August 24, 2019
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019: Portland paid sick leave, money back for young people, Non Sequitur resurrection

Money back for young people

I am a full-time student and work 15 hours per week as an in-home caregiver. I know what it’s like to come home from an 8-hour school day, straight into the responsibilities of caregiving. I am paid for my work. But so many Mainers care for family members without pay, on top of being full-time students. I know the struggle. Giving students and caregivers a little extra money back is a no-brainer.

Rep. Maureen Terry’s LD 1491, An Act to Establish the Maine Work Tax Credit, will expand the federal earned income tax credit to include more of one of Maine’s most valuable resources: youth. Going to school and family caregiving are hard work, but our current system doesn’t validate that.

Promises of plans to bring young people to Maine was a key component for many candidates this year, but progress still has to be seen.

LD 1491 would put more money into the pockets of those seeking a higher education. Instead of moving away, recent graduates could stay in Maine and continue to contribute to the state economy. For family caregivers, this bill will make sure they’re taken care of, too.

Phoebe Shields

Cape Elizabeth

Non Sequitur resurrection

OK, the people have arisen and Non Sequitur has been returned! What’s next? Oh yeah, leave Pearls Before Swine alone.

Harold Shaw

Penobscot

Offended, saddened by Close to Home

I found the April 18 comic Close to Home to be extremely offensive. “How God unwinds. Smite A Sinner!” This is offensive anytime but in extra bad taste during Holy Week when Christians are remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection. If God were smiting sinners, the cartoonist John McPherson along with the remainder of humanity would be long gone.

The truth is we have a God who loved sinners so much that he gave his son to pay an extreme price so I and others could be forgiven of sin and actually bound for heaven. I’m saddened by the fact McPherson has apparently not responded to God’s invitation to be forgiven, to find new life with eternal purpose and to live eternally in heaven. I find it very sad he would spread such a terrible lie about God and think others would find it humorous.

Sandra Rhoda

East Millinocket

Portland paid sick leave

I attended the recent earned paid sick leave hearing in front of the Portland City Council. I’d like to supplement the BDN’s coverage of the hearing so that readers better understand the issue.

First, large employers’ concerns about losing their paid time off policies are unfounded. The Portland ordinance allows businesses to enact an equivalent PTO policy. To quote section 35-2(h): “If an Employer provides paid time off to employees under a PTO, vacation or other policy that complies with [the ordinance], the Employer is not required to track and keep a separate record of accrual and use of earned sick time.”

Second, the article in the BDN failed to convey the magnitude of grass-roots support for this ordinance. Supporters were workers, parents, small-business owners and union members. Having watched more than 15 months of deliberation, we are ready for the council to vote on this important public health measure. Testimony at the previous two hearings suggests that Portland voters care about earned paid sick leave.

Morgana Warner-Evans

Portland

 



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