‘Marriage penalty’ debate takes center-stage in Maine home care fight
By Michael Shepherd, BDN Staff • August 17, 2018, 9:00 am Good morning from Augusta, in which Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is touting a brand new document predicting that the general domestic care referendum at the November poll could reduce private income, employment, population, and exertions pressure in Maine.
But the evaluation released through the nation on Thursday is fraught with the aid of a query of interpretation so one can be settled through Attorney General Janet Mills’ office, making it hard to take meaningful lessons from the country economist’s record — as a minimum for now. We recognize that the referendum will amount to a sizeable new tax on excessive-earnings Mainers. Question 1 at the November poll is backed with the aid of a modern coalition, along with the Maine People’s Alliance, and it’d installation an ordinary home care device for people sixty-five and older and those with disabilities.
It’s hostile by way of conservatives and commercial enterprise groups cautious of the investment scheme, which locations a mixed 3.8 percent tax on earnings over $127, two hundred and non-salary profits over that threshold. The Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal office has stated the tax would generate $310 million annually.
What’s doubtful at the moment is whether or not married couples’ earnings would be dealt with collectively or one after the other under the law. The LePage management has argued that the tax will set up a “marriage penalty” that would hit each of two married earners who each make less than $127, two hundred, however, whose combined profits exceed it.
That isn’t explicitly addressed inside the proposed regulation. However, it likely isn’t the rationale, and the Legislature’s economic office interpreted it to handiest observe to individuals. But LePage’s finances department persuaded Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democrat, to mention within the language of Question 1 that the tax might additionally observe to families.
Garrett Martin, the government director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy, a modern group that has taken no position at the referendum, stated the LePage administration’s record “maintains to perpetuate a mistaken assumption about how the tax will apply to married couples” and that the law’s cause is not to hit married couples twice. To him, that makes the report “improper,” and he stated it “needs to be ignored.” The question will be greater authoritatively settled by using the attorney standard’s workplace. A Dunlap spokeswoman instructed the Portland Press Herald that Mills’ workplace will problem a choice about how the tax applies to married couples in overdue September or early October.
But for now, the politicking will center on the report and this problem. Be skeptical and notice the nuance, which is always in this age of Maine politics.
The Clean Election program is open, bypassing a legislative stalemate. The Maine Ethics Commission voted on Thursday to reopen the $3.2 million public marketing campaign fund to applicants inside the 2018 election via ignoring drafting errors in-country law that blocked disbursement of these price ranges as of July 1. Republicans within the Maine House of Representatives have been blocking off a restoration of the mistake, whilst Democrats retaliated by withholding votes on tax rules. The LePage administration doesn’t appear to be resisting this after an in advance court ruling towards it at the fund, so the Legislature’s direction to ending a marathon 2018 consultation ought to have just gotten simpler.
It was a peculiar day at a disbarment listening to a district lawyer candidate in western Maine. Republican Seth Carey turned into the set to testify on Thursday, the second day of a hearing over whether or not he’ll keep his regulation license amid allegations of sexual attack. He didn’t make it some distance, right away breaking down in tears on the stand. In court docket, Carey played with a mobile phone that the alleged victim said he stole from her. (He said it was “abandoned” at his domestic.) Disbarment could hold Carey from taking the workplace despite winning the November election over Democrat Andrew Robinson, the district attorney in Androscoggin, Oxford, and Franklin counties.
A Democratic physician walking for U.S. Senate in 2020 becomes reprimanded via a country board for unprofessional conduct. Dr. Cathleen London, a family practitioner from Milbridge, drew proceedings for letting her puppies roam the workplace and criticizing sufferers’ aid of President Donald Trump. A evaluation determined she also inappropriately prescribed methadone and opioids and violated the terms of Maine’s scientific marijuana software. She signed an agreement with the kingdom placing her license on probation and barring her from prescribing methadone. London, a Democrat, declared a run towards U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, remaining month.
A Baileyville mill has a record of wastewater leaks. The state says that the Woodland Pulp Mill in Baileyville has had 3 huge wastewater leaks within the beyond years. Two of those got here in September 2016, when 3 million gallons of partially handled wastewater leaked and sent 1 million of that into the St. Croix River, which separates Maine from New Brunswick. Half a million gallons greater leaked remaining week at the mill.
A chance to say goodbye
We stay immensely thankful and overwhelmed by way of the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and help that has come to our manner, considering the fact that our pal and colleague, Chris Cousins, died on Wednesday. Thank you to everybody who has reached out. A memorial carrier to honor his existence is scheduled for eleven a.M., Saturday, Aug. 25, within the auditorium at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris.
We’ll inform testimonies, sing songs, consolation pals, and perhaps say a terrible word or two because that’s what he might do. Here’s your soundtrack. — Robert Long Today’s Daily Brief was written by using Michael Shepherd and Robert Long. If you’re reading this on the BDN’s internet site or have been forwarded it, click here to get Maine’s leading newsletter on country politics thru e-mail on weekday mornings.
To attain us, do now not reply directly to this article, but electronic mail us immediately at mshepherd@bangordailynews.Com or rlong@bangordailynews.Com.