January “HOT STOVE” Summary


Thanks to everyone who joined us at Eastern Maine Community College for the first “Hot Stove” event of 2019.  Thanks to our “hosts”, EMCC for the great breakfast spread and to our series sponsor, Quirk Auto Group.

“Hot Stove” is held one Saturday a month during the legislative session to provide a forum for Legislators, Municipal and Federal officials to engage with Bangor Region Chamber member businesses and community leaders. The event is organized by the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee and this event was facilitated by the Chair of the Committee, Sarah Dubay with help form Jessamine Pottle of CES, Inc.

What follows is a BRIEF summary and topics of the discussion.  

If you would like more information regarding anything discussed, please reach out to deb@bangorregion.com  for more detail and contact information.  

The Chamber presented and discussed the  2019 “Issues of Impact” that will guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts with a focus on workforce.

Legislators discussed their priorities and bills for the session.  There was agreement that the climate in Augusta has changed. Described as a “new dynamic under the dome” as both sides of the aisle are working together and the departments and Commissioners are more accessible.

It is still very early in the session…

Legislatures discussed their committee assignments, settling in to committee work and review of more than 2,000 bills.  Many of the bills have not been printed and still need to be “worked”. Some may be reduced (duplicates) and there may be more bills coming.  

Topics discussed included:

  • Taxes (not increasing the tax burden)
  • Municipal waste: Future of municipal waste (report) will be coming out soon
  • Minimum wage
  • Military paid sick leave
  • Funding for education
  • Expansion of Mainecare
  • Renewable energy
  • Bill to support a peer recovery center
  • Referendum reform:  Can we make the process more transparent?
  • Bill to ban the practice of “pay per signature”
  • Funding for legal services
  • Remodeling probate courts

Workforce was a “hot” topic of conversation:  

  • UMaine and EMCC leaders discussed the passage of the bonds that will support their institutions
  • Discussed efforts underway re:  training, out of state tuition, internships
  • Group discussed need for more out of state “recruitment” efforts
  • Bills before taxation to reduce student loan debt

Word from Washington

Representatives from Senator Collins and Senator Kings office spoke about the partial government shutdown.  With no immediate end in sight, they encourage anyone impacted to contacted their offices and they will offer support, referrals and assistance.

If these topics are of interest to you…

JOIN us for our next HOT STOVE:  FEBRUARY 9 from 8:00 – 10:00 am.

Location: Rangeley Hall on the campus of Eastern Maine Community College




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