Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau introduced legislation on Wednesday to invest in Maine’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center infrastructure. LD 144, “An Act To Fund Capital Improvements to Career and Technical Education Centers and Regions To Bolster Maine's Future Workforce," is designed to upgrade facilities in Maine’s 28 CTE schools, also known as vocational schools, which train students for careers in welding, nursing, computer programming, heating and cooling systems, building trades, early childhood education, automotive technology, and culinary arts. The bill would provide Maine CTE schools with up to $20,000,000 in state funding for needed improvements to equip Maine’s workforce with the tools they need to learn.

In a press release, Speaker Fecteau explained his support for the legislation:

“In Maine, we have the schools, the dedicated educators and driven students. But, in order to meet the needs of our students and our economy, we need to ensure the equipment and infrastructure at these locations are maintained, repaired and replaced. If we want the next generation of Mainers in the trades to have access to good-paying jobs that we know there will be need for, we need to invest in equipment and capital improvements today.

“Many of the careers that our CTEs specialize in provide good-paying jobs to working people. Welders, HVAC installers, machinists, and licensed practical nurses all have median incomes over $40,000. This investment in our CTE system is not merely an investment in equipment, it will serve as a catalyst for economic activity.”

Mainers for Working Families applauds Speaker Fecteau’s leadership. Providing for Maine’s working families starts with guaranteeing access to quality career and technical education, opening the door to well-paying jobs, and meeting our state’s need for a skilled workforce. When our workers have the knowledge and tools they need to succeed, all Mainers benefit.

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Updated: Mar 16

Hundreds of thousands of Mainers, both young and old, rely on prescription medication to remain healthy. But big pharmaceutical companies keep hiking up their prices year after year, making it harder for many to access the medication they need.

Over 200,000 Mainers have gone without care or prescribed medication due to the cost at some point. And the pandemic has only made it worse.

Sign here to tell your legislators: it’s time to put patients before profit.

With many Mainers still looking for work while drug prices continue to spike, thousands more will be forced to either ration the medication they desperately need, or go without it entirely.

As Big Pharma continues to increase their prices simply to make a profit, many Maine families are forced to choose between paying for basic necessities, like heating their home or putting food on the table, and affording their prescription medication. This is unconscionable.

That’s why we’re proud to support State Senator Ned Claxton’s new bill, which will help protect Mainers from unnecessary price increases on prescription medication.

This bill makes prescription drug manufacturers subject to fines if they increase their drug prices without providing adequate evidence to support it. Sign here to tell your elected representatives to support this bill.

Big Pharma’s unsupported price increases contribute significantly to our ever-rising healthcare costs, and have an outsized effect on older Mainers, middle-to-low-income families, and people living with disabilities.

By forcing Big Pharma to provide evidence to support increases in prices, Maine can ensure that prescription medication is accessible and affordable, and that all pricing is transparent.

We need Mainers safe and healthy, now and long after this pandemic. Having access to their prescribed medication is an important part of that.

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Mainers were facing struggles before this pandemic began. Schools are underfunded. Healthcare costs are sky-high. And our state’s investments in our communities, like infrastructure, childcare, and housing, have fallen behind in the last several years.

Our state’s tax code is part of the problem. While working families and small businesses have been paying their fair share, big corporations and the wealthiest few have received years of tax breaks. No more.

Mainers For Working Families is proud to join the new coalition, Mainers for Tax Fairness.

"We cannot build our state’s recovery on the backs of working families who are struggling to get by," said Speaker Ryan Fecteau, who addressed the Coalition at our launch event. He’s absolutely right.

The way we can recover is by closing corporate tax loopholes and ending the LePage tax cuts for those at the top.

This could not generate enough revenue to fuel our recovery, and put money back where it belongs – with our people and in our communities. Not only that, but we can ensure that our economy is stronger and more equitable for years to come.

Follow Mainers for Tax Fairness on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the coalition!

Taxes matter. They’re how we ensure a good quality of life for every family, and build stronger communities. It’s past time to clean up our tax code.

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