Someone took the liberty of grading the Maine Democrat plan to create a plan to grade schools.
Looks like they didn’t do so well.
Democratic leadership in the Maine Legislature has taken the surprise move of suspending public notification on public hearings and put a rush on bills after revealing that just two weeks away from the May 17 deadline, the Democratic majority committees had only completed 50% of their workload, which they have had since January to work on.
Following is a shocking memo that shows just how far behind, and apparently, how dysfunctional, Democratic leadership in the 126th Maine Legislature actually is.
To: Senate and House Chairs, Joint Standing Committees
From: Justin Alfond, President of the Senate
Mark W. Eves, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Re: Committee guidance for completion of work
Date: May 1, 2013
As you know, Friday, May 17th, is the deadline for voting all committee bills. As of Monday April 29th, committees had voted 50% of their anticipated bill load but had more than 700 bills in their possession that have not yet been voted, 260 bills voted but not yet reported out and additional bills are still expected to be referred. Although this represents a great deal of hard work by the committees so far this session, it is clear that there is still a significant amount of work remaining in committee. It is essential that you continue your efforts to meet the deadlines, so that we can complete the work of the Legislature on time and within budget.
To help ensure that the Legislature’s work is completed by early June we have established the following procedures.
- Effective today, the notice requirement for advertising public hearings for bills that are referred to committee after May 3rd is waived entirely. Please note that notice of all public hearings and work sessions must continue to be posted on the Legislature’s website and in committee rooms with as much advance notice as possible.
- For bills referred before May 6th, all public hearings must be conducted by Friday May 10th. Please note that bills referred after May 6th must still have a public hearing, work session and be voted on by Friday May 17th. Exceptions may be allowed only with the written approval of the presiding officers.
- If a committee wishes to meet on days in addition to its authorized meeting days, a waiver is no longer required to meet on those additional days, including weekends.
- Committees are authorized to hold work sessions on any bill in their possession at any time following its public hearing. Committee clerks must attempt to contact the bill’s sponsor to alert them when there bill is being worked.
· Committees must submit a list of bill carryover requests by Friday May 10th. All requests to carry bills over to next session must be submitted in writing and delivered to the Legislative Information Office no later than the end of business on Friday, May 10th. Requests must be addressed to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, must include the LD number, sponsor and title of each bill and must briefly describe the reason for the carry over request. We will review and decide upon those requests during the middle of May, in time for your committee to act on any bills we do not approve for carry over.
- Committees must vote by May 17th on all bills referred to committee before that date. Committees may meet after May 17th only for the purpose of hearing and working bills referred on or after May 17th, reviewing amendment language on voted bills, holding work sessions on the Errors Bill, holding budget-related work sessions or holding confirmation hearings. Committees meeting for any other purpose other than described must receive prior written approval of both presiding officers. Any bill that has been referred prior to May 17th that has not been voted on may, by the authority of the Presiding Officers pursuant to Joint Rule 309, be removed from the committee’s possession and delivered to the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House.
- All bills must be reported out by Friday, May 24th. Any bills remaining in the possession of committees after close of business Friday May 24th may, by the authority of the Presiding Officers pursuant to Joint Rule 309, be removed from the committee’s possession and delivered to the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House. Bills that have not been voted and are removed will be delivered immediately to the Secretary or the Clerk and placed on the calendar without a committee report. Bills that have been voted that are removed and that require an amendment will be held by Teen Griffin until the Revisor’s Office releases the committee amendment. Committees may review amendments through May 24th, but there will be no further committee review of amendments after May 24th without the prior written approval of both presiding officers. When the amendment is released to Teen Griffin, the bill and the amendment will be reported to the Secretary or the Clerk and placed on the calendar.
- Committees are not authorized to meet for any purpose after Friday, May 24th without the prior written approval of both presiding officers, except committees may meet for confirmation hearings, budget-related work sessions and work sessions on the Errors Bill.
Completing the remaining work before us before the final committee reporting deadline of May 24th will be challenging, but again, it is important if the Legislature is to adjourn in June. As always, we appreciate your hard work to date. We look forward to continuing to work with you so that the Legislature can complete its work prior to statutory adjournment.
If you have any questions, please see your respective presiding officer.
“In March, PoliceOne conducted the most comprehensive survey ever of American law enforcement officers’ opinions on the topic gripping the nation’s attention in recent weeks: gun control.
More than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals took part in the survey, which aimed to bring together the thoughts and opinions of the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility.
Totaling just shy of 30 questions, the survey allowed officers across the United States to share their perspectives on issues spanning from gun control and gun violence to gun rights.”
· “Virtually all respondents (95 percent) say that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would not reduce violent crime.
· The majority of respondents — 71 percent — say a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of some semi-automatics would have no effect on reducing violent crime. However, more than 20 percent say any ban would actually have a negative effect on reducing violent crime. Just over 7 percent took the opposite stance, saying they believe a ban would have a moderate to significant effect.
· More than 28 percent of officers say having more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public, followed by more aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons (about 19 percent) and more armed guards/paid security personnel (about 15 percent).”
Remember these findings when liberal legislators try to impose feel good gun control legislation on Maine people.
As the debate over right to work heats up in Augusta, we wanted to share these facts from the Maine House Republicans about right to work states vs. forced union states.
Opponents of RTW say that RTW does not create jobs in states that adopt it, but…
- According to the US Labor Dept., from 1990 to 2010, private sector payrolls increased 32% in RTW states, three times faster than non-RTW states.
- According to The Mackinac Institute, job growth increased 71% in RTW states since 1980 and only 32% in non-RTW states.
- Within a year of Indiana enacting RTW, 65 companies have communicated to that state’s economic development corporation that the recent law will factor into their site location decision-making process.
Opponents refer to “right-to-work-for-less” and say wages are lower in right-to-work states, but…
- While it may be true that according to the raw data, wages are lower, when you account for cost of living differences, wages are actually 4% higher in RTW states, according to the Mackinac Institute.
- Wages in RTW states have grown four times faster than wages in forced-unionism states.
- According to research by economist Dr. Richard Vedder, RTW states experienced a 23% faster increase in per capita income between 1977 and 2007.
As Maine’s Legislative Democrats attempt to increase wage controls on employers across Maine, a review of actual wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics exposes just how out of touch with reality the Democrat wage control dog-and-pony show actually is.
Every single job listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is already earning above the wage Democrats are demanding.
View the list here. It includes everything from movie theater ushers and attendants to cashiers, food servers, maintenance workers and anything else BLS can track.
Not one of the jobs listed would benefit from the wage controls being proposed by Democrats in their current effort.
The Bangor Daily News is reporting that Senator Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, the Assistant Majority Leader of the Maine Senate, has introduced a bill aimed at inflaming partisan tensions just as the legislature begins some of it’s most important work of this legislative session.
Jackson’s bill, which is aimed at amending Maine’s Constitution simply to play a petty political game attacking Governor LePage, has drawn fire from both freshman and veteran lawmakers of his own party.
The Bangor Daily News reports that freshman Rep. Brian Jones, D- Freedom says:
“This bill is a distraction, mere political tomfoolery that will serve no purpose but to inflame unnecessarily the tensions between the Legislature and the governor. This is not responsible leadership of our state.”
It doesn’t get any more simple than this, even other Democratic lawmakers are now saying Democratic legislative leadership isn’t responsible.
Read the full story here.
UPDATE: Senator Jackson’s motive appears to be reforms passed in the previous legislature’s 2-year budget. While Senator Jackson has attempted to lay the issue squarely at the Governor’s feet, we thought you would like to see who voted with the Governor on this issue.
Here is the Senate enactment vote on the bill in question, it received broad bipartisan support, a 29-5 vote: http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280040546&chamber=Senate&serialnumber=265
Here is the House enactment vote on the bill in question, it received broad bipartisan support, a 123-19 vote: http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280040546&chamber=House&serialnumber=201
It’s telling that Senator Jackson isn’t going after all of his colleagues who voted with the Governor on this issue.
The Maine House Republicans have just released a statement revealing that House Democrats have just voted to increase the fees that Maine people must pay to register their cars, trucks and other motor vehicles by $3 Million per year.
The bill, LD 405, “An Act To Increase Municipal Agent Fees for Licensing and Registration of Motor Vehicles, was passed in a partisan vote.
It increases new license or registration fees by 50% and license or registration renewal fees by 67%.
LD 405 can be viewed here.
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette said, “Between federal payroll tax hikes and threats from Maine Democrats to raise income taxes, meals and lodging taxes, cigarette taxes, death taxes, and more, every little fee or tax adds up. The middle class is facing death by a thousand cuts under Democrats and their constant search for more revenue to fuel government growth.”
The Maine GOP is always fighting for you. Get more updates and information by signing up for Maine GOP Email Alerts at this link.
At the same time Democrats in Augusta are attempting to spark anger at a proposal to eliminate revenue sharing because Maine state government is forced to set priorities and balance the state budget, the only Democrat candidate in the 2014 race for Governor, Steve Woods, has proposed a radical plan to push rural Mainers into urban hubs.
The Bangor Daily News reports that Woods acknowledges that his plan would create ‘ghost towns’ across rural Maine, as the state dramatically cut funding to small towns and simultaneously forced more and more infrastructure costs onto them.
Woods’ plan even goes so far as to include ‘programs’ that might help rural Mainers relocate to places the government preferred they live.
Read the Bangor Daily News report on the plan put forward by Democrat candidate for Governor Steve Woods by clicking here.
On the March 7 edition of WGAN’s Daily Rundown with Ken and Mike, former Governor John Baldacci attempted to blur the lines between what the state of Maine paid to Maine hospitals during his time in office and how much the state of Maine paid down the debt to Maine hospitals during his time in office.
It’s important not to allow those who wish to obscure this issue to succeed.
On WGAN, Baldacci said, “We paid over $3 billion in the 8 years I was Governor” in reference to the hospitals.
While Baldacci may be making a technically correct statement by pointing out how much was paid to hospitals for services rendered, the following graph compiled from Maine Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports shows how the debt to Maine hospitals exploded under Baldacci. (hat tip to Bruce Poliquin for the graph)
If the Baldacci administration had paid down $3 billion in debt during his time in office, how did Maine’s debt to the hospitals approximately quadruple?
John Baldacci is simply making a statement that does not fit the context of the conversations he is having.