MECEP Matters, February 2018

Your Monthly

February 2018 Edition

Thanks for making #INCON2018 a success!

In late January, we hosted more than 100 legislators, experts, advocates and MECEP supporters for our Policy Insights 2018 conference in Augusta. The conference created space for a conversation we hope will continue throughout this year and into the future — a conversation about how to grow Maine’s economy in a just, responsible and inclusive way, and to ensure the benefits of that growth are shared by all.

All of us at MECEP were blown away by the level of enthusiasm for MECEP’s work, and for the opportunity to engage in substantive conversations about economic policy, and we’re already starting the process of planning for next year’s conference.

For those of you who missed it, you can watch one of our sessions, featuring Policy Analyst Sarah Austin and Associate Director Jody Harris, here. For those who did attend, please take a moment to fill out our online evaluation form, which will help guarantee the next Policy Insights conference is even better than the last.


No Trump Tax Code for Maine!

Mainers all chip in to pay for the things that create thriving communities and we expect everyone to pay their fair share. When the tax code is manipulated to provide huge benefits for a small number of people and corporations, everyone else suffers the consequences of underfunded public services.

Every dollar squandered — whether as tax breaks for hugely profitable corporations or as handouts to the top 1 percent of households — is a dollar not spent in our children’s schools, on health care for our sick and disabled neighbors, or on investments in communities that promote shared prosperity.

Those are the stakes in Augusta, where lawmakers are gearing up to debate a proposal to bring the Trump Tax Plan to Maine by providing new or additional giveaways to the profitable corporations and the wealthiest households in the state.

As the debate unfolds, MECEP is working to educate the public and lawmakers about the implications of tax policy at the federal and state level, and to advocate for a fair tax system that provides the resources needed to invest meaningfully in Maine’s people, communities and economy.

For more information, read MECEP Policy Analyst Sarah Austin’s explainer of the issue: “Tax Conformity” means bringing the disastrous Trump Tax Code to Maine. Here’s what you need to know. Alternatively, check out this “GIFsplanation”MECEP helped create, which translates the conformity debate into the language of the Internet: animated GIFs.


Featured Blog Post: Minimum wage law is working

Maine’s minimum wage is under assault again. Some lawmakers want to reverse the gains that workers have already obtained because of the minimum wage increase approved by voters in 2016. MECEP is in the thick of this fight working to keep Maine’s minimum wage law intact and to assure that all workers, regardless their age, have a shot at earning a decent wage.

Policy Analyst James Myall recently dug into the numbers that explain how the new, voter-approved minimum wage is working for Maine’s families and its economy. He’s published extensively on the subject, including a fresh analysis that shows last year’s minimum wage increase coincides with the largest annual wage gain for workers in ten years, without the job losses predicted by the bill’s opponents. His work was cited widely as reporters covered the ongoing debate over the minimum wage (check out this story on Maine Public Radio, for example).

James’ prolific work over the past few months hasn’t been limited to the minimum wage. He’s authored thought-provoking research and analysis on subjects from job training to overtime compensation. See more of MECEP’s recent research and analysis on our blog.


MECEP In The News

Editorial: LePage policies, not land trusts, have driven up property taxes (February 20, 2018 | Bangor Daily News) 

Editorial: One year in, no reason to change minimum wage law (January 29, 2018 | Portland Press Herald)
MECEP welcomes new communications director 
In late December, MECEP welcomed its new communications director, Mario Moretto. A former journalist, Mario most recently worked as the communications director in the Maine Senate Minority Office. He brings a depth of communications experience to MECEP, where he will lead strategic planning, media relations and coordination with MECEP’s partners to increase public understanding and engagement on issues that promote shared prosperity. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and anthropology, with a minor in political science, from the University of Maine. Mario has hit the ground running at One Weston Court, and we’re very excited to have him on the team!
MECEP’s work is made possible by generous donations from people who support our vision for shared prosperity and econimic justice. 
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