Archive for May 11th, 2013

Weekly Democratic Radio Address by Sen. Seth Goodall (Sagadahoc): Putting Mainers back to work, helping businesses grow is a shared priority

Posted on May 11, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Audio link here.

Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall with MPBN News's AJ Higgins

Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall with MPBN News’s AJ Higgins

Last year, more than 4,000 Mainers were turned away from Maine’s community colleges.

More than 200,000 Mainers started college but left before they completed their degree.

And, within a decade, 4,000 jobs could go unfilled if Mainers aren’t trained in high-demand fields like information technology and precision manufacturing.

This is just some of the news lawmakers in Augusta learned about the state of Maine’s workforce and business needs.

Good Morning this is Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond.

When we were on the campaign trail, we heard Mainers say that they want to be able go to work, pay their bills, and enjoy their family—and know, that we, as lawmakers, are doing our job— by working together to get results and move Maine forward.

And that is why, four months ago, a new legislative committee was formed to find solutions to close the skills gap and address the workforce needs of our businesses.

From the start, lawmakers on this committee got to work in partnership with economic, education, business, and labor leaders from across our state.

United in our goal, we sought to target our investments in a way that would strengthen the backbone of our economy: Maine workers and small businesses.

Just this week, we celebrated an achievement for our state.

The committee is proud of its work—unanimously passing a first-of-its-kind measure that will transform Maine’s workforce.

This measure is an investment that will grow Maine’s economy in the short-term while also building it to last beyond the needs of today.

Now, with passage of this measure, if you want to earn a computer science degree and you live in Washington County, or if you live in Presque Isle and want to be an electrician, Maine’s community colleges are working to come to you.

If you’re a company that employs fewer than 50 people, community colleges will work with your business to design worker training tailored for your specific needs–at no cost.

If you’re one of the 150 businesses that participate in the Apprenticeship Program, your workers can “learn while they earn.”

With the best trained workers, businesses can innovate and remain competitive in their industry.

These are just some of the highlights of more than a dozen parts to this bill–all of which are a win-win for Maine people, Maine businesses, and ultimately, Maine’s economy.

The success of this measure is borne out of the input from education, labor, and business leaders.

Putting Mainers back to work and helping businesses find the talent they need to grow is a shared priority.

While political divisiveness might exist elsewhere, Democrats, Republicans and Independents worked together to strengthen our middle class and grow our economy.

Community College President, John Fitzsimmons said that in his twenty-five years of working with the Legislature, this measure is the result of some of the most impressive and thoughtful work he’s seen come out of Augusta.

That’s something to be proud of.

However, we know that a skilled workforce isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take a sustained and focused effort. But, this is a great start to getting workers on a road to economic security and helping businesses remain competitive and grow.

Our priority will continue to focus on helping our economy grow so that people can get back to work, businesses can grow and every Mainer has the opportunity to succeed.

I am confident that as we near the conclusion of this legislative session in June, that with the passage of this measure, Maine’s workers and Maine’s businesses are one step closer to being on the high road economy where we all thrive.

Thank you for listening. This is Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall. Have a great weekend.

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Weekly Radio Address of Governor LePage: While Acknowledging Economic Growth Potential, LePage Continues To Hold Voter Approved Bonds Hostage

Posted on May 11, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

NOTE: Astounding that the Governor both acknowledges the value in the bonds long approved by Maine voters (“voter-authorized bonds that will grow our economy, including the 2014 transportation infrastructure improvements and $53.5 million for conservation, clean water upgrades, and construction and energy-efficiency projects at post-secondary educational institutions”)- and that he is holding these important bonds hostage until he gets his way. ~AP

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Audio link here.

lepage head 2Timing is everything. For some people, however, the right time will never come to do the right thing.

Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

More than one hundred fifteen days have passed since I put a plan on the table to pay the hospitals. Nearly four months later, the hospitals are still waiting for the $484 million the state owes them.

By paying the State’s bills, we strengthen our economy and the hospitals that care for and employ Maine people. Hospitals will be able to pay new and existing employees and local vendors, and they will be able to pursue capital improvements that will lead to even more jobs.

lepage poutOnce the hospitals are paid, I’ve promised to issue voter-authorized bonds that will grow our economy, including the 2014 transportation infrastructure improvements and $53.5 million for conservation, clean water upgrades, and construction and energy-efficiency projects at post-secondary educational institutions.

At the beginning of this session, there were more than 1000 bills. About 150 bills so far have come to my desk. Now, with only five weeks left, legislators are scrambling to pass as much legislation as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every bill should be passed. Quantity certainly doesn’t equal quality. In fact, I believe stopping bad legislation is better than passing good legislation.

As your Governor here in Augusta, I’ve learned one thing. Even if my proposals have merit—even if they are good for Maine people—it is nearly impossible to get them passed by a Democratic-led Legislature.

President Alfond and Speaker Eves are preventing a vote on the hospital bill, knowing that what they are doing is wrong for Maine. But we’re starting to good judgment coming from some democrats. Some are now speaking up, including Senator John Tuttle, Chair of the Committee that first reviewed my hospital bill. Senator Tuttle is a respected senator who is serving his 14th term in state government. This week Senator Tuttle put Maine people before politics when he said he disagrees with Democratic leadership’s decision to tie the hospital bill to Medicaid.

Republicans and I have been very clear that the hospital bill and welfare expansion are two separate issues.

Furthermore, under ObamaCare, low-income Mainers will qualify for federal tax subsidies to buy private insurance. Let me repeat that: low-income Mainers will qualify for money from the federal government to buy health insurance.

The Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion is optional. The court also revealed that if states expanded Medicaid to cover the uninsured, those same people will qualify to get tax subsidies to buy health insurance. The authors of the Affordable Care Act underscore this point. I’ve put a link on my website at http://www.Maine.gov/governor so you can see the article yourself.

If more Mainers in 2014 will get tax subsidies to become insured, why is Democratic leadership holding up the hospital bill? It’s simple. They do not want to pay the hospitals. That’s the difference between me and career politicians. I just want to get the job done.

Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Well, these two have tried everything else and Mainers are frustrated. It’s time to vote on the hospital bill.

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