NEWS CENTER Maine’s Political Brew analysts this week are former Republican state senator Phil Harriman and longtime Democratic activist Betsy Candy.



The Maine Legislature’s Committee on Vitality, Utilities, and Expertise voted Tuesday to move forward with a bill that would force Central Maine Power and Versant Power to sell their assets to a Maine consumer-owned non-profit company to be known as “Pine Tree Energy.”

It handed on a bipartisan 9-2 vote.

Gov. Janet Mills has expressed reservations, saying there are too many unanswered questions for lawmakers to resolve within the few weeks left on this session, and a veto from the governor would possible hold the query off the November poll

Betsy Candy believes that will not be the tip of the road for this concept, citing related proposals across the nation.

Candy mentioned, “The individuals who run the ability grid shouldn’t be accountable to shareholders or attempting to make a revenue, however ought to be accountable to the customers who’re depending on electrical energy.”

Phil Harriman mentioned this raises questions concerning the basic function of presidency. He mentioned the utilities would “be taken out of personal fairness arms and turned over to the general public. Why do we have now a public utilities commission within the first place?”



Our analysts discover widespread floor on a bipartisan name for a pay raise for roughly 15-thousand people who work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities — and for the 30-thousand extra who present home-based care. Backers say now could be the time to behave on this long run precedence, given the state price range surplus of greater than $900 million, and a billion {dollars} in discretionary federal COVID aid funds.

“The assets are there,” mentioned Harriman, “and psychological well being staff, long-term care amenities, daycare staff, they need to come to the highest of this dialogue. That is a straightforward one for them to determine on and fund and they need to.”

Candy mentioned, “once we’re paying the people who find themselves caring for essentially the most susceptible lower than they’ll make at McDonald’s and Walmart, it is not sustainable.”

RELATED: Bipartisan push to increase funding for nursing homes, direct care

‘Semi-Open’ primaries in Maine? 

This week former Sen. Olympia Snowe provided her assist for the thought of “semi-open” primaries in Maine. About one- third of registered voters in Maine are unenrolled. They need to register with a celebration with the intention to solid ballots in a major. This measure would permit them to vote in both a Republican or Democratic major. Registered celebration members couldn’t cross over.

Candy mentioned she’s thrilled that Snowe is backing this, as a result of unenrolled voters need to take part, however aren’t within the ‘nastiness’ of partisan politics.

And Harriman believes Olympia Snowe, who not often weighs in on political points in Maine, is somebody price listening to.

“Good for her for bringing it ahead,” he mentioned. “Let’s have a look at the celebration chief ship take up this dialog and observe it.”

Harriman and Candy additionally talk about the face mask debate at the Maine State House, the calls by many Democrats to finish the filibuster rule within the U.S. Senate, and early political assaults on second district Congressman Jared Golden.

Political Brew airs Sundays on the Morning Report.

NEWS CENTER Maine’s Political Brew YouTube Playlist

RELATED: Seven Maine legislators out of assignments after refusing to wear mask in State House

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