Expand Maine’s earned income tax credit
The topic of expanding Maine’s earned income tax credit (EITC) is being discussed at the State House this session. I received the EITC when my daughter was in school, which was quite helpful at the time.
In today’s economy, it has become important for people to have resources available. Even though there are social services available, living expenses are escalating all the time. Studies have shown that most Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency. In my own life, I could see spending the money on car insurance payments, oil changes, car maintenance, dental payments, increasing food supply in the cupboards, senior college classes, adult education classes, savings for emergencies and more. The list could go on, especially for winter living, an evening out, or a ride to Reid State Park to visit my childhood sacred place.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is already helpful to many people in Maine. It benefited me greatly at a time of need, helping to pay for my necessities like food, rent and electricity. I am calling on our Legislature to expand this needed benefit for Mainers, to show compassion for our neighborhoods, to help families and individuals who need a little more support.
Majority winners and RCV
A majority of Maine voters twice approved ranked-choice voting at the ballot box over the past several years. But, we still don’t have it for the 2020 presidential election. The Maine Legislature must act.
Lawmakers are now considering a bill, LD 1083, that would adopt ranked-choice voting for the presidential general election and for any new presidential primary that is created and funded by the Maine Legislature. Passage of this bill is required to give voters more voice and more choice in what may be the most consequential, if not most crowded, presidential election in our lifetimes.
I support ranked-choice voting because I think majority winners are important. I long for the days of more civil campaigns and a return to voting by your conscience, not by your party.
Ranked-choice voting is an opportunity for Republican and Democratic parties, along with Independents and the Green party, to present their best candidates for general election. Ranked-choice voting is also an opportunity for Americans, whatever their political persuasion, to show up at the polls on election day and vote for the candidate they like the best without worrying about vote-splitting or wasted votes.
According to exit surveys, Maine voters had no problems figuring out how to rank their choices in the 2018 primary and general elections. In fact, a growing majority of Maine voters expressed their support for the transition and 62 percent of respondents called majority winners “very important.” Ranked-choice voting achieves majority winners efficiently and effectively.
I encourage lawmakers of both parties and independents to support LD 1083.
Social media and school threats
The recent lockdown in Bangor and Orono schools was extremely unfortunate, and it’s scary to think that violence can be found in our schools. A threat made on social media has the same power if it is said in person. I am happy to know that other students who partake in these social media platforms do not take these threats lightly. It is appalling how regular school shooting threats have become in the past decade.
I know the student that was arrested is 13 years old, and it can be argued that they are just a kid. I’m glad the student is facing serious charges. Most kids think that social media is not serious and you can say or do whatever you want online. Once something is posted, it is out there forever and should not be taken lightly. Hopefully this will scare away copycats.
It is also frightening that miscommunication can happen so easily. As stated in the story, Orono police received a call that there was an active shooter, not a threat. I am a student at the University of Maine and remember hearing about this event. I was very nervous walking around campus that day and confused that we did not have a lockdown or canceled classes.