This week we celebrate National School Breakfast Week. The breakfast program began as a pilot program in 1966. Now, in the wake of the Great Recession, 11.6 million US children eat school breakfast each weekday morning. Most Maine schools offer breakfast. However, only 53% of eligible Maine children are eating it.
Just last week, Walmart made headlines with a weak forecast for profits and sales at US stores. Low- and middle-income families are the core of Walmart’s customer base, and they are still struggling more than four-and-a-half years since the official end of the recession.
“The world’s largest retailer, which gets more than half its sales from groceries, on Thursday gave a disappointing full-year forecast. It blamed sharp cuts in food stamp benefits and higher payroll taxes that will hit disposable income for its core customers. Wal-Mart shares fell 2.2 percent in morning trading.”
Maine’s older adults are driving Maine’s employment recovery from the recession. Not only do 55-and-older Mainers represent a disproportionately large share of Maine’s total population, they have increased their attachment to the labor force and employment faster than their peers in every other state over the past four years. As a result, they are responsible for most of the growth in Maine’s rate of employment over the past four years. Maine’s employment rate is growing faster than the nation.
In 2012, women headed one of every three low-income working families in Maine, according to a new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project.
These are women who are working, but still do not earn enough to meet their families’ needs. Maine’s economic policies are failing these low-income, female-headed households.
As of this week, more than half of the fifty states had already seen their 2013 legislative sessions adjourn. In many of those that are still going, budget debates are front and center as lawmakers race to the finish line. In some states, issues that had previously been pushed to the backburner are back on the front one, in others, major provisions are being inserted into the budget at the midnight hour, and everywhere, final showdowns are shaping up as sessions wind down.
Taxes are on the minds of many this week as April 15th approaches. They're also on the minds of many conservative governors -- in states such as Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Nebraska -- who have seen their radical tax proposals to further enrich corporations and the wealthy run into major resistance from voters, businesses, and even conservative lawmakers. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who this week withdrew his regressive plan that would have eliminated the state income tax while raising the sales tax, has seen his standing drop sharply in the polls. In the run up to Tax Day, increasing attention is being focused on how tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations increase burdens on the middle class.
Progressive States Network Board Member and former Maine Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree was a guest on MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes on Sunday May 13, 2012 (Mother's Day) discussing how state and federal policy affects moms — with her mom, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME).
Maine state Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat, D-Hallowell, walked out of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after listening to the first round of oral arguments over President Obama's health care law and shook her head at the contrast. Inside the august chamber, where Treat snared a third-row seat after getting in line at 5:20 a.m., the justices quizzed all sides on fine legal points as the rapt audience looked on.