What’s next for the state budget? How do we build a more inclusive economy?

Join us to find out.

You’re invited to Policy Insights 2019, our annual conference where we bring people together to tackle the policy issues facing Maine’s economy and work toward people-powered solutions.

Policy Insights 2019 will give attendees the information they need to understand and influence the most important policy discussions facing our state — and an opportunity to work with policymakers, advocates, experts from around the country, and MECEP’s top analysts to chart a course toward economic justice and shared prosperity.

This year, we’ll be focused on the opportunities that exist as Gov.-elect Janet Mills and the newly elected Democratic majorities in the Maine Legislature craft the next state budget. We’ll also showcase MECEP’s work to build a more inclusive economy — one where good jobs are the norm and all Mainers reap the gains of economic growth.

More details to come, but here’s the nitty-gritty:

WHAT: Maine Center for Economic Policy’s annual Policy Insights Conference
WHEN: Wednesday, January 16, 2019
WHERE: The Senator Inn, 284 Western Ave., Augusta, ME 04330
WHO: You! Plus MECEP’s team of policy analysts, elected officials, guest speakers from around the country and others who support our work to enact policies for a stronger economy.

Want to attend, but can’t quite swing the ticket? Email jharris@mecep.org for scholarship opportunities. We don’t want cost to be a barrier to anyone.

Keep an eye out on this space for more information as we finalize the details. We hope to see you at this year’s conference


8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. | Legislative Breakfast *For lawmakers only*  | Board Rooms
Each legislator in attendance will be given district-level summaries of key trends based on MECEP analysis of available data. MECEP staff will be on hand to discuss the data, answer questions, and brief lawmakers on fundamental elements of the biennial budget and the budget-writing process.

9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. | Registration
Coffee and light breakfast available for participants.

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. | Opening Remarks and Introductions
MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin will kick off the conference and lead an icebreaker activity.

10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | Presentation: Building a More Inclusive Economy, Where Are We?
Back by popular demand, MECEP Policy Analyst James Myall will highlight his latest research on the trends shaping Maine’s economy and the structural barriers that hold many Mainers back.

11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. | Panel Q&A: Unleashing Maine’s Economic Potential
Policymakers, employers, and workers all have a role to play in  setting the rules of our economy so that all Mainers can get ahead Our panel of experts will discuss what it will take to make good jobs the norm in Maine.

Panel: Betsy Biemann (Chief Executive Officer, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.), Sol Carbonell (Assistant Vice President, Community Development Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston), James Myall (Policy Analyst, MECEP), Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross (Maine House of Representatives). Moderated by Pamela Cox (member, MECEP Board of Directors).

12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. | Networking Lunch

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Keynote Address: Who Pays and Why It Matters
States have broad discretion in how they secure the resources to fund education, health care, infrastructure, and other priorities that support thriving communities and families. Aidan Davis, Senior Policy Analyst with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), will offer a national perspective on state-level approaches to funding public investments. Davis will discuss the implications of those approaches on tax fairness, revenue adequacy, and economic outcomes. She’ll also provide insight on what’s in store for 2019 among the states — including Maine.

1:30 p.m. to 1:45 | Fun and Games: Test Your Tax IQ

1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. | Presentation: How Mainers Think About Taxes   Mainers have a better understanding than most Americans of how all of us to chip in to fund public investments that support thriving communities and a stronger economy for all of us. In this session, Joe Grady, co-founder of the TOPOS Partnership, will share the latest research about our state’s deep-set civic culture that links taxes and the quality of life in Maine communities.

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | Break

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Presentation and Workshop: Prosperity Budgeting for Maine
Mainers in 2018 sent a signal when they changed the balance of power in Augusta. Voters elected candidates who advocated for fully funded schools, health care, infrastructure, local services, and property tax reduction. These priorities and more can be achieved with the next state budget. MECEP Policy Analyst Sarah Austin will highlight the recommendations contained within “The Prosperity Budget” — MECEP’s first-ever comprehensive budget proposal. Attendees will identify their own priorities and to discuss their ideas and questions with MECEP staff and ITEP Senior Policy Analyst Aidan Davis. 

4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Closing Remarks
MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin will highlight MECEP’s priorities in 2019 and close the conference.

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Cocktail Hour and Networking
Appetizers and cash bar.


Policy Insights 2019 is made possible by the generous financial support of the following businesses and organizations: