2014 Democratic State of the State Address

2014 Democratic State of the State Address

Hello. I’m Senate President Justin Alfond. Tonight, Governor Paul LePage will deliver the State of the State to the Legislature and to the people of Maine. For those of you who listen tonight, you may agree with what the Governor has outlined. Or you may not. But one thing all...
Latest entries

SENATE ENACTS BILL TO EXPAND AUTISM INSURANCE COVERAGE

Senator Lachowicz’s bill requires autism coverage through age 10 AUGUSTA—The Senate unanimously enacted a bill sponsored by Democratic Senator Colleen Lachowicz of Waterville to expand health insurance coverage for children with autism spectrum disorder. “We know that access to treatment can make all the difference for children with autism,” said Senator Lachowicz, who is a...

GOP SUSTAINS LEPAGE VETO OF BILL TO HELP MAINERS HEAT THEIR HOMES AFFORDABLY

Measure would have provided rebates for heat pumps and solar panels AUGUSTA–In a 22-13 vote, the Senate Republicans sustained Governor LePage’s veto of a bill that would have provided rebates for solar panels and heat pumps for low-income Mainers. Overriding a veto requires two-thirds, or 24 Senate votes. The Senate originally supported the measure in...

ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING DRUG APPROVED DESPITE LEPAGE VETO THREATS

AUGUSTA–In a unanimous vote, the Senate gave initial approval to a measure to increase access to a proven life-saving medication that can reverse opioid overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naloxone also known by its brand name, Narcan, has reversed more than 10,000 overdoses between 1996 and 2010. “I can tell you that most...

Task Force on Student Hunger Measure Becomes Law

AUGUSTA – A measure sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond to establish a task force aimed at ending student hunger became law on Wednesday without the signature of the governor. “Far too many children in this state are chronically hungry. It is our obligation to do all that we can to help increase access to...

LEGISLATURE’S BIPARTISAN BUDGET APPROVED

LePage has threatened to veto budget   AUGUSTA–The Maine Senate in a unanimous vote of 35-0 endorsed a $32 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. “This budget is a true testament to what can happen when lawmakers work together. In extraordinary circumstances members from both parties came together and said we will fulfill our...

GOP SUSTAINS VETO OF BILL TO CANCEL TROUBLED MAINECARE RIDES CONTRACTS

AUGUSTA–In a vote of 20-15 Republican Senators sustained Governor LePage’s veto of a measure that would have prevented the Department of Health and Human Services from renewing contracts with the troubled MaineCare ride brokers. “For months, people have been left by the side of the road. The contractor that we are spending millions of dollars on...

SENATE REPUBLICANS SUSTAIN VETO OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL

Three Senate Republicans flip votes after initially supporting the bill AUGUSTA—In a 20-15 vote, Senate Republicans voted to sustain Governor LePage’s veto of a bill to strengthen Maine’s campaign finance laws. Overriding a veto requires two-thirds, or 24 Senate votes. “It seems to me that increasing transparency with money and elections is a good thing,”...

VETO SPREE HITS THOUSANDS HURT BY FLAWED MAINECARE RIDES SYSTEM

LePage ignores impact on 45,000 Mainers depending on rides to medical appointments, work AUGUSTA– In spite of months of mismanagement by his administration, Governor LePage has vetoed a bill that would have prevented the Department of Health and Human Services from renewing contracts with the troubled MaineCare ride brokers. “This one is a head-scratcher. For...

Kennebec Journal: OUR OPINION: Jobs bond package a good investment for Maine

Funds for infrastructure, venture capital and research would help start and expand small businesses.   Every year, Maine fishermen catch tons of baby eels, which they ship to China to be grown to adult size and sold in Japan for 10 times the price. At the same time, small businesses can’t expand and new ideas...

Weekly Radio Address: Senator Gratwick says Governor’s war on the poor is a cynical political campaign strategy, a witch hunt

In his office, Governor LePage rings alarm bells on a daily basis about fraud and abuse. But his choice of when to sound the alarm is selective. He does not ring the alarm for all fraud and abuse, only when he talks about the poor.   Good Morning. This is State Senator Geoff Gratwick of Bangor.   Make...

Bangor Daily News: LePage’s ‘open for business zones’ bill rejected in Senate behind arguments that it’s too generous

By Chris Cousins Read more here AUGUSTA, Maine — Senate Democrats led a charge against a proposal by Gov. Paul LePage to give large corporations major incentives to bring jobs to two former military bases in Maine, including a “right to work” prohibition on forcing workers to pay union dues. LePage reacted to the vote...

Portland Press Herald: LePage’s plan for special ‘Open for Business Zones’ rejected by Senate

By Eric Russell Read more here The governor calls the vote ‘the latest attack by job-killing liberal politicians.’ AUGUSTA — The Democratic-led state Senate delivered a blow Friday to Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to create “Open for Business Zones,” that, among other things, would have exempted large companies from requiring employees to pay union dues The...