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Preview: News from Senator Nancy Sullivan-District 4

News from Senator Nancy Sullivan-District 4



News from Senator Nancy Sullivan



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Senator Sullivan Reflects Upon Experience with Maine State Police

Tue, 28 Sep 2010 10:44:04 EDT

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once told the nation, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". Throughout my adult life, I have been in basic agreement with Roosevelt. Fear can be devastating. Fear of fear can keep you from facing reality and fear can prohibit personal growth. Fear can eat you up. Having reached the last third of my expected lifespan, I have begun to compile my "bucket list". Building a bucket list is not, at least for me, a positive, uplifting experience. It is a positive action affirming one's mortality. My fear of law enforcement officers over several decades has prevented me from learning to appreciate this group's importance in the development and continuance of a lawful environment. At the end of each legislative year, legislators have received an invite to ride with a state trooper. Needless to say, that invite would end up right where I know much of my campaign literature to constituent's ends up - the wastebasket! The April 2010 invite suffered the same fate as all of the previous ones. Because of my fear, I had failed to take advantage of years of opportunity. Things happen in strange ways. At the end of July, I attended a meeting at the Public Safety Headquarters in Augusta and bumped into Colonel Patrick Fleming, the head of the State Police. Intelligence deserted me, and fear entered! Engaging my mouth before my brain (a personal downfall), I informed the Colonel I wanted to ride with a state trooper. I had made the first move, and I KNEW this busy man would certainly forget my request. Imagine my surprise when ONE day later, Sergeant Robert Nichols, Maine State Police, Troop A called to arrange a ride along. I was trapped! There was no way to escape. After a short conversation, I was informed that one of his troopers would contact me to confirm the date and time. Then the email! "Hello Senator Sullivan, I was advised you would be riding with me on patrol August 5, 2010. I am looking forward to your visit with us and the opportunity to show you, first hand, how our department operates..." Trooper Matthew WilliamsIt was official. I would do a ride-along August 5th.On the appointed day, at the appointed hour, into the driveway turns a gigantic blue cruiser. Fearing what the neighbors would think, I quickly exited the house just as the trooper was putting his hat on. (I was to later learn that the hat is required to be on each time he exits the car). Introductions were made, my neighbor inquired what I had done this time, my husband wished us luck, and my experience began. The first order of business was to sign a release form. Done. Then I was informed that there was an open complaint and we would be meeting with the Sheriff's Department to coordinate a probable arrest. This was an arrest involving domestic violence. Having worked on domestic violence issues in the legislature, I quickly forgot my fear and became fully involved in the process. It was fascinating! I was struck by the demeanor, professionalism, and respect shown by Trooper Williams. This did not jive with my perceptions of the police at all. Three hours after the coordination meeting with the sheriffs we cleared the county jail. Trooper Williams asked if I would like to see the barracks. I hope I didn't appear too excited, but I really did want to see that ladies room! Next, we headed to a small store to grab a bite to eat and to join Sergeant Nichols and Lieutenant Nyitray. Introductions were made and between mouthfuls I asked question after question. I found their answers frank and thought provoking. And much to my chagrin, they gave every appearance of being caring human beings! We cleared the store to respond to a confusing complaint of custody and family fighting. Trooper Williams explained that civil complaints are handled through the court system, while police investigate criminal complaints. Trooper Williams continued that while he believed that this was not a criminal complaint, he was going to respond because of an assertion that an 8 year old boy could be in danger. As a teacher, I was impress[...]



Senator Sullivan to Maine Residents: Applications Available for Tax Relief

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 13:54:00 EDT

Maine homeowners and renters may qualify for the Maine Property Tax and Rent Refund program



Augusta, Maine - State Senator Nancy Sullivan would like to remind Maine residents about the Maine Property Tax and Rent Refund program, also known as "Circuit Breaker." Applications for the next cycle will be available starting on August 1, 2010.



An estimated 200,000 or more Maine homeowners and renters may be eligible for a tax refund through the program. The last application period distributed almost $40.5 million to 88,470 Maine homeowners and renters, with an average refund check of $456.



"This is a valuable program for many Maine residents," said Senator Sullivan. "In today's economy, any savings in the household is a great thing."



All applicants must be a Maine resident and lived in Maine for all of 2009. If one is a homeowner and married or has a dependent, the household income in 2009 must have been $86,600 or less. If the homeowner is single, the income must be $64,950 or less. Also, the 2009 property taxes must have been more than four percent of the household income. For Maine residents who rent, the rent paid in 2009 must be more than 20 percent of the 2009 household income.



The maximum refund to eligible homeowners or renters this year is $1,600.



It is important to note that seniors, age 62 and over (55 if disabled), do not need to meet the mentioned requirements if the household income is below $14,700 for one living alone or below $18,200 for someone living with a spouse or dependent.



The program runs over a 10-month period from August 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011. Circuit Breaker applications can be found online and downloaded at the Maine Revenue Services website at: www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief. To receive an application by mail, call (207) 624-7894 to make a request.



Senator Sullivan added, "Tax relief is a top priority for many Mainers. I would encourage any homeowner or renter to take the time to apply for this program."



Last application period, the communities in Senator Sullivan's Senate District received the following in tax relief:



Arundel had 231 qualified residents receive $115,227 in refunds; Biddeford had 1,945 qualified residents receive $936,005 in refunds; Kennebunk had 785 qualified residents receive $513,793 in refunds; and Kennebunkport had 237 qualified residents receive $142,950 in refunds.

To receive future notices about legislative matters, please sign up for email updates from Senator Nancy Sullivan at: www.mainesenate.org.



Nancy Sullivan is the State Senator for District 4 and a middle school teacher. She represents the communities of Arundel, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and most of Biddeford. Senator Sullivan is the Senate Chair of the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee and serves on the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee.



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Senator Sullivan to Present Legislation to Encourage Financial Savings

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 13:02:05 EST

AUGUSTA - LD 1673 would help promote savings account deposits by allowing any Maine-chartered financial institution, a bank or credit union, to conduct a savings promotion raffle.

However, the sole consideration required for a chance of winning the designated prize in the raffle is the deposit of at least a specified amount of money into a savings account or other savings program offered by the Maine-chartered financial institution.

"In today's difficult economic climate, it cannot hurt to do what we can to encourage putting some money aside in a savings account," said Senator Sullivan. "This bill creates an innovative opportunity to promote saving money." What: Public Hearing on LD 1673, An Act to Allow a Maine-chartered Financial Institution to Conduct a Savings Promotion Raffle Who: Senator Nancy Sullivan Where: Insurance and Financial Services Committee, Room 427, State House, Augusta When: 1:00 PM, Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Full text of the legislation can be found at:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billtexts/SP064501.asp




Sullivan Presents Bill to Allow American Lung Association Raffle

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 10:55:45 EDT

MAINE SENATE MAJORITY OFFICE

Senator Nancy Sullivan, Senate District #4 www.mainesenate.org

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 16, 2009


Contact: Senator Nancy Sullivan: (207) 287-1515
Marc Malon, Legislative Aide: (207) 287-1515

Sullivan Presents Bill to Allow American Lung Association Raffle

State Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York) presented a bill - L.D. 730, An Act To Allow Certain Organizations To Hold Raffles - to the Legislature's Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee today.

The bill was sponsored as an emergency item on behalf of the American Lung Association of Maine. Every year the organization conducts the Trek Across Maine, which attracts over 2,000 cyclists and raises over a million dollars for cancer research. This year, to assist with the event, Charlie's Auto Mall of Augusta offered to donate a 2009 Toyota Prius to raffle. Unfortunately, the Lung Association had to decline the offer due to current state law that limit games of chance to not for profit membership organizations. Senator Sullivan's bill seeks to resolve the situation by allowing an exemption for non-membership charitable organizations to hold raffles.

"We are asking that this be an emergency measure to allow a generous Maine business to provide fundraising assistance to a well established Maine not for profit immediately following the Governor's signature and in time for the Trek's 25th anniversary this June," said Senator Sullivan. "The bill also includes safeguards to prevent the exemption from being abused."

The public hearing for L.D. 771 was held today. A work session in the committee will be scheduled at a time yet to be determined.

For more information on the Trek Across Maine and the intent of the bill, please contact Ed Miller of the American Lung Association of Maine at (207) 624-0308.

Senator Sullivan (D-York) represents Senate District 4 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Biddeford, Arundel, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport. ###




Sullivan Presents "An Act to Calculate the School Year by Number of Hours"

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 08:32:29 EST

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release Monday, February 9, 2009

Contact: Senator Nancy Sullivan: (207) 287-1515
Marc Malon, Legislative Aide: (207) 287-1515

Sullivan Presents "An Act to Calculate the School Year by Number of Hours"

AUGUSTA - State Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York) presented LD 245, "An Act to Calculate the School Year by Number of Hours," today at a meeting of the Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. The bill would allow for a school calendar that is based on a minimum number of hours equivalent to the current 175-day minimum for instructional time. "This bill gives school districts the flexibility to create an alternate schedule in order to react to snow days and to save money," said Senator Sullivan. "We learned during the school consolidation process that one size does not fit all, so this bill will allow districts to create a calendar that best fits their local needs."

Senator Sullivan said that the impetus for the bill came from a friend who also happened to be the Superintendent of a rural school district. Due to a large number of "snow days," the district was faced with the possibility of extending the school year well into June, which many considered too late. They requested permission to add an hour to each school day in order to prevent this, but the Department of Education was unable to allow it because the law mandated a minimum of 175 instructional days.

Senator Sullivan's bill is supported by, amongst others, the Maine Principals Association and the Maine School Management Association (which includes School Boards and School Superintendents). After the public hearing, the bill was discussed and ultimately tabled for further discussion. Senator Sullivan said that the tabling was expected, and is a normal practice as the committee gathers more information.

The bill will be taken up by the committee again at some point during the current legislative session.

Senator Sullivan (D-York) represents Senate District 4 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Biddeford, Arundel, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport




Sullivan: Supplemental Budget Passes Overwhelmingly

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 09:05:27 EST

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release Thursday, January 27, 2009

Contact: Senator Nancy Sullivan: (207) 287-1515
Marc Malon, Legislative Aide: (207) 287-1515



AUGUSTA - The Maine State Legislature overwhelmingly passed the Supplemental Budget, thus balancing the state budget for the current fiscal year and closing a $166 million gap.

"The challenges of the recession have forced a majority of states around the country to make difficult spending decisions," said State Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York). "This budget represents the best of bad choices."

Sullivan emphasized that the painful budget cuts were shared by all levels of state government, including the Legislature. She stressed two points:

Maine will spend less in 2009 than it did in 2008 The budget ensures that the state government can carry out its basic functions.

Legislators will now work on the biennial budget, where she says tough decisions will still need to be made about spending.

"While there is still more difficult work to be done, I have no doubt that we can make progress towards economic development and improving the function of our state government," said Sullivan.

Senator Sullivan (D-York) represents Senate District 4 in the Maine Legislature, which includes the communities of Biddeford, Arundel, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport




Domestic Violence Bill Enacted

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 20:17:32 EDT

AUGUSTA- The Maine Senate today unanimously enacted legislation to help victims of domestic violence. LD 1990, "Resolve, to Prevent Domestic Violence and Protect our Citizens," was sponsored by Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York County) of Biddeford.

"I was asked to submit this legislation by Judy Francoeur, a lady from my district whose niece, Nicole Oliver, was murdered by her husband," said Senator Sullivan. "Nicole had finally gotten up the nerve to leave her abusive husband and was starting to get her life on track. She had returned home to get money from her husband for rent when he shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself. She need financial help, and didn't know where to turn."

LD 1990 directs the Department of Public Safety to undertake a review of the measures currently in place to support and protect victims and potential victims of domestic violence and to determine how to increase and develop strategies for the protection of victims of domestic violence and for improvement of the criminal justice system response and how to find and access services. The Department of Public Safety shall submit a report of its findings, including any necessary implementing legislation.

"My heartfelt thanks goes out to Commissioner of Public Safety, Ann Jordan," said Senator Sullivan. "She worked tirelessly with me on this bill and really is the reason it was ultimately enacted. My ultimate goal with this legislation was to create a clearing house of information available at all shelters, police departments, etc. - so others like Nicole Oliver will have the knowledge necessary to keep them from returning to an abusive situation."



Senator Sullivan Challenges Senator Rotundo

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 15:22:35 EST

AUGUSTA- Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York County) of Biddeford has extended a friendly wager to her Senate colleague Peggy Rotundo (D-Androscoggin County) of Lewiston in regards to Saturday night's Class A boys high school hockey showdown. Undefeated Biddeford (23-0) will face Lewiston (19-3-1), in Lewiston for the state title.

The details of the bet are as follows: in the event of a Biddeford victory, Senator Rotundo will sport Biddeford High School's school colors of black and orange, and in the event of a Lewiston win, Senator Sullivan has agreed to wear Lewiston High School's colors of blue and white.

"Easy wager for me to extend, even though I have very few blue or white items in my closet," said Senator Sullivan. "Biddeford is truly in top form this season and I am 100% confident that their undefeated season will remain intact."

"I am pleased to accept the wager from my colleague from Biddeford," Senator Rotundo responded. "I am confident that Lewiston will win, and I'll be proud to join Senator Sullivan in blue and white when that happens."



Senate Grants Initial Approval to Kennebunk Light and Power Legislation

Tue, 26 Feb 2008 14:28:56 EST

Senate Grants Initial Approval to Kennebunk Light and Power Legislation

AUGUSTA- The Maine Senate today gave its initial support for a bill that will enable the Kennebunk Light and Power District to serve the entire town of Kennebunk. LD 1221, "An Act to Amend the Charter of the Kennebunk Light and Power District" was sponsored by Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York County) and received bi-partisan support.

"Today's vote is one more step towards the finish line," said Senator Sullivan. "I personally began working on this issue in 2001, and it has truly been an uphill battle all along; a ‘David versus Goliath'. Today's vote is very sweet."

LD 1221 removes a line imposed in 1903, separating the town of Kennebunk into two separate electric service areas. Removal of this line will enable the Kennebunk Light and Power District, which is owned by the taxpayers and residents of Kennebunk, to serve the entire community. In a local referendum vote held in November 2006, 89.3% of Kennebunk voters cast their vote in support of the legislation.

Senator Sullivan joined together with members of the Citizens for Electrical Equity in Kennebunk (CEEK) Committee to draft the legislation and usher it through the legislative process. The bill had a public hearing last year during the First Regular Session of the 123rd Legislature and was carried over for consideration into the current session.

Today's affirmative Senate vote (23-12, RC#286) now sends the bill down to the House of Representatives for approval. LD 1221 could be enacted by both the Senate and House later this week.

"I am really overjoyed that his bill has received such tremendous support," said Senator Sullivan. "The CEEK Committee members and the residents of Kennebunk have truly won a monumental battle and they are to be commended for the efforts."

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Bill Seeking End to Deceptive Insurance Advertising Enacted

Mon, 14 May 2007 17:44:19 EDT

Augusta-The Maine Senate, Thursday afternoon, unanimously approved a bill by Senator Nancy Sullivan, D-York County, that would put an end to deceptive insurance advertising. The bill now goes to Governor Baldacci for consideration.

"Many people have complained about having received correspondence with a return address of their lending institution, addressed by name to them and containing personal information. It is simply deceptive and not the way to do business in Maine," Senator Sullivan said.

LD 1253 says if someone is soliciting a bank's customer for insurance, then they can not use the bank's name without permission.

More info about the bill, LD 1253, An Act To Protect Consumers from Deceptive Insurance Solicitation is online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280023972



Kennebunk Seeks Legislative Okay for Power Plan

Mon, 07 May 2007 17:15:54 EDT

Augusta-Senator Nancy Sullivan, D-York County, Tuesday, will introduce a bill to the Utilities and Energy Committee that would amend the Kennebunk Light and Power District charter to allow it to provide retail electric service throughout the entire Town of Kennebunk. The final okay for the plan would be approved through a local referendum.

The bill is supported by the York County Legislative delegation and was introduced following Kennebunk's passage of a non-binding resolution. More than 89 percent of the public supported the vote last November.

Who: Senator Nancy Sullivan

What: PUBLIC HEARING: LD 1221, An Act To Amend the Charter of the Kennebunk Light and Power District

When: Tuesday, May 8th @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Utilities and Energy Committee

Listen Online: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/utilities_cmte.html

More info on the bill is online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280023930



Work Session: Passenger List Sought for Those Under 18

Wed, 25 Apr 2007 15:08:59 EDT

AUGUSTA-The Transportation Committee, Thursday, will hold a work session on a bill sponsored by Senator Nancy Sullivan, D-York County, Friday, that would require transportation companies such as planes, trains, buses, and boats to keep a list of all passengers under the age of eighteen.

The list would then be available to law enforcement in the event of a kidnapping or crime involving a minor. It would also be of critical importance for minors who are traveling by themselves.

Who: Senator Nancy Sullivan

What: Work Session: LD 1226, An Act To Protect Young Passengers of Transportation Providers

When: Thursday, April 26th @ 2:00 p.m.

Where: Transportation Committee

Listen Online: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/transport_cmte.html

More info on the bill is online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280023946



Work Session: Sullivan Bill Seeks to Boost Dental Care

Wed, 25 Apr 2007 15:08:01 EDT

AUGUSTA-The Business, Research and Economic Development Committee, will continue work on a bill sponsored by Senator Nancy Sullivan, D-York County, designed to provide low-income families and their children with access to comprehensive oral healthcare.

If enacted, LD 1246 will require the creation of a program to allow dental hygienists certified by the board to provide dental health care outside of a dental office to low-income persons and MaineCare recipients.

LD 1246 also requires dental hygienists to provide services including: triage; case management; current dental hygiene preventive services; administration of local anesthesia, including nitrous oxide; cavity prevention; simple restorations; pulpotomies; deciduous extractions; space maintainers; as well as the ability to prescribe antimicrobials, fluoride and necessary antibiotics if necessary.

Lower-income families and MaineCare recipients experience much difficulty in getting the necessary oral health care that they need to maintain healthy lifestyles. In 2004, approximately 120,000 MaineCare children ages birth to twenty years did not receive any dental services.

Who: Senator Nancy Sullivan

What: Work Session: LD 1246, Resolve, To Improve Oral Health for Children

When: Thursday, April 26th @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Business, Research and Economic Development Committee

Listen Online: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/bus_cmte.html

More info on the bill is online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280023984



Senator Sullivan Seeks New Consumer Protections on Pesticides

Tue, 24 Apr 2007 17:43:41 EDT

Augusta-Senator Nancy Sullivan, D-York County, will present a bill to the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, which would direct the Board of Pesticides Control to establish certain notice requirements for the application of pesticides in occupied buildings other than school buildings.

Who: Senator Nancy Sullivan

What: PUBLIC HEARING: LD 1698, An Act To Provide for Public Notification of Indoor Pesticide Applications

When: Wednesday, April 24th @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee

Listen Online: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/acf_cmte.html

More info on the bill is online at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280024575



Column: Finding Help for Our Mothers

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:00:02 EDT

By Senator Nancy Sullivan

Emily Dickinson once said, "A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled." Last week, I presented legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services that will give our mothers in Maine someone they can turn to when they are troubled or when they are in need.

LD 792, An Act Concerning Postpartum Mental Health Education, will require information on postpartum mental health issues to be provided to pregnant women and mothers of children less than one year of age. It also requires health care providers to screen mothers for postpartum issues following the birth of their child and at each well-baby check-up for the first year. Information on postpartum depression will also be provided to the fathers, spouses, or partners and family members. This legislation is mirrored after similar legislation enacted in Illinois and New Jersey

Researchers believe that depression is one of the most common complications during and after pregnancy, and they believe that at least 15 to 20 percent of new mothers suffer from this disease. Often, the depression is not recognized or treated because some "normal" pregnancy changes cause similar symptoms at the same time. Tiredness, problems sleeping, stronger emotional reactions, and changes in body weight may occur during pregnancy and after pregnancy. But these symptoms may also be signs of depression.

A new mother receives a six-week postpartum check-up and then is essentially on her own to face motherhood. At the same time their child, if adhering to regular well-baby check-ups, is generally seen by health care professionals at 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year of age. These regular baby check-ups not only focus on the general health of the baby, but also on the development and home-life of the child. Few would argue that the mental health and well-being of the infant's mother is a determining factor in whether or not that child will prosper during that first year of life. These mothers are in a health care setting, speaking with health care professionals - when could there possibly be a better opportunity to talk to moms about their metal wellbeing?

Unfortunately, postpartum depression is still seen as a stigma - how could any new mother be depressed about this exciting time - "a bundle of joy," "a miracle," the "blessing of life"? The truth is that far too many mothers are overwhelmed; we only hear and read about the tragic cases.

LD 792 is not just about mothers, and it is not just about children - it is about Maine families and about providing them with the tools necessary to succeed in life. This bill is one of those tools, and I sincerely look forward to its enactment.

In closing, if I can ever be of any assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached in Augusta at 1-800-423-6900 (toll free), and at home at 282-5594. I look forward to hearing from you!