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    Weekly Radio Address: Alfond says, “As we consider the issues the new legislature has to tackle, it’s clear that the stakes are too high for us not to listen to one another.”

    Weekly Radio Address: Alfond says, “As we consider the issues the new legislature has to tackle, it’s clear that the stakes are too high for us not to listen to one another.”

    As 2014 draws to a close and we look upon the new year, it is a natural opportunity to evaluate—what we can do better, differently, and our successes. Welcoming a new year is an obvious marker of new beginnings.   Good Morning. This is Justin Alfond, the Senate Democratic Leader....
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    YOUTH CANCER-PREVENTION BILL DENIED BY SENATE REPUBLICANS

    GOP puts politics ahead of science and ignores FDA warning AUGUSTA – Senate Republicans blocked an effort that would reduce the risk of skin cancer in children. In a vote of 18 to 17, they refused to prohibit youth under the age of 18 from using tanning devices. “Prevention is the best cure,” said Democratic...

    SENATE UNANIMOUSLY STANDS UP TO ACTS OF PREJUDICE AND AFFIRMS RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

    AUGUSTA – Today, the Maine Senate unanimously passed a Senate Order affirming the Senate’s belief that there cannot be acts and expressions that disparage the religious or cultural beliefs and traditions of others. “Today is an opportunity to affirm our commitment to respect all people–regardless of if they look like us or pray like us,”...

    BILL TO STRENGTHEN CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY IN MAINE GAINS SUPPORT

    “Silent Killer” could be prevented with more detectors   AUGUSTA – A bill that would require all buildings, including single family homes, to have carbon monoxide detectors received strong support from public safety officials today during a public hearing in the state’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.   “It comes down to this, smoke...

    MEASURE INCREASES TRANSPARENCY OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

    Bill would require insurance carriers to disclose patient out-of-pocket costs   AUGUSTA – A measure that would allow consumers to review and compare prescription drug costs between insurance policies received support from health advocates and pharmaceutical companies during a public hearing in state’s Insurance and Financial Affairs committee yesterday. “Maine citizens are playing a more...

    PUBLIC STRONGLY SUPPORTS BILL THAT IMPROVES MAINE’S AIR QUALITY

    Measure would reduce train emissions statewide   AUGUSTA – The public came out in force today to strongly support a measure that would reduce the amount of emissions released into the air from idling trains in Maine. “Maine is world renowned for its ‘way of life’. We take pride in keeping our highways clear of...

    STUDENT DRILL BILL BECOMES LAW

    Law will help “plan for the worst but hope for the best”   AUGUSTA –A measure that prepares Maine students for times of emergency became law without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature today.   As a response to tragedies in schools around the nation, the law expands the school evacuation drills to include lockdown drills in...

    GOP SENATORS REAFFIRM TAX SHIFT ONTO LOCAL TAXPAYERS

    AUGUSTA – Maine Senate Republicans reaffirmed a tax shift on to local communities to pay for teacher retirement costs. In a vote of 18 – 17, the GOP denied the Education Committee’s report to restore the state’s responsibility for paying into teacher retirement.   The measure, LD 60 “An Act To Ensure Proper Funding for...

    MEASURE ADDRESSING CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM GETS UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FROM EDUCATION PANEL

    Chronic absence among young learners impedes learning and foretells dropout rates AUGUSTA – After unanimous support from the state’s Education panel, a measure aimed at reducing chronic absence from school will be moving forward to the full Legislature for consideration. The bill, LD 311, “An Act To Improve Attendance at Public Elementary Schools,” amended in...

    MEASURE TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM UNEXPECTED MEDICAL COSTS MOVE FORWARD

    Senator Gratwick’s bill would prevent “surprise bills” for medical care   AUGUSTA – Today, the Insurance and Financial Services Committee voted 7-6 to recommend Democratic Senator Geoff Gratwick’s bill to prevent surprise balance billing to patients for their medical care. The measure, LD 251,  requires hospitals and other health care facilities to inform patients ahead...

    ALFOND TO RECEIVE 2015 CLEAN ENERGY CHAMPION AWARD

    On Clean Energy Day, Alfond will be bestowed honor   AUGUSTA – Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond has been selected to receive the New England Clean Energy Council’s (NECEC’s) 2015 Clean Energy Champion award.   “I am honored to be receiving this award,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “I have fought hard...

    MIRAMANT’S MINIMUM WAGE BILL WOULD BOOST TO $9.75 AN HOUR

    AUGUSTA –The state’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development committee held a public hearing on nine bills aimed at increasing the state’s minimum wage. One of the bills, sponsored by Democratic State Senator Dave Miramant of Camden, would raise the minimum wage to $9.75 per hour beginning on October 1, 2015.   Senator Miramant said,...

    MEASURE TO INCREASE COLLEGE RETENTION AND DEGREE ATTAINMENT IS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED BY COMMITTEE

    Jobs for Maine’s Graduates is a proven model for college degree completion   AUGUSTA – A measure to increase Maine’s retention and degree attainment rate was unanimously supported by the state’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee today.   The bill LD 215, “An Act To Improve Student Retention in Maine’s Postsecondary Institutions,” would  improve student...