Letter to federal delegation requesting support for small businesses and sole proprietors

24 March 2020

Dear Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree, and Representative Golden:

We come to you as a delegation during this time of pandemic crisis to ask you to do everything within your power to help vital Maine small businesses remain viable. COVID-19 is not only rampaging through our healthcare system, it is ravaging …

Legislature responds quickly to civil emergency

  • In rapid sequence, Legislature approves $76 million budget package geared toward pandemic, Press Herald, March 18, 2020
  • As a direct result of bipartisan collaboration with the Governor’s staff over the last week, an extraordinary amount of legislative work was moved and enacted yesterday.

    It has been a hectic week and a half of essential …

    Responding to civil emergency

    Over the weekend, the Governor’s people worked tirelessly with us in Legislature to gain bipartisan support for appropriations and emergency policy which will aid individuals, small businesses, and health care providers facing great challenges and uncertainty.

    Today we continue. Now is the time for Maine to pull together.

    Seeking a grand bargain on infrastructure

    I remain open using Maine’s General Fund appropriations for roads – but only as a part of a plan which generates sustainable funding, drives greater efficiency, and reduces emissions.

    Funding proposed for K-12 education in 2020-2021

    Governor’s FY21 Supplemental Education Budget Proposal:

    • For FY21, the EPS education allocation is proposed to increase from $2.292 billion to $2.369 billion –an increase of $77 million.
    • Major components of the increase:
      • $37M (2.5%) increase in basic operating allocation. This is essentially just the ordinary inflation of annual costs, largely from salaries and also

    Baseline report on emissions reductions and climate effects in Maine

    Yesterday at the Augusta Civic Center, my working group reported to the Climate Council on the current effects of climate change in Maine in these areas:

    • Climate and terrestrial ecosystems
    • Marine systems and sea level rise
    • Forested lands
    • Agriculture and food systems
    • Human health
    • Economic activity

    I was privileged to work with a great group …

    Maine is on track to meet ambitious goals for emissions reductions


    ce: Maine DEP: Eighth Biennial Report on Progress Toward Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=1933469&an=1

    But the easiest reductions have been realized.

    To achieve the state’s ten-year and thirty-year goals, transportation and heating must be powered by clean energy.…

    Maine has decoupled economy from emissions

    Source: Maine DEP: Eighth Biennial Report on Progress Toward Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=1933469&an=1

    Prosperity no longer correlates to consumption of fossil fuels.

    Other states are doing this too — but Maine leads in this area.


    https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-us-states-decoupling-economic-growth-emissions

    Progress report on expanding renewable energy generation in Maine

    Mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, and increasing renewable energy generation within the state, are priorities of Governor Mills’ Administration. Working together with the Legislature, Maine has made significant progress moving forward on these issues. Reducing the State’s dependence on fossil fuels and transitioning to a more diverse portfolio of clean energy

    “Partisan posturing and skinny mix won’t fix the roads. Creative ideas will.”

    Maine carbon emissions by sector
    Maine carbon emissions by sector

    “…I’m not opposed to using some general fund dollars to improve our infrastructure, boost our economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

    In her State of the State address, Governor Mills challenged the legislature to solve the state’s transportation funding gap.

    Joining that challenge, I welcome discussion of any new transportation …

    Maine carbon emissions by sector
    Maine carbon emissions by sector

    “…I’m not opposed to using some general fund dollars to improve our infrastructure, boost our economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

    In her State of the State address, Governor Mills challenged the legislature to solve the state’s transportation funding gap.

    Joining that challenge, I welcome discussion of any new transportation …

    Electric school buses to debut on MDI

    In a competition for money available from the Volkswagen settlement, in which the carmaker agreed to pay $14.7 billion nationally toward pollution mitigation to settle an emissions-cheating scandal, Mount Desert Island High School won $280,000 to offset most of the cost of a new electric bus.

    Thirty Year Transition Period

    Transitioning to a zero-carbon energy system essentially requires displacing current expenditures on fossil fuels with capital spending on new renewable energy generation and distribution.

    A presentation given yesterday by economist Richard Silkman to the Maine Climate Council’s Energy Working Group, shows how this transition can be accomplished by 2050 within Maine’s current energy spending …

    Governor Mills Unveils Ten Year Strategic Economic Development Plan Focused on Promoting Innovation & Attracting Talent

    Keying all the way back to the initiative for this that the legislature included in the state budget, this plan has been well stewarded by Commissioner Johnson in partnership with an excellent group of dedicated individuals from business and academic institutions.

    With the upcoming session in January, I am …

    Maine Projected Revenues Up By $75 Million Through The Rest Of The Two Year Budget

    Continuing evidence that state spending in Maine remains at responsible levels and that the two-year budget that we enacted in June was prudent.

    The table and graph above shows how state spending has decreased over the past 20 years as a percentage of personal income. (Personal income correlates closely with the state’s Gross Domestic Product …

    Maine is about to release its first 10-year economic plan. Here’s what to expect.

    As a member of Maine’s Economic Growth Council, I am looking forward to this report and eager to support this plan in the upcoming legislative session.

    I worked to ensure that the state budget included language giving specific direction to the development of this plan.

    Gov. Mills orders state agencies to step up Maine’s fight against climate change

    Marked the installation of a large array solar panels at The Blaine House on an auspiciously bright sunny afternoon yesterday.

    Here — joined by my colleagues, Speaker Sara Gideon, Seth Berry, Stanley Paige Zeigler, Vicki Wenzel Doudera, and Hannah Pingree — Governor Janet Mills is signing an executive order directing state agencies to develop plan …

    California, Maine and 21 other states widen challenge to Trump administration car rules

    Especially in the absence of federal leadership, states must be able to regulate carbon emissions. I am glad that Maine is a partner in this effort.

    Maine’s prosperity depends on welcoming new families

    Here are my remarks from today’s press conference on immigration reform to mark today’s Supreme Court hearing on DACA and immigration legislation that is now stalled in the US Senate:

    As in many other parts of the state, businesses in my district face increasingly acute challenges to find employees. These challenges are frequently exacerbated by …

    Experts urge “full speed ahead” on climate action

    To explain why I am committed to immediate work through the Maine Climate Council, here outlined from this week’s symposium at MIT, are the foundational reasons prompting us collectively towards direct action.

    • 25 of the warmest years in human history have occured in he last 32 years
    • In the same period the resulting

    In address, Gov. Mills vows Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045, and challenges others

    “…Maine won’t wait. Will you?”

    Thank you, Governor Janet Mills!

    Maine Schools Going Solar – Not Only To Protect Environment But To Boost Bottom Lines

    Youth voices are moving climate and energy policy — both regionally by example and statewide through effective advocacy. This is how change happens.

    Hubbell praises students’ climate action

    “…Students have been active in social and political causes before.

    “But their recent level of engagement in the issue of climate change is something special, state Rep. Brian Hubbell, said at the celebration of the completion of the solar energy project at Mount Desert Island High School last Wednesday.

    “This feels different … to have …

    Free community college program teaches next generation of Maine loggers

    On Friday, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and I got to visit this program outside of Stratton, talk with the students, and observe their remarkable skills with mechanized logging operations.

    The relatively modest state investment in this partnership between the Maine Community College System and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine appears to be …

    Maine offers rebates for buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles

    These rebates are an important early step in support of beneficial electrification of transportation which is key to reducing Maine’s importation and consumption of fossil fuels and building capacity for economic development through in-state renewable energy generation.

    Thank you Governor Janet Mills for leading early with this program. I’m looking forward to greater legislative partnership …

    How regional youth advocacy effectively can help move hard state policy:

    “…This is what leaves me with great optimism about our ability, collectively, to advocate from community and as a result move good policy on hard issues in a way that improves our prospects for the future.”

    At The End Of The Fiscal Year, Maine Reports Revenue Surplus And Increase In Cash Reserves

    Maine’s biennial budget requires bipartisan agreement and collaboration between both the legislative and executive branches. As a result, neither branch nor either party deserves all the credit during good times or all the blame in bad times.

    But, through any lens, here is the evidence that state spending remains prudently within sustainable revenues:

    One year …