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Former Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

LePage administration should tell Mainers what it plans to do with $34.5M it shifted from TANF

The LePage administration and DHHS owe taxpayers an explanation about what they are doing with tens millions of public dollars that are, so far, unaccounted for.
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the chamber during the 2017 State of the State address at the State House in Augusta, Feb. 7, 2017.

Maine needs leadership, not acrimony, to pass a budget

This is not the way lawmaking is supposed to happen outside of an Eastern Bloc nation.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is surrounded by reporters as he walks to the Senate floor of the U.S. Capitol after unveiling a draft bill on healthcare in Washington, U.S. June 22, 2017.

The Senate would be wise to ‘first, do no harm’ before passing its health care bill

We recognize the politics of this debate are difficult and urge Maine’s delegation to put patients before politics. We believe our delegation is poised to be a leading voice in this debate. We support and encourage them in that role.

House Republicans want us to turn our backs on asylum seekers. That undermines our economy.

Immigration in the United States is a controversial topic these days — no question. But there should be no question that immigrants are good for Maine.
Members of the Republican team pray before the Democrats and Republicans face off in the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, June 15, 2017.

America is on its way to divorce court

We should not have contempt for each other. Yet, we do.

Colleges revive segregation with separate graduations

Who would have thought segregation would become fashionable again and that it would be promoted by the bastions of liberalism?

Maine risks backsliding in caring for adults with intellectual disabilities if we don’t act

“Maine has a moral and legal obligation to care for our most vulnerable residents.”
A picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen outside the historical Umayyad mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in old Damascus city, Syria, June 14, 2017.

The great Muslim civil war — and us

The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?
A Bangor man enjoys a cigarette during his smoke break.

Smoking has become a habit of the poor, raising the importance of public health work in Maine

There’s good news about smoking rates in Maine and the U.S. Overall, they have dropped significantly over recent decades. Except among the poor.

Maine should fear being labeled a high tax state. Just look at Connecticut.

This surtax is mainly being paid for by businesses. Nothing has really changed in that respect since last November.

Big money doesn’t always lead to big results

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, written ''ER'' to make the poster read &quotMeaner'' during his press conference on the Senate Republicans' health care bill with Sen. Patty Murray, and Sen. Ron Wyden, in the Capitol on June 22, 2017.

Without changes, Senate health care bill must be rejected

The measure of the Senate bill isn’t whether it is better than the House Republican version. It is whether it is better than the Affordable Care Act it would replace. It fails this test.
Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, (left) speaks with House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, at the State House in Augusta.

No one wins in government shutdown. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

“We are close to making the same mistake that happened 26 years ago and letting the far-reaching effects of a shutdown damage our government and economy.”
Longfellow Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Sarah Rasmussen talks about what moods a poem can set with her class in Portland.

It’s not enough to spend more on education. We must direct money where it’s most needed.

“Simply adding more money to the system will not assure teachers and students benefit. There must be specific strategies in place to assure our teachers who are most directly affecting our students are properly compensated. This must be the priority.”
Senate President Mike Thibodeau, House Speaker Sara Gideon and Gov. Paul LePage.

A state shutdown doesn’t need to happen. We have a reasonable budget on the table.

“As more people throw around the word ‘shutdown,’ keep in mind that this does not have to happen. There is a reasonable deal on the table to increase state aid to school districts, implement significant education reforms and reduce local property taxes — all within existing resources.”
On June 14, 2017, Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill into law to allow a panel to better understand the reasons behind infant deaths in Maine.

Now the important work can begin to cut the number of Maine’s infant deaths

It’s rare to find Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine Legislature and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services all on the same page. But that’s exactly what happened recently when LePage signed a bill into law — supported wholeheartedly by DHHS and lawmakers — to allow a panel to better understand the reasons behind infant deaths in Maine.

Danby Ink

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