AUGUSTA – Today, the Senate voted 24-11 in support of Democratic Senator Linda Valentino’s bill requiring insurance companies to cover hearing aids for young adults up to age 26. Maine law currently requires insurance companies to pay for hearing aids for children only up to the age of 18.
SENATOR VALENTINO APPLAUDS CHIEF JUSTICE’S COMMITMENT TO MODERNIZING MAINE COURTS, ADDRESSING DRUG ABUSE
AUGUSTA—Earlier this morning, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley delivered the annual State of the Judiciary to a Joint Session of the Maine Legislature. The Chief Justice called on the Legislature to continue supporting efforts to bring Maine’s courts into the digital age, and address the growing problem of illegal drug abuse in Maine by coupling intervention with prevention.
So-called “religious freedom” measure denies Human Rights Act
AUGUSTA – This morning, in a 19-16 vote, the Senate voted against a controversial bill that would allow people to use their religious beliefs as a reason for breaking laws including non-discrimination laws such as the Maine Human Rights Act.
Measure provides consumer-friendly higher ed data on graduates' average earnings, employment rate and more
AUGUSTA – A measure to provide students and their families with information that will help them make higher education decisions won broad support from education and business leaders during a public hearing Monday.
Senator Valentino sponsors bill to protect sand beaches
AUGUSTA –Democratic Senator Linda Valentino of Saco introduced a measure yesterday to streamline the permitting process to protect Saco Bay from erosion caused by the Camp Ellis jetty, an installation owned by the federal government.
Jackson Lab and University of New England urge business bond
AUGUSTA—Experts from Jackson Laboratories, the University of New England, and other Maine businesses urged the Legislature’s special workforce committee today to support an investment bond aimed at helping businesses grow and create jobs and bolster Maine’s economic recovery.
“We heard from these organizations about the unique opportunity to move Maine to the forefront of development and innovation,” said Senator Linda Valentino of Saco, who serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. “Investment in our innovators will lead directly to commercialization, job creation, and will help bolster Maine’s economic recovery.”
The University of New England testified about the need for investment in a marine research vessel noting the ability to “transform Maine’s marine economy” with this bond, including employing more than 31,000 people in the region.
Jackson Laboratories testified on the potential of a new biometric facility to advance its research on treating cancer, making it the largest center in the United States. They noted that the return on state investment is about 12:1.
“Now is the time for Maine to make an investment in our businesses and create jobs,” said House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham, the House Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. “The testimony we heard today reinforced that every dollar we invest in these industries will have a multiplier effect and ripple throughout our economy.”
Maine has recovered merely one-third of jobs lost from recession; ranking third from the bottom among worst per state job growth.
The Workforce Committee will continue meeting in the next few weeks to formulate a bond proposal which will go to the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs for review.
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