By Evan Belanger, Read the full BDN article here.
Aug. 24, 2015
Voting 6-1 on Monday, the City Council approved a resolution expressing support for an ongoing petition drive aimed at increasing the state’s minimum wage for the first time since 2009.
The Maine People’s Alliance is gathering signatures to force a citizen-initiated referendum on the November 2016 ballot after failing for years to push the item through in Augusta. “We’re not doing that because we have a deep love of direct democracy that overwhelms all else. We’re doing that because it is our only option at this point,” Mike Tipping, communications director for the MPA, told the City Council in July.
With councilors Joe Baldacci and Patricia Blanchette absent from Monday’s meeting, Councilor Gibran Graham cast the only dissenting vote, arguing that the council’s time would be better spent supporting that actual ballot initiative and not just the petition effort.He also said that passing a local minimum wage immediately would do more to support the MPA’s statewide effort. “I think no other support could be given that would be of greater consequence than showing that the minimum wage can be raised and needs to be raised earlier,” Graham said. Continue reading →
Excerpt from the Bangor Daily News article:
Will LePage drug enforcement plan win Bangor City Council support?
By Evan Belanger
BANGOR, Maine — They don’t always agree on political issues, but two Bangor councilors on opposite ends of the political spectrum want the City Council to support Gov. Paul LePage’s drug enforcement plan.
Councilor Joe Baldacci, brother of former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, and Councilor Pauline Civiello, who tends to vote conservative, want the council to consider a resolution expressing support for LePage’s plan to add funding for the enforcement and prosecution of drug related crimes and urge the Legislature to support it.
To gauge whether there is interest in drafting such an ordinance, they’ll present their argument to the council’s Government Operations Committee at 5:15 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
“Despite the partisan rhetoric that’s gone on, this is supported by Democrats and Republicans,” Baldacci said Sunday. “It just needs to pass.” Continue reading →