Goodall Named New England Regional SBA Administrator

Posted on June 4, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

goodallMaine Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond has been appointed by the Obama Administration as Regional Administrator for the Small Business Administration, which includes Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The position of regional administrator was vacated in 2012 when Jeanne Hulit, who had been the regional administrator since 2009, was promoted to become the SBA’s associate administrator of the Office of Capital Access.

Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree put Goodall’s name forward for the position last year and congratulated him in a press release this morning.

    “Seth Goodall’s leadership skills and small business experience make him an excellent choice to be the next Regional SBA Administrator. His experience starting, financing, and growing a business position him well to fight for our entrepreneurs. He’s been in their shoes and he knows what it takes to get them to the next level. Seth’s firsthand experience and depth of knowledge in business policy will serve Maine and New England well, and I look forward to working with him,” said Michaud.

    “Seth is just what we need at the SBA,” Pingree said. “He knows what it’s like to have to meet payroll, raise capital and grow a business. The SBA can play an important role in helping small businesses and I’m confident Seth will be able to put those resources to work in New England. I can’t think of a better person for this job.”

Goodall will leave his State Senate seat at the end of the current legislative session to assume his new position at the SBA.

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New Chellie Pingree Video: “Heroes”

Posted on October 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Take a look:

“Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has fought to increase funding for veterans health care and has gone to bat for veterans to make sure they get the benefits the deserve.”

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LePage Rages at Pingree Over DHHS Mismanagement, SNAP/ USDA Kerfluffle

Posted on September 28, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Pass the popcorn. Here is a portion of the latest press release from the Governor’s office:

    Rep. Pingree Uses Newspaper to Mislead Mainers, “Political Posturing at its Worst” says Governor LePage

    AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage released the following statement regarding Representative Chellie Pingree’s attempt to attract media attention in light of the USDA flip-flopped decision regarding overpayments provided to Mainers through the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

    “This is political posturing at its worst. Representative Pingree is, once again, using her intimate ties with the Maine Today Media to lie to Maine people. The error in question has no connection whatsoever to system malfunctions, and Pingree is siding with the Federal Government which has decided that during the height of the election campaign it will penalize Maine.

    Clearly, Representative Pingree has a history of empowering the heavy hand of the Federal Government over the people of Maine. I will not support Pingree’s demand that Maine taxpayers pay for this. She is out of line and so is the Federal Government. If the feds have an issue about how the State administers their federal program, they are welcome to take back the administration of their program.”

Apparently this is the PPH opinion piece that has the Governor so ticked. A few quotes:

    It’s ironic to see an administration that harps on establishing a culture of responsibility trying to get others to pay for its mistake. But that’s what we have in Maine.

    In a letter to the state, the USDA said it would absorb about $2 million of the state’s error, but Maine would have to pick up the rest. DHHS is specifically instructed not to try to collect it from the participants.
    Rather than take steps to make sure that multimillion-dollar mistakes are not made again, DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew announced Thursday that the state will appeal the decision to the federal government.

    That would be as much a waste of staff time and state money as the recent lawsuit attempting to force the federal government to make a quick decision on Maine’s request for a waiver allowing it to balance the budget by dropping nearly 30,000 people from the Medicaid program. The court dismissed the suit, as it should do with this one.

    If the LePage administration was serious about saving money, it would take a harder look at how it is spent by DHHS instead of just demonizing the poor. The appeal of this decision apparently shows that taking responsibility is for others where the administration is concerned.

BREAKING story; will be updated as needed.

*RELATED: (UPDATED) USDA To Mayhew, DHHS: $4.8M SNAP Overpayment Cannot Be Recouped From Affected 70k Maine Families

Maine Democrats: “LePage Must Take Responsibility For $4.8M Compliance Error”; Furious Admin Plans To Appeal USDA Decision

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(UPDATED) USDA to Mayhew, DHHS: $4.8M SNAP Overpayment Cannot Be Recouped From Affected 70k Maine Families

Posted on September 27, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Oh dear; here we go again! From a press release via Rep. Pingree’s office this morning:

    Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said today that federal officials have informed the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that 70,000 Maine families should not be required to repay approximately $80 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits that the state erroneously handed out over the course of several months.

    “We heard from dozens of food stamp beneficiaries who suddenly, out of the blue, were informed that they owed the state $80. For people struggling to put food on the table, that represents a big hit to their budget,” Pingree said. “These families didn’t do anything wrong, the overpayment was due to an administrative mistake, and there was no way they could have possibly known they were getting a few dollars more a month than they should have.

    The error, according to federal officials, came when state officials failed to follow federal guidelines in applying the “Standard Utility Allowance”— the estimate of a household’s utility costs used when calculating the need for food stamp benefits.

Federal officials also expressly prohibited the state from trying to collect the overpayment from Maine SNAP beneficiaries. Maine law as reported in the Bangor Daily News, back in July, states that DHHS, which administers the program, was prohibited from reducing benefits until a formal rule change in the program was made.

One wonders how many times the LePage administration, Mayhew and DHHS have messed up their numbers- it seems to happen on a fairly frequent basis. It’s hard to not agree with this opinion piece from last March, making the case for Mayhew’s firing- certainly she has not helped build a rebuttal case for retention.

Suffice to say, we will see much more of this sort of mismanagement in the year to come, now that the waiting is over, SCOTUS has upheld Obamacare and Maine is now asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to force the Obama Administration to allow the state to reduce the amount it spends on Medicaid.

The letter from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, addressed to Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, can be seen below.

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