical treatment, which is an additional expense. Some parents report spending $65,000 per year.
Senate Tax Chair: Stimulus Checks Won't Be Taxed
Fri, 07 Mar 2008 15:37:17 EST
AUGUSTA-The Senate Chair of the Legislature's Taxation Committee, Senator Joe Perry, a Bangor Democrat, today said that a bill proposed by Representative Scott Lansley, a Sabattus Republican and ranking member of the same committee, to exempt "stimulus package" rebates from Maine taxes is unnecessary because the federal checks won't be taxed in the first place.
"Representative Lansley's proposed bill is very surprising to me because I know many legislators looked into this issue early on when the tax rebates were first proposed. I think it is safe to say that this was a bipartisan concern amongst lawmakers who all wanted to make sure the rebate checks wouldn't be taxed," said Senator Perry.
Senator Perry added, "When the question was asked to Maine Revenue Services, the answer was a clear no-the checks would not be taxed under existing law."
"Most Mainers are anxiously awaiting their checks to assist with rising fuel bills and other immediate household needs. It's unfortunate that this issue was raised unnecessarily, potentially making some people upset while at the same time reinforcing some negative stereotypes about Maine's tax code" said Senator Perry.
Under the federal stimulus package, individual taxpayers should receive a $600 tax rebate. Married couples or joint filers would receive tax rebates totaling $1,200. Tax filers with children should also expect to receive an additional $300 rebate credit for each dependent. Even lower-income individuals or veterans' who might not normally file a tax return for one reason or another are eligible for rebate checks starting at $300 if they file a 1040A tax form.
Taxpayers in Maine and around the country should expect to start receiving their non-taxed rebate checks in May according to the Internal Revenue Services.
Income Tax Makeover Possibility for Deserving Maine Family with Perry Bill
Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:54:34 EDT
AUGUSTA-State Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, Thursday said he has submitted legislation for the upcoming legislative session that would exempt income taxes that could be collected from the value of a home given to a deserving Maine family from ABC television's program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Earlier this week, the show surprised Maine residents by announcing they would be doing a makeover of a Milbridge family's home. The show seeks out deserving families who have usually experienced some kind or personal or medical hardship.
Commenting on his proposed legislation, Senator Perry said, "The Extreme Home Makeover Show seeks out deserving families all across the country and boosts the spirits of the families they help and brings together the communities they touch."
Senator Perry continued, "Unfortunately, once the show leaves town, the house and its contents inside provided by the show can be treated as income. The taxes that the family might have to pay goes against the intent of the show, which is to help a worthy family trying to improve their living situation."
Senator Perry added, "This is a rare opportunity for a Maine family and it would be a shame for taxes to spoil the long-term benefit of this good-will gesture by the show and its supporters. I believe exempting a worthy Maine family from paying income taxes on these "gifts" is the right thing to do since the makeover show is literally a random occurrence and may not come back to Maine for a long time. Maine Revenue Services was not planning on these taxes at the start of the year, so I don't think they will be missed."
The proposed bill states that the tax exemption would apply retroactive to July 1, 2007, and would apply only to a major television show that seeks to help worthy Maine families.
Senator Perry Wants to Make Computer Networking and Access to the Internet Easier for Maine Communities
Wed, 09 May 2007 16:52:48 EDT
Augusta--Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, Thursday, will introduce a bill to the Utilities and Energy Committee that would encourage communities across Maine to develop low-cost community networks modeled after Hermon, Maine's successful Hermon.net network.
This bill establishes the Education and Municipal Technology Advisory Committee to aid in the development and maintenance of community networks by municipalities and schools within those municipalities working in partnership. Under the bill, a community network is a computer system within a municipality that provides free or low-cost access to information and services through a centrally managed network or intranet or Internet connection or any combination of network and connections.
What is Hermon.Net?
Hermon.Net begins in the Hermon schools and reaches out to the residential and business communities.
Hermon.Net provides internet access and a computer desktop (in school and at home) for every student (K-12) in the Hermon School District.
Hermon.Net is a public service.
Any resident or business in Hermon can join Hermon.Net.
Over 1,500 of approximately 2,000 homes in Hermon have joined Hermon.Net.
Hermon.Net uses inexpensive Linux terminal servers that are housed in the schools.
Obsolete personal computers (donated by Maine business, the public and by State and Federal agencies) are converted into Linux user terminals.
Terminals are installed throughout the schools, the library, municipal buildings, and homes.
Hermon.Net IT provides a help desk and low cost technical support.
Linux terminal server and 40 terminals costs approximately $5,000 and provides a computing experience comparable to standalone PCs. One Linux server can run 30-40 terminals simultaneously.
Most personal computers can access a Linux terminal server through a free software client.
A common desktop using powerful, free, public domain software is provided to all users.
A common desktop using powerful, free, public domain software is provided to all users.
Hermon.Net provides free, dial-up internet access for the residents of Hermon.
Hermon is now installing a broadband wireless mesh network to provide connectivity for all homes and business.
A public hearing on the bill LD 1767, An Act To Encourage Community Network Development, will take place Thursday, May 10, 2007 @ 1:00 p.m. in the Utilities and Energy Committee (Room 211, Cross Office Building)
More info on the bill can be found online at: http://www.mainesenate.org/perry/hermonnet.html
Listen to the Utilities Committee online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/utilities_cmte.html
Bill Allowing Consumers to Pay Down Credit Card Debt Faster Advances in Senate
Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:26:27 EDT
Augusta-The Maine Senate, today, gave initial approval to an amended version of a bill that would allow consumers to prepay in part or in whole the unpaid balance of a consumer credit debt without penalty. The bill faces additional house and senate votes.
Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, submitted the legislation when he learned from a constituent that some credit card companies prevent their users from accepting multiple online payments in a single month.
"As credit card companies encourage people to pay their bills online, consumers should have the right to be able pay off balances as frequently as they can to reduce any debt that they may have," said Senator Perry. "It seems to me with the technology available, there should be no restrictions to this."
Following the initial public hearing on the bill, LD 951, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Credit Card Companies, Insurance and Financial Services members discovered that current Maine laws needed to be beefed up a little to support Senator Perry's original legislative proposal.
Going into the public hearing, Senator Perry discovered that different credit card companies have a range of policies for accepting payments for debts owed.
Some companies, like American Eagle Outfitters, limit the number of payments a consumer can make to two payments a month. Others like Citibank limit the number of online payments a customer can make to just four. American Express, on the other hand, allows consumers to make one payment either by phone or online once every 24 hours.
During the hearing, Senator Perry pointed out that although our society has become more reliant on new technologies to pay bills over the phone or online, many credit card companies are encouraging or requiring their consumers to opt out of paper bills. While there may be a certain amount of ease for customers to pay their bills online anytime, limiting the amount of payments online should not be a trade off to limiting the amount of times a consumer can pay their credit card debt off in a single month. If anything, the newer technology suggests that it can be easier.
More info on the bill is online at:
Bill to Encourage Purchasing Pool for Municipal Governments Receives Strong Support from Committee
Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:51:27 EDT
AUGUSTA-State Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, today introduced a bill that would develop a purchasing pool for municipalities across the state to participate in for major purchases such as a busses, police cars, and other big ticket items.
Senator Perry said the idea for the bill came to him while talking to municipal leaders at an economic development conference this summer. He said that one idea that came up during the meeting was a statewide purchasing pool that municipalities could join.. During his testimony, Senator Perry cited Portland Mayor Jim Cohen who told him that in a good year, their city purchases only about six police cars. Senator Perry commented that most communities make fewer purchases than Portland, but if they all purchased their new vehicles together, then they could see some significant savings.
"As the Legislature considers numerous regionalization issues, this may be one of the most straight forward proposals to encourage cooperation and savings," Senator Perry said.
Senator Perry added, "I think it's pretty easy economics for everyone to grip on to. The more people you have buying, the cheaper the price. Franchises like Sam's Club and Wal Mart figured this out a long ago. I don't think it is too foreign of an idea that the state could help municipalities all over the state to form a buying club' of their own to save money."
"If dozens of communities are interested in purchasing new police cars, a bulk order to the same vendor would surely yield savings to all the communities involved," Senator Perry continued.
Following Senator Perry's testimony, Senator Paula Benoit, R-Sagadahoc County, said the proposal was "long overdue." A representative from the Maine Municipal Association also said they supported the concept. Senator Perry asked the State and Local Government Committee for their help in crafting the best possible proposal to move the bill forward in the days to come.
The legislation entitled, Resolve, To Direct the Bureau of General Services To Develop a Purchasing Pool for Political Subdivisions of the State and School Administrative Units, is scheduled to have a work session Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. before the State and Local Government Committee.
More information about the bill is online at:
Senator Perry to Lead Tax Committee Again
Fri, 22 Dec 2006 14:00:41 EST
AUGUSTA-State Senator Joe Perry, D-Penobscot County, has been re-appointed to serve as the Senate Chair of the Taxation Committee for the 123rd Maine Legislature and will also serve once again as a member of the Inland, Fisheries, and Wildlife Committee. The appointments were made by Maine Senate President Beth Edmonds.
Commenting on his re-appointment Senator Perry said, "I am very confident this is going to be the most productive session of my ten years in the Legislature." Senator Perry added, "It is my top priority for the Taxation Committee to provide tax relief for all Maine citizens and we must do it in a way that they see direct relief."
"My experience tells me that coming into a new legislative cycle we have a short window of opportunity to get things done before big priorities like the State Budget start to take over more of the Legislature's time," Senator Perry explained. He added, "I am very happy with the makeup of the Taxation Committee, and we have a great leadership team in place in the House and Senate to help move key tax relief proposals forward."
Senator Perry was sworn into office December 6, 2006 as the Senator representing Senate District 32 in the Maine Senate. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2004, Senator Perry served in the Maine House of Representatives for eight years.
Representative John F. Piotti, D-Unity, will join Senator Perry to lead the Tax Committee as the Committee's House Chair. More information about the Legislative Committees and what they do can be found online at: http://www.state.me.us/legis/opla/committe.htm
Senator Perry Speaks to Area Students
Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:27:04 EDT
AUGUSTA- Senator Joe Perry (D-Penobscot County) of Bangor wrapped up a two-day visit as a guest speaker at his former high school, John Bapst Memorial High School on Wednesday, October 19th. Senator Perry was on hand to discuss the upcoming referendum election with the seniors in Mark Trasker's Advanced Placement Political Science class.
"This is what I love best about my role as a state senator," said Senator Perry. "I enjoy more than anything talking to school groups about politics, and introducing them to Maine's political process. They are the next generation of voters, and I only hope that they make informed, well-thought out decisions when casting their vote."
Senator Perry spoke to the two classes about the seven ballot questions, including the civil rights initiative that is question one, the constitutional amendment involving the taxation of waterfront property, and the five bond questions. As chair of the Legislature's Taxation Committee, Senator Perry also engaged the students in a lively discussion about Maine's tax burden and taxation issue throughout the state.
"These kids were great - real top-notch students with excellent questions," said Senator Perry. "I am confident knowing that they will soon be entering the workforce and casting their votes on the issues that are of importance to our state."