Work credit works for families
Maine has an opportunity to put an estimated $91 million back into the pockets of working families. LD 1491 would expand our current Earned Income Tax Credit by creating a Maine Work Credit. This initiative would expand the number of families who can benefit from the tax credit and raises the state credit from the current 5 percent of federal Earned Income Tax Credit to approximately 30 percent.
In my eight years of preparing taxes as a CPA, I saw a number of families claim the federal tax credit, but the amount they received from the state was so small that it did not help them. Currently, a family receiving $5,000 from the federal tax credit would receive $250. The Maine Working Credit would provide this family with roughly $1,500. This is meaningful in helping struggling working families meet their needs.
Contact your legislators if you would like to help to help working Maine families and create an economic stimulus for the entire state of Maine. Ask them to support LD 1491.
The price of high prescription costs
Two years ago, my brother’s insurance stopped covering his insulin. The cost to him for both types, which he needed daily, was $1,400 per month. He couldn’t afford it. He tried to control his diabetes by rationing the long-acting insulin he had left.
Three days later, when he didn’t show up for work, he was found unresponsive in his home — the result of ketoacidosis. I was told his core temperature was 88 degrees. He had died. But paramedics were miraculously able to revive him. He was airlifted to Bangor ICU, put on life support and not expected to live. Thankfully, he did survive. Then he faced the difficulty of great suffering to recover.
After the worst month of his life, we were faced with the monumental task of finding a way to get him the insulin he needed after he was discharged. All of this trauma and distress could have been avoided if his insulin had been affordable in the first place.
Maine legislators need to pass bills — LD 1162, LD 1272, LD 1387 and LD 1499 — holding drug companies to task about their pricing, which will have a positive impact on all Mainers like my brother. Other states have done it, and we can, too.
A nonexistent solar problem
I practically spit out my oatmeal upon reading Bill Perreault’s April 18 letter to the editor on “spent” solar panels, and what we should do with them. Really? This is a nonexistent problem.
I installed solar panels in 1994, after having lived for 20 years without electricity. The electric company wanted $10,000 upfront to begin putting wires on the poles that the telephone company had already installed on my quarter mile dirt road. I thought, I can do better than that, and I did. I still have off-grid solar power with those very same panels today.
Talking about “spent” solar panels is akin to talking about when the sun wears out. There are no moving parts, there is nothing to wear out. The percent of loss of power over a 20-year span is way less than 1 percent. And there is no need to remove them if you feel you need 100 percent efficiency — just add a few more.
I never lose power in storms, including the ice storm of ’98. Wake up folks, you have been willing to spend thousands on gas powered vehicles that rust out quite quickly, but refuse to take responsibility for your own electric power. Home base solar systems are entirely possible and economically feasible, and have been for years.