Tag Archives: state government

Don’t forget to vote!

November 7th is voting day. While it’s an off-year with no state or federal election taking place, there are several referendum items on the ballot. You can vote three ways:
1) absentee ballot by mail– by requesting that the Town Office mail a ballot to you
2) go to Town Office and vote in person
3) go to the polls on November 7th at the fire station, 611 Lewiston Rd. Polls are open 6 am to 8 pm

Here are the questions on the ballot:

  1. Citizen Initiative
    Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?
  2. Citizen Initiative
    Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?
  3. Bond Issue
    Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts and stream crossings?
    Total estimated lifetime cost is $133,875,000 representing $105,000,000 in principal and $28,875,000 in interest (assuming interest at 5.0% over 10 years).
  4. Constitutional Amendment
    Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to reduce volatility in state pension funding requirements caused by the financial markets by increasing the length of time over which experience losses are amortized from 10 years to 20 years, in line with pension industry standards?

For more information on these questions, see http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html

Community Town Hall with Rep. Espling and Sen. Brakey Sparks Spirited Exchange

TownMeetingEsplingBrakey.April2017

The chance to talk with State Representative Ellie Espling drew some twenty New Gloucester residents to the Congregational Church vestry in the early evening on April 5.  State Senator Eric Brakey, newly announced candidate for U.S. Senate, was able to join the gathering, a lively ninety-minute exchange of views and concerns.

Healthcare concerns dominated the conversation. Residents shared personal experiences and expressed a wide spectrum of viewpoints about alternative approaches, costs, and coverage issues.  In particular, community members wanted to know whether the two legislators support Medicaid expansion in Maine, a likely ballot initiative this fall.  On the matter of citizen ballot initiatives generally, residents asked how the representatives typically approach citizen-approved bonds and ballot measures and how they weigh the expressed will of the voters.  Other questions sought the legislators’ positions on proposed cuts to Clean Election funding, whether campaign funds from PACs should be spent within Maine, and what the state should increase spending on.

Briefly stepping back from specific issues to offer a broader view, Representative Espling and Senator Brakey acknowledged partisan differences in Augusta but noted considerable cooperation as well, with many bills enjoying unanimous support in committees and on the floor. Their New Gloucester meeting concluded on a similarly positive note. Attendees thanked Representative Espling and Senator Brakey, and the legislators expressed appreciation and plans to convene additional community listening sessions.

Brakey to explore run against King

State senator Eric Brakey  has formed a committee to assess what it would take to run a viable campaign against independent U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018.Sen. Brakey  admits he would be an underdog against King, who has served since 2013 and intends to run for re-election. Republican Gov. Paul LePage said in May that he would run against King, if he’s not given a position in President Trump’s administration.

Brakey announced Wednesday that he has formed a federal exploratory committee, which will raise funds for traveling and assess what it would take to run a viable campaign.

The two-term state senator has sponsored at least 29 bills this session on topics ranging from eliminating corporate welfare to allowing the use of medical marijuana to treat opiate addiction.

From the Portland Press Herald, 3.30.17

Chat with State Rep. Ellie Espling

Invited by NGXchange volunteers to promote citizen engagement and awareness, State Rep. Ellie Espling will highlight her work in Augusta. Afterward, community members will have an opportunity to talk with her in a more casual format.

The open house event will take place at the First Congregational Church Vestry, 19 Gloucester Hill Road. It’s scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 5. (Note that this event has been rescheduled from the original date of March 29 and moved to the church vestry.)

Epsling sponsors bill to increase reimbursement rates for home care workers

Advocates say that a Republican’s bill would help the state address a looming shortage of home health care workers. Assistant House Minority Leader Ellie Espling’s bill would direct the state Department of Health and Human Services to increase reimbursement rates for home-based care services.

Her bill is set for a public hearing Monday. Keep reading in the SunJournal.

Committee recommends against passage of two Brakey-sponsored gun bills

Lawmakers disposed of two bills Friday that would have loosened Maine laws that allow an adult to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

The bills offered by Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, would have allowed someone as young as 18 to carry a concealed pistol, and removed a provision in state law requiring those carrying a gun on their person or in their vehicle to disclose that in any encounter with law enforcement. Keep reading

Conversation with legislators to be rescheduled

The conversation with State Senator Eric Brakey and House Representative Ellie Espling on March 29th must be rescheduled due to a conflict. A new date will be announced soon.

 

 

Chat with your legislators

Invited by NGXchange volunteers to promote citizen engagement and awareness, State Sen. Eric Brakey and State Rep. Ellie Espling will highlight their work in Augusta. Afterward, community members will have an opportunity to talk with their legislators in a more casual format.

The open house event will take place at the Community Building, located behind the New Gloucester Town Hall on Intervale Road. It’s scheduled to occur from 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, March 29.

Sen. Brakey sponsors bills to loosen restrictions on concealed firearms

Sen. Eric Brakey looks to loosen restrictions on carrying concealed handguns, but opponents including York County’s sheriff say the current laws should stand.

Gun rights advocates and those who want stronger restrictions on firearms crowded a State House hearing room Friday as lawmakers listened to a full day’s worth of testimony on nine bills aimed at changing or refining laws governing the use and possession of firearms, mostly handguns.

The bills touch on everything from a prohibiting the creation of a gun owner registry to lowering the minimum age for a person to legally carry a hidden handgun in public. Keep reading

State Representatives Ellie Espling and Jessica Fay Meet with Area Residents

Modeling bipartisan spirit by co-hosting, State Representatives Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester-Poland) and Jessica Fay (D-Casco-Raymond-Poland) held community office hours on Monday evening, March 6, in Poland. They shared an inside look at the legislative process from the perspective of a member of leadership (Espling) and a first-termer (Fay), and provided constituents an opportunity express concerns. Some two dozen area residents took up the offer and engaged in a lively, wide-ranging exchange about pending bills, the status of last fall’s referenda, and how citizens can make their voices heard in Augusta. The two-hour session took place at Poland’s Ricker Library. Continue reading