Lawmakers in the State Senate voted 21-14 to provide direct funding for charter schools through the State’s General Purpose Education fund. Charter schools were approved by the Republican-controlled 125th Legislature and have negatively impacted public school funding by taking funds away from public schools.
NASA has eight new astronauts — its first new batch in four years. In fact, four of the eight are women, the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected by NASA. And one is from Maine.
Jessica U. Meir, Ph.D., 35 is from Caribou, Maine. She is a graduate of Brown University, has an advanced degree from the International Space University, and earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Meir currently is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
According to the 2010 Census, nearly one in seven Mainers is considered “food insecure,” meaning there is a limited or uncertain food supply. The bill would bring together several local and regional groups working on food policy throughout the state, as well as farmers and other interested parties. Today the State Senate unanimously passed a measure to establish a food policy council to develop a plan to increase access to locally grown and sustainable food for more Mainers across the state.
Eight water and wastewater projects across Maine will receive grants all together totaling $2.97 million from the USDA Rural Development program. Communities in rural Maine will see drinking water and wastewater systems improved, which could also spur economic development.
An investigative report by Colin Woodard of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram revealed that Gov. LePage’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection, Patricia Aho, stalled restrictions on toxic chemicals in everyday products to the benefit of out-of-state corporate interests – including the very same chemical industry she formerly served as a paid lobbyist.
Maine is trying to lower energy costs and increase energy efficiency. Sadly, its Governor may veto legislation that would do this at the expense of Maine’s ratepayers and emerging renewable energy industry.
A bipartisan omnibus energy bill has made its way through the Maine state legislature. The compromised package, L.D. 1559, passed the House and Senate. However, Governor Paul LePage opposes the bill, and his energy director said a veto will occur if the bill reaches his desk in its current form.