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July 26, 2016

Summer is Maine provides great opportunity to enjoy our great state. With August right around the corner, please note that this is Fair Season.

Maine has some of the best agricultural fairs in New England. If you want to know more about Maine's great agricultural fairs, go to the Maine Agricultural Fairs website for the latest news and information.

With summer in full swing, the Maine Legislature is at “recess”. They will reconvene after the fall election in November or when any business needs to be conducted. The State Senate will hold a brief confirmation session on August 4th at 10:00 AM.

In addition to the Senate session, the local legislative candidates for the Maine Legislature have been released. The list for the House is

Yes, it’s an election year at all levels: Federal, State and Local. In additional to individual candidates on the ballot, there are several important questions that voters will decide.

Ballot questions that will appear on the November 8, 2016 referendum ballot: (in the order they will appear on the ballot):

Question 1: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?

Question 2: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to add a 3% tax on individual Maine taxable income above $200,000 to create a state fund that would provide direct support for student learning in kindergarten through 12th grade public education?

Question 3: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to require background checks prior to the sale or transfer of firearms between individuals not licensed as firearms dealers, with failure to do so punishable by law, and with some exceptions for family members, hunting, self-defense, lawful competitions, and shooting range activity?

Question 4: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to raise the minimum hourly wage of $7.50 to $9 in 2017, with annual $1 increases up to $12 in 2020, and annual cost-of-living increases thereafter; and do you want to raise the direct wage for service workers who receive tips from half the minimum wage to $5 in 2017, with annual $1 increases until it reaches the adjusted minimum wage?

Question 5: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?

Question 6: Bond Issue

Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?

As the November election gets closer this report will feature a more detailed review of the Maine races and how to participate in the process. In the meantime, enjoy the great summer weather and please be safe and responsible.


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