Top legislative Democrats joined a Thursday letter challenging Gov. Janet Mills to give state retirees a bigger cost-of-living increase to address inflation with the governor nearly ready to release a key spending plan.
People in the Maine Public Employee Retirement System, which includes retired state employees and teachers, were told last summer that they would receive a 3 percent increase to their benefits up to nearly $23,000. Inflation during that time was 5.4 percent.
A letter sent to the governor on Thursday by 59 lawmakers led by Sen. Joe Rafferty, D-Kennebunk, and joined by all Democratic leaders in both chambers, including Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, asks Mills to fund an increase commensurate with the level of inflation in her upcoming budget proposal.
Author(s): Caitlin Andrews
Publication Date: 4 Feb 2022
Publication Site: Bangor Daily News
Even though parts of New England are seeing record case counts, hospitalizations and deaths that rival pre-vaccine peaks, largely among the unvaccinated, the region hasn’t seen the impact the delta variant wave has wrought on other parts of the country.
According to statistics from The Associated Press, the five states with the highest percentage of a fully vaccinated population are all in New England, with Vermont leading, followed by Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. New Hampshire is 10th.
Case counts in Vermont, which has continually boasted about high vaccination and low hospitalization and death rates, are the highest during the pandemic. Hospitalizations are approaching the pandemic peak from last winter and September was Vermont’s second-deadliest month during the pandemic.
Author(s): Wilson Ring
Publication Date: 3 Oct 2021
Publication Site: Yahoo News