October 20, 2017
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Comments for: Bill seeking to combat unemployment fraud wins Senate approval

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  • Anonymous

    “Maine ranks as the fifth lowest in the nation for fraud occurrences.” 
    If your a business owner you know why…nothing is ever investigated and most appeals seem to go the employees way.  I was once told that is wasn’t in my handbook that “you have to report to work everyday”  WOW what a concept showing up to work everyday…..who would ever think you needed to do that in order to keep your job…guess who won that appeal???

    • Anonymous

      I’ve won every one of those things as an employer.  You have a to have a pretty massive paper trail, but they are willing to follow it if you do.  They don’t show up?  Written, dated, and signed warnings.  It sucks you have to do it that way though. 

      • Narsbars

         You won your cases by being a good record keeper. What is your complaint? Should you have been able to fire someone and the DOL just take your word with no proof? Having to prove yourself is the same thing you ask of your employee, it is not too much to ask of you.

        • Anonymous

          That was sarcasm actually.  But don’t worry, I’ll aim it lower next time so everyone gets it:)

      • Anonymous

        Right, following due process and documenting the truth is such  pain. They should just automatically take your word over the employee because we all know employees are just a bunch of scheming liars trying to defraud employers. Yeah, it really sucks to have to do things the right way.

        • Anonymous

          Sarcasm.  Sorry, I’ll try harder to label it for you next time;) 

      • Anonymous

         Most employers don’t want to be bothered keeping tabs on employees to the extent you do.  For this reason the fraud rate doesn’t appear to be nearly as high as it actually is. Therefore more, not less,  effort needs to be done to stem fraud. As suggested in the article, making fraud less rewarding is one sure way to accomplishing that.

  • Anonymous

    You know the best way to get people off unemployment? CREATE JOBS! This legislature is spending lots of time on unemployment regs, worker’s compensation, DHHS, when they should be spending time trying to help create opportunity for jobs!

    • Anonymous

      They don’t have the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) to figure that our. They need a course in Higher Order Thinking-Special High Intensity Training!

    • Anonymous

       Those very things you listed, that is, unemployment regs, worker’s comp, etc. do help create jobs indirectly by improving the climate to do business.  Also, the governor is promoting cheaper energy sources through the extension of natural gas pipelines, elimination of regulations that require customers to pay for costly sources of energy, and  lowering taxes that discourage investments and job creation, among other things. Creating  non-essential government jobs as some people would like to see can only increase state spending and taxes. This creates a false economy that might spur economy activity for a short period but slow it down overall on the long run.

      What the governor is doing is preparing Maine  for short-and-long term economic growth.

      • Anonymous

        Then we have been “indirectly creating jobs”  for years and years.    Most of these changes address things that rarely,  if ever,  happen.   Collecting vacation pay?,    usually thats done right after you become unemployed and are waiting for the Bureau of Labor to process your claim,  which is a while. Small businesses seem to not provide paid vacations anymore, and for many reasons, one of which is that the employees are stuck in the “temporary or part-time” classification.

        I don’t see the governor preparing any job creation legislation or proposals, all I see him doing is rubbing shoulders with business, and going on unnecessary trips.
        Does he ever stay in the state for more than a month at a time? Or is he out “preparing for short and long term economic growth”?

        • Anonymous

           The government can only create a climate for business investment and job creation. It cannot create jobs as you implied unless you want the government to take over the private sector. The latter however usually does not work very well.  It’s interesting that you should say government has been creating jobs indirectly when in the past several years Maine has been ranking near or at the bottom among the 50 states as a good place to do business.  I suspect the is a strong correlation between this ranking and the ability for a state to attract new jobs and investment opportunities.

          • Anonymous

            The government can,  and has,  provided low interest loans;  tax incentives, and land use variances for starting and constructing new facilities.   For instance,  Moosehead Mfg, has two facilities (mills) that sit empty.   The government can stir investment incentives by offering the low interest loans,  it can negotiate and broker deals as well.   I do recall the government being heavily involved with the Millinocket investments.  

            My comment on the indirect creation of jobs, was a play on your own statement within your first post.   According to you,  “unemployment regs, worker’s comp. etc help create jobs indirectly…..”  For the most part, if these regulations helped create jobs by improving the business climate as you suggest,  then we wouldn’t have to begging our governor for a jobs bill.   Something that he has not done to date.

            The funding formula’s for the natural gas pipelines is very questionable, perhaps even a farce.  Essentially it is this:  citizens of towns and municipalities will be given property tax relief,  however, those same citizens do not receive the benefit of the relief,  the natural gas company will.  The TIFF formula as it regards natural gas, only subsidizes ……guess who?    The gas company.   Once the cycle is complete, and natural gas is being used,  it increases property tax rates,  it increases municipal works expenditures, and increases the cost of emergency response needs. All the while, that gas company will be paid rates, which can be adjusted easily to compensate for business costs.

            I don’t think the tax payers should be subsidizing natural gas company’s, or any utility company,  especially only those that this governor favors.  Corporate welfare is just as corruptible as you insinuate social welfare to be, the TIFF formula does work, however, it’s original intent is not to provide continuous subsidy’s to one business by several towns in an ongoing and continual manner. Once they are done with one set of towns, the will continue on to more, and if those towns choose not to participate, they will be labelled by this governor as “not business friendly”.

          • Anonymous

             I’m curious, what elements would you have in a jobs bill if you were governor? More road and bridge projects? We’re doing that already.  Right now the push for cheap energy is to get natural gas pipelines laid out. This in itself will create some immediate employment. It will also save homeowners tons of money and help manufactures. Natural gas prices right now are at an all time low, and supplies are abundant for many years to come.  If we don’t jump at this opportunity our state will be at a disadvantage with neighboring states. Incidentally, where did you get the idea the state will be subsidizing gas companies? The only thing I know is that the state intends to back up loans to gas companies for expansion.

          • Anonymous

            The current manner,   and the definate direction of how KVGAS intends and has implemented funding for laying pipelines and providing gas to towns that have never had it is the TIFF formula.  TIFF stands for the Tax Increment Financing Formula.   TIFF’s are utilized by towns and municipalites, to provide temporary funding for projects that the community seeks , not typically a statewide infrastructure/ utility project.  Look it up.   I did not say that the state subsidized the gas companies,  I said that the citizens of these towns do.    A subsidy, is a subsidy. Specifically KVGAS wants to go from town to town, region by region…..and collect all of these benefits, at relatively no cost to them; and then reek the rate benefits.

            If I were governor,  I would not propose roads and bridges, immediately.   I would nuture investors, to build or rebuild new or existing facitlites to provide local jobs to local people.  I would offer investors, not current business per say, tax incentives,  and enter into negotiations of pertinent job training and low interest loans. If it were new construction, I would work with the towns, the investors and the proper land use regulatory agency to find a middle ground. If we can put a man on the moon, then we can find the proper place to assure that new construction is done in with all concerned.

            Laying these gas lines will not create permanent jobs,  they will be temporary from town to town as the go along…..and that’s only if they are seeking employees.  There are real, and obvious concerns with fracking into the ocean bed as well, the geographic results are not yet known.

            The state does not need to,  has never,  and should not ever back up a loan for a utility based industry.  There is no way,  given the TIFF formula,  the absence of viable competition, and the ability to adjust rates to counter business expenses,  much like CMP,  should they ever be backed up, money wise, by this state.    no way.

            I will note that you made no remark regarding the eventual increases in property tax rates, municipal works increases, and public safety costs associated with these gas lines.  It’s not now, nor will it ever be a golden egg that is going to save Maine businesses,  and I doubt that it’s going to save homeowners much for very long.

          • Anonymous

             If you were governor you would be doing some of the very things the governor is doing. He is meeting with town officials and reps.  Loans are already available to rebuild towns, and a middle ground with LURC has been sought already in his first year in office. I’m sure there will more interactions with LURC in the coming days.

            Whichever way towns want to pay to have the pipeline is up to them. I know once the major arteries are in place homeowners will want to be connected.  In fact my daughter and her neighbors have an agreement with the gas producer to have a line laid in their street this spring or early summer. Right now there is a big demand for natural gas by homeowners who have felt the brunt of four dollar-per-gallon heating oil. The savings realized through this new source of energy will more than offset in sort order by the costs of setting up the infrastructure.

            With regard to developing natural gas sources, the fracking process is being used as well for pumping crude oil from which heating oil is derived.  So why not use natural gas as a source of energy instead of more expensive (mostly foreign) crude oil when natural gas is readily abundant in this country? Don’t forget, energy derived from crude oil is still being subsidized and has been for years and years.

            Finally, I don’t care if the major natural gas companies make a profit (even a large one) especially when we can and will very likely all benefit from it. One of the major reasons why industry is lacking in Maine compared to other states is because of high energy cost.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t trust bow-ties.

  • Anonymous

     If they want to get their shorts in a knot about relativity minor unemployment  fraud, fine,  better if they get themselves worked up about the unemployment itself.  It a curious sensation how so many get worked up about the unemployed but are mum about the paucity of opportunity to support oneself that is the real culprit. They don’t have an answer for the real problem so entertain themselves doing this diddley

    • Anonymous

      Hard work pays off after a long time.  Laziness pays off now.  The abundance of government assistance allows many to maintain a low-middle class, middle-middle class lifestyle without having to produce anything.

      • Anonymous

        Really-you can maintain a middle-class lifestyle on $238 per week? What a load of fertilizer. Maybe you should package and sell it.

    • Anonymous

       Good thing Mr. Rector and his tight little tie are all bunched up about the relatively non-existent problem of unemployment fraud in Maine (which by the way is funded by the Feds and not in the purview of some small town representative).  Now that he’s earned a notch on the Tea Party’s totem pole, perhaps he could set his own political ambitions aside and represent the unemployed people that sent him to Augusta.  If not, perhaps he’d at least be willing to loose that tie.  It makes him look desperate.

  • Anonymous

    When I got laid off I had 10 weeks of severance pay and 3 weeks of vacation pay. I could not file for unemployment for 13 weeks. By then I had another job, at half the pay and significantly less benefits. But it was a job. Now I take my vacation days as I accumulate them, don’t want to be burned again.

    • Anonymous

      How did you get burned ?? when you got laid off did you lose you vacation time an severance ?  you should consitter you self lucky you was able to get  severance  pay an that you did not lose your 3 weeks vacation .

  • Anonymous

    LaPlague pledged to”stamp out fraud”. Why doesn’t he start with Polquin and Nutting? Another example of the LaPlague/ALEC/ Heritage/ Tea Potty war on the good people of Maine. VOTE THEM OUT!!!

    • Anonymous

      Too bad we can’t recall them.

  • Anonymous

    Parsley on the plate!

  • Guest

    >>>>

  • Anonymous

    Unemployment fraud exists and should be dealt with. Anyone who doesnt think so is foolish in my opinion. 

    Some posters will put the focus on job creation, and yet they never answer the question if it is productive to allow people up to 90 weeks of unemployment funds.

    • Anonymous

      If there is no work in a market, why is it unfair to help people? If there was a glut of jobs, a shorter period for unemployment benefits would make sense. Every day there’s news of more companies cutting jobs. That adds to the burden of those already seeking jobs.

    • Guest

      LePage tells us Mainers are dishonest. Only one-third of this bill deals with fraud. The rest is more mean-spirited LePagism. I wonder where he got this nasty streak….. Canadians are certainly classier than this.

    • Anonymous

      You can only get 26 weeks of Maine unemployment, period. The Federal governmemnt had a number of extensions, but that is very unusual. There isn’t anything close to 90 weeks.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll see how LePage likes the consequences of this bill when he’s the one who’s unemployed.

  • Superuser23

    I don’t get what is so wrong with the unemployment system, you are out a job by lay off, get fired or whatever, you call the Unemployment Bureau, file a claim, give a reason and paperwork is sent to the employer to confirm, so the bogus claims can be avoided by the employer contesting the claim put against them then you are told you get no benefits because you said you got laid off yet your employer fired you for gross misconduct. I know someone recently accused of fraud (the irony) and all he did was send an appeal to the Commission because everyone else wouldn’t believe him with a print out of a legal dictionary defining fraud with a copy of him being accused of it and that he gained nothing and that the state needs to learn to pick up a book (as he wrote in his appeal) and it got overturned. He suffered for 3 months fighting the system that is obsessed with thinking everyone is a fraud when at the end of the day the state was accusing him of something he didn’t even remotely come close to doing. The system and process is good enough, this system does not require an overhaul, the lawmakers are the ones that need an overhaul, the claims center employees (least the ones I have talked to and heard of) need to participate in those training programs.

  • Anonymous

    Tackling unemployment fraud when we have the fifth lowest rate in the nation is a great idea. It keeps the dim wits like LePage from doing any real harm to valid programs. We do not need unemployment in Maine any way. We have plenty of minimum wage jobs available here. WalMart and Hollywood Casino have almost a 100% turn over and are ALWAYS hiring. When you work for wages that are HALF the federal poverty level, you are eligible for all the government cheese you can eat. LLIHEAP, EBT card, MaineCare, etc.. You would have to make $30 an hour to live that good on your own. Maine is a great  place to “work”.

  • Anonymous

    Businesses can’t create jobs when they are spending money on fraudulent workers comp and unemployment claims. If you have never had a business in this state don’t talk like you know it all. Believe it or not most business people try everyday and worry about it all night, to take care of thier employees and make sure that they have work and a paycheck every week, but all the freebies that are given out in this state” the fraud” make it very difficult to focus,financially and time wise , on our employees that desrve it.

  • Anonymous

    We need to stop snooping out the non-existent fraud and go for the fraud that is actually occurring. Seems to be that it’s always the ones pointing the blame and raising suspicions about others are the guilty ones themselves.

  • Guest

    good  Now it would be great if they get a few of the people who work under the table. Normally I just accept it, but at tax time I get cranky.

  • Anonymous

    Funny I seem to be spending a lot of time and money fighting work comp and unemployment fraud. If i could spend that time and money other way I could create more jobs and so could other businesses in Maine. Believe it or not most business owners are just regular folks trying to get by, and worry about our employees and thier families getting by also.

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