Today MECEP participated in a “Day of Action Briefing” hosted by Engage Maine. The briefing highlighted a number of irresponsible proposals being rushed through the Legislature and urged Maine people to appeal to their Legislators to support more responsible solutions to the issues.
One proposal that I’ve written about before is LD 849. The Maine House is set to vote on an amended version of this bill tomorrow. House Republican lawmakers who voted against this proposal before are likely feeling the heat from their colleagues in the Senate. They deserve our support in standing up for fiscal responsibility.
The amended version of the bill which cleared the Senate on Friday is no improvement. Over time, LD 849 will still eliminate $600 million from Maine’s General Fund in order to lower Maine’s income tax rate to 4%. The top 1% of taxpayers will collect an average benefit of $21,638 while the bottom 20% will receive just $1 on average. This is just one in a series of recent tax proposals that undermine the progressivity of Maine’s tax system, compromise future revenues, and benefits those who need it least.
Other troublesome proposals addressed at today’s briefing would exempt the Governor and his Administration from Maine freedom of access rules, make it more difficult for the unemployed to collect jobless benefits, further weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employees and child care workers, “reorganize” the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate critically important services, and weaken water quality and other environmental protections associated with mining.
Ramming these proposals through in the waning days of the session without sufficient opportunity for public scrutiny and comment is not the way Mainers expect their legislators to conduct the people’s business. Join us in contacting your Representatives and Senators to tell them to act responsibly and to vote no on LD 849 and the other proposals identified in the “Day of Action Briefing” materials. If you’re unsure how to reach your Legislator, contact information for Representatives is available here and for Senators here.