Naloxone offers second chance
If we follow Gov. Paul LePage’s (il)logic that “Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” then defibrillators also should be eliminated. Defibrillators, available to the general public and often used with no training, merely extend lives until the next heart attack.
An overdose, like a heart attack, often serves as a turning point in a person’s life. Everyone should be given the opportunity to start anew.
Fund Maine Clean Elections
Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed LD 1579, a bill that advances $500,000 to Maine’s Clean Election Fund to ensure adequate funding for the 2016 elections. The bill requires no new spending, and if it does not become law, the Clean Elections Fund could run out of money this year, according to the Maine Ethics Commission.
For the Clean Election Fund to run out of money in this or a future election cycle would be an insult to Maine voters. More than 70 percent of 2016 declared candidates have signed up to use Maine’s strengthened Clean Election system. That’s compared to just 53 percent who ran “clean” in 2014.
The state Senate voted overwhelmingly for LD 1579, but about a third of the House voted against it. Only a few more representatives will have to change to a “yes” vote to override the governor’s veto.
LD 1579 has no fiscal impact. It simply advances funds already in the budget that otherwise would be transferred later in the fiscal year. Maine people just reaffirmed their support of Clean Elections at the polls by 55 percent. Voters want a strong, fully funded Clean Election system.
All legislators should support this common-sense measure but especially lawmakers who are running as Clean Elections candidates this year. Please urge your legislators to vote to override the veto of LD 1579.
Education that benefits Maine
The April 25 BDN editorial on Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s plans for affordable college overlooked a basic and important aspect of using taxpayers’ money in Maine to have students graduate from college without debt. When we cover the expense of providing a college degree to a student, it is of little benefit to Maine whether that student takes the knowledge we provided to another state.
Maine college degrees that we pay for should be in areas that have a benefit for Maine. A few suggestions for courses and degrees that are beneficial to Maine and could be offered for free include topics in forestry and wood products; energy development in biomass, solar, wind and tidal; tourism; wine and beer development; animal husbandry; cheese production; agricultural expansion in livestock and crops; modular building construction; expansion of private, commercial and naval shipbuilding.
Override solar veto
I am disappointed that my state Rep. Dick Campbell, R-Orrington, voted against the solar energy bill, LD 1649, on April 14. The bill passed the House by a vote of 91-56 and unanimously in the Senate. Unfortunately, Campbell voted against the bill, despite the fact that it will create 650 new jobs in Maine’s solar industry over the next four years and get Maine out of last place in New England for solar production. It also will reduce our electric bills, according to the state’s electric ratepayer advocate
Of course, Gov. Paul LePage, who does not understand the benefits of renewable energy, is expected to veto LD 1649. To override the veto, two-thirds of the House and Senate need to vote to override. I urge Campbell to change his vote and vote to override the anticipated veto of LD 1649.
LD 1649 would speed up solar installations in Maine and create about 650 new jobs. The bill would create about 200 megawatts of solar in Maine in four years. That is eight times the solar capacity we have in Maine today. This is a huge opportunity to move Maine’s economy forward.
Maine is missing out on solar jobs because we lack state policies to spur its growth. I’m disappointed Campbell voted against LD 1649, and I urge him to vote to override an anticipated veto by LePage.
Act on climate change
On April 21, the Hancock County Democratic Committee heard very important presentations from College of the Atlantic students who were in Paris in December at the international climate negotiations and from the local leader of Mount Desert Island’s Climate to Thrive, a totally volunteer multidimensional project.
On April 22, 175 nations signed the Paris agreement at the United Nations. Initially, leaders thought it would take until 2020 to have 55 nations representing 55 percent of the global emissions to join. As reported by the Associated Press, “With the planet heating up to record levels, sea levels rising and glaciers melting, the pressure to have the Paris agreement enter into force and to have every country turn its words into deeds was palpable at the U.N. signing ceremony.” President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry deserve praise.
On Jan. 24, more than 200 people turned out in Northeast Harbor to begin the process to have the island energy self-sufficient by 2030. Their goal is to bring increased economic benefits. Committees have started to work in six specific areas: building performance, local food, public policy, solar and alternative energy, transportation and zero waste.
Please contact your local and national legislators to urge comprehensive action on climate change.
Communications, messaging and program chair
Hancock County Democratic Committee
Sex assault sentence
I wonder why District Attorney Neil McLean and Waldo County Superior Court Judge Robert Murray thought Adam Cross, a lifetime registrant on the Maine Sex Offender Registry who sexually abused an 11-year-old, should have the right to freedom until July because his dad is sick.
We need to stop this type of sentencing if we wish to combat assault in all of its ugly forms against women in this state. We need to stop protecting the offenders. While the little girl’s father wanted Cross to know his daughter will persevere, where is the outrage against the man who forever changed a little girl by his actions?
So let Cross go home to take care of dad until July, while all children in the area are now unsafe and the little girl he sexually abused remains in fear until then. Well done, Murray. Well done, McLean.