Maine Lawmakers Need to Hear from You

 

Minimum Wage 

Maine_State_Capitol_Building,_Augusta,_Oct_2015The legislature is considering overturning the voter-approved minimum wage law that took  effect in January 2017. 

Mainers agreed overwhelmingly to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and close the loophole that allows restaurants to underpay their wait staff, but now the legislature is considering denying the will of the voters. We need your help to tell the Maine legislature to keep Maine’s minimum wage law exactly as the voters intended.

A $9 per minimum wage means 103,000 Mainers will receive $1,300 increase in annual wages on average in 2017. That’s roughly a hundred dollars a month that will help Mainers provide for themselves and their families, pay off their debts, and save for college, unexpected expenses, and a secure retirement.

Once the minimum wage reaches $12/hr in 2020, one in three working Mainers will receive a raise. Annual wages for these workers will increase by $3,500 on average. When Mainers are able to make investments in their health and education that make them more productive workers our workforce gets stronger and demand for goods increase as more Mainers are able to afford to spend money in their communities.

CONTACT your legislator to voice opposition to the proposals to change or eliminate Maine’s minimum wage law.

State Budget 

Tax Shifts

Every two years, Maine’s legislature writes a budget that sets the course for how we invest in Maine people and communities and grow our economy. This year, Governor LePage has submitted a budget proposal that continues to shortchange Maine’s students and communities while doubling down on tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations. The centerpiece of the governor’s budget is an upside-down tax plan that gives a $22,650 average tax cut to the top 1 percent while increasing taxes on average for the 80 percent of Maine families who make less than $92,000 annually. Under the governor’s plan, tax increases on most Mainers won’t pay for better schools, better roads or better jobs. Instead, the governor uses these tax hikes to pay for more massive tax breaks for Maine’s wealthiest residents. MECEP is working to educate legislators about the dangers of the LePage budget, and to set out our vision of a budget that works for everyone.  Here’s how you can help: 

CONTACT your legislator to voice opposition to the governor’s budget proposal. The governor’s proposed budget effectively ignores the will of the voters who passed Question 2 in November to increase funding for K-12 schools. Together with the governor’s proposed changes to income, sales, and estate taxes, these will reduce funding for schools and other services that help Maine people and communities thrive while giving HUGE tax cuts to wealthy Mainers and raising taxes on families making less than $92,000 when combined with the proposed repeal of the Homestead Exemption (see below). 

For more information on the importance of the budget process and its role in building a strong economy that works for everyone see our brief on Making the Most of Maine’s Budget and our recent op-ed highlighting the flaws of Governor LePage’s budget proposal and the need to pursue a different path when it comes to creating jobs, paying it forward for future generations of Maine workers, and promoting thriving communities.

 Protect Tax Fairness

2908834853_2d4116edf9_qCONTACT the taxation committee to voice opposition to legislators’ proposals to undo the will of Maine voters and roll back the 3% surcharge on incomes over $200,000. This proposal will deprive our schools of $151 million in order to benefit the wealthiest 2% of Mainers.  The public hearing for several bills seeking to undo November’s ballot initiative will take place Monday, March 20:

Protect the Homestead Exemption

CONTACT your legislator to voice opposition to the governor’s to repeal the homestead exemption for MaineHomestead2 homeowners under age 65. This proposal will raise property taxes for over 210,000 families by approximately $300 a year. The public hearing for this proposal took place on Monday, February 6th:

  • Talking points concerning the impact of the repeal of the homestead exemption
  • MECEP’s quick summary and issue brief on the impacts of this proposal including a town by town list of level of increase and number of homeowners affected
  • Interactive map depicting impacts by town