Maine has a higher-than-average number of small businesses and one in seven Mainers is self-employed. More than half of Mainers are self-employed as farmers, loggers, fishermen, and many other professions. Small business owners and the self-employed drive Maine’s economy. They also face the steepest barriers to affordable healthcare because many of these jobs tend to be low-wage, especially in rural areas.
“We cannot go grab federal money without understanding just how much Maine taxpayers will wind up paying. Furthermore, it is incredibly irresponsible to put taxpayers on the hook when federal health care subsidies are available that would provide virtually free health care for low-income Mainers.”
– Governor LePage, Press Statement, April 17, 2014
Like MECEP, the Boston Federal Reserve Bank is looking deeper into Maine’s labor market statistics finding that employment prospects for Mainers are still nowhere near as good as they were before the recession.
Today, Eliot Cutler released a plan for providing property tax relief to Maine residents. The center piece is a dramatic increase in Maine’s homestead exemption program, elimination of revenue sharing as we know it, and a new approach to channeling revenue collected by the state to towns and cities.
In case you needed more evidence that the labor market recovery in Maine and across the nation is still far from complete, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellen has you covered:
But while there has been steady progress, there is also no doubt that the economy and the job market are not back to normal health….
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).