SENATOR VITELLI SPONSORS MEASURES TO INCREASE ACCESS TO WORKFORCE TRAINING, DENTAL CARE, AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
AUGUSTA – During the 2014 legislative session, the legislature will consider three bills sponsored by Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic to expand the Maine Apprenticeship program, increase access to dental care for children eligible for MaineCare, and promote solar energy in Maine.
“These are forward looking bills emphasizing the importance of investing in our future whether by increasing access to workforce training, preventive dental care, or alternative energy,” said Senator Vitelli. “These three bills will collectively improve the economic and environmental well-being of our state as well as the health of our children.”
Senator Vitelli’s bill, LR 2639 “An Act to Maintain and Expand Employment Opportunities in Maine,” will expand and improve the Maine Apprenticeship Program. The Maine Apprenticeship Program provides structured, on-the-job training in traditional and emerging industries to meet the specific needs of Maine employers. Senator Vitelli’s bill will bolster programs for new workers, laid off workers, and reemerging workers.
“The Maine Apprenticeship Program is a dynamic program that provides workers with the skills they need to help businesses compete in a 21st century economy,” said Senator Vitelli, who serves on the legislature’s Workforce Committee. “Investing in this program is an investment in Maine’s workers and businesses.”
Senator Vitelli’s second bill, LR 2574 “An Act To Improve the Use of Dental Services by MaineCare-eligible Children,” would increase case management services to MaineCare-eligible children in need of dental care.Under Vitelli’s bill, newly established dental health coordinators in the Department of Health and Human Services will work to ensure children eligible for MaineCare obtain appropriate and timely dental care.
“Dental health is linked in numerous ways to our overall health,” said Senator Vitelli. “This bill will ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us don’t miss out on this care. The consequences of poor dental health are too serious to be ignored.”
Senator Vitelli’s third piece of legislation, LR 2618 “An Act To Support Solar Energy Development in Maine,” would require the Public Utilities Commission to take specific measures to support solar energy, including monitoring electricity markets, taking legal action to protect access to markets by solar power facilities located in Maine, and certifying a person as a community solar power generator.
“Investing in solar energy is critical for protecting our environment and conserving our resources,” said Senator Vitelli. “It is the most abundant energy source on this planet and we would do well to harness this power and support this form of energy.”
For the second regular session of the legislature, bills must be approved by the Legislative Council, a committee comprised of the ten legislative leaders. The Legislative Council met yesterday to review more than 400 bills for the second regular session, including Senator Vitelli’s bills.
The full legislature will reconvene in January 2014.