16 Apr ICYMI Video and Photos from the March 21 Monthly Meeting with Reps Maxmin & Stover
The Lincoln County Democratic Committee met on March 21, 2019 welcoming Maine State Representatives Holly Stover (HD89) from Boothbay and Chloe Maxmin (HD88) from Nobleboro to share their thoughts on their first months in office.
Representative Stover began the program by thanking the voters and all who supported her campaign. She described it as a huge web of support. She noted that the legislative session has been very positive so far, with over 2,000 bills submitted, not all of which have yet been printed. Ms. Stover was appointed to serve on the Health and Human Services Committee, which is not a coincidence given her professional background. The Representative reported that she has put in several bills. The first adds victims of domestic violence to the Maine Human Rights Act, so that they can be protected from discrimination in housing and employment. The second eliminates single use plastic bags in the state. The HHS Committee has a broad mandate, including overseeing the expansion of Medicaid. There are now 10,000 Mainers who have recently enrolled in Medicaid. Representative Stover said that she finds the work in the House to be challenging, and it is exciting to not be sitting on the sidelines.
Representative Maxmin began her remarks by stating that it is an honor to serve the people. She said that it really matters who we elect, and that they are making big decisions in Augusta. The new Representative said there were many challenges in beginning the session. All bills for the coming two years, except for emergency bills, had to be submitted by December 31. This was quite a hurdle when the election was just in November. Ms. Maxmin described a piece of legislation that she is sponsoring, “An Act to Establish a Green New Deal in Maine”. This Green New Deal is quite different from the more general concepts being discussed at the national level. In developing the bill, Representative Maxmin sought extensive involvement from the labor community to come up with specific proposals. She wanted it to be just, fair and equitable to all Mainers as we migrate to greener sources of energy. Ms. Maxmin said that she was appointed to serve on the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. She said that she feels that she has a responsibility to be open and transparent. Ms. Maxmin also said that even though the Legislature is only in session for two days a week for six months a year, there is a full-time workload.
The Representatives graciously answered over twenty questions from LCDC members, covering many topics. These ranged from how Ms. Stover and Ms. Maxmin are making it possible for constituents to contact them to what their response is when they hear someone comment that we should get ready for socialism when Democrats are in control. Folks were also interested in learning about any potential conflict between representing the district and representing the Party and in knowing about the influence of “anti-vaxers” on the members of the Health and Human Services Committee. The proposed CMP power line through Maine was raised and discussed by the Representatives and several LCDC members. Ms. Maxmin was asked about the Maine Green New Deal, and she said that it will involve such things as green job training, home energy upgrades, and solar in schools. A question was raised about how Medicaid expansion will be funded, and Ms. Stover responded that the current proposal is to use a percentage of Healthy Maine (tobacco settlement) funds. There were questions and comments for Ms. Stover about the status of the effort to improve Maine’s child protective services. Offshore wind and tidal energy projects were discussed, and there was a question about the digitization of the state’s paper-based records, particularly in the Department of Health and Human Services. There were also questions and comments about federal Title X funding cuts, the status of broadband initiatives throughout the state and the elimination of the Electoral College.
When asked if there was a priority in their work in Augusta, Ms. Maxmin said that the State Democratic Party is trying to enact paid sick leave and paid family leave for Maine’s workers. But most of all, we need to right the ship after the last administration. Ms. Stover said that the opiate epidemic is definitely a priority, along with Medicaid expansion and school funding. Representative Maxmin added that helping Maine farmers to be able to grow hemp for fiber is also important. Ms. Stover added that there is an effort from the Governor on down to improve relations between the state government and Maine’s Native American tribes. Ms. Maxmin noted that the Legislature recently approved changing the October state holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
When asked for their final thoughts for the evening, Ms. Stover said, “Come and testify!”