Maine puts people before prescription drug profits

On behalf of our 230,000 members statewide, AARP Maine applauds our state legislators and Gov. Janet Mills for passing a strong package of bills to make prescription drugs more affordable and more accessible in Maine. Thousands of Mainers take prescription medications. For many, there is no alternative to alleviate crippling pain or manage chronic illnesses. For others, prescription drugs literally keep them alive. This legislative package could not come soon enough.

As a proudly non-partisan organization, AARP Maine thanks our Legislature for working together for the people of Maine and taking a stand. Senate President Troy Jackson, Sens. Eloise Vitelli, Heather Sanborn and Bob Foley deserve special thanks for their leadership on this important issue. Our elected leaders clearly recognized that prescription drug price gouging is not a Democratic or a Republican issue. They decided to put people before profits.

Many Mainers were instrumental in bringing this important legislation to the attention of their elected leaders. Advocates from across the state testified in Augusta and followed up with their legislators back home. Heartbreaking stories of Mainers struggling to make ends meet due to the cost of their medications became the heart of the campaign. AARP Maine thanks each one of you for your courage and conviction.

Maine is once again leading the way, but we need Congress to follow that lead. Members of Congress must come together to pass bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug prices across the country. The pharmaceutical industry has made it clear that they intend to fight hard, but we must fight harder.

Patricia Pinto

Volunteer state president

AARP Maine


Troubling water contamination

Toxics Action Center would love to support the residents of South Berwick regarding its well water contamination problem — we know it is troubling.

Our organization began in 1987 by responding to tragedy in Woburn, Massachusetts, where 14 children died of leukemia brought on by poisoned drinking water. The mothers of these children were among the first to identify the link between our environment and our health, and worked diligently throughout the 1980s to get their town and state to hold the polluters accountable. Toxics Action Center has been fighting for clean air, clean water and climate justice in New England ever since.

We are aware that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is offering free water testing to residents who could be at risk. If anyone is interested in receiving further support in organizing your community to protect your health and environment, please give us a call.

Jessica Brown

Toxics Action Center


Invest in Land for Maine’s Future program

Legislators should approve a Land for Maine’s Future bond for the 2019 ballot. Land for Maine’s Future is a fantastic program, yet it hasn’t received bond funding for years. What are we waiting for?

The program is the reason that Maine has been able to permanently protect important places such as Mount Kineo, Cold Stream Forest and Nahmakanta (among more than 300 other places). Our state is the better for it.

Funding the program is a good idea not only because it improves quality of life and safeguards key habitats, it’s also a good idea economically. The funding is used for conserving forests, farms, working waterfronts and lands in communities, which means that Maine’s natural resource-based industries benefit from the program, too. A stable, secure funding source will make it possible for Maine to pursue critical conservation projects for those industries.

I hope legislators come together to give voters a chance to weigh in on the program in November. Land for Maine’s Future is the right direction for Maine.

Greg Kimber