Maine Women's Lobby

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Happenings at the Maine Women's Lobby

2015 Legislative Session

To say this legislative session was a roller coaster for Maine women would be an understatement. Keep an eye out for our full legislative session report and see how your legislator voted with our roll call coming soon. For now, here are some of the highlights:

Due to Governor LePage playing politics with his expected vetoes, four of our priority bills have now become law. We worked hard to pass these important pieces of legislation and the lives of thousands of Maine women will improve because of them. Here’s what were celebrating:

  • LD 921, sponsored by Rep. Matthea Daughtry (D-Brunswick) with cosponsors on both sides of the aisle, increases the penalties for employers who ignore the law and fire victims and survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking when they take time off to attend court proceedings or seek medical care and other services.
  • LD 319, sponsored by Rep. Jay McCreight (D-Harpswell), will strengthen the economic security of women at or below 209% of the federal poverty level by providing increased access to preventative health care services, including contraception, cancer screenings, STI testing, and pap tests.
  • LD 1013, sponsored by Sen. Anne Haskell (D-Cumberland) with strong bipartisan support, will bar the shackling of pregnant prisoners except in extraordinary circumstances. Maine now joins the rest of New England in banning this inhumane and medically dangerous procedure.  
  • LD 369, which was amended by Sen. Amy Volk (R-Cumberland), will make sure asylum seekers can receive General Assistance (GA) for up to two years. Immigrants who have made their home in Maine are a vital part of our communities and economy and this temporary support is a lifeline while they navigate a broken immigration system and wait for authorization to work.


Here are a few ways you can connect with us:

Read our past newsletters and Legislative Roll Call

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Read our past action alerts here.

And, the best way to support our work? Become a member.


SAVE THE DATE!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security

Augusta Civic Center

In Building a Prosperous Maine, the Maine Women's Policy Center laid out a roadmap to economic security for women and our families. On October 16th, we’ll come together to turn those ideas into action. Be sure to mark your calendar so you can be a part of this energizing day with like-minded opinion leaders from across the state as we hear from thought-provoking speakers, participate in interactive workshops, and take advantage of opportunities to build our skills.

Here’s a peek at one of our speakers: Caroline Frederickson, author of the upcoming book Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over.

  • Women make up 53% of low-wage workforce or “working poor,” defined as persons who spent at least twenty-seven weeks in the labor force but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level.
  • Women are 63% of minimum-wage workers.
  • Mid-wage jobs constitute 60% of jobs lost during the 2008 recession, but only a little more than 20% of those created during recovery.
  • By contrast, low-wage jobs were 21% of jobs lost during the recession but close to 60% of new jobs created since.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 percent of the workforce has paid leave.
  • Today the National Labor Relations Act still excludes domestic workers and farm laborers, and the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require overtime for farm workers or minimum wage or overtime for many domestic workers.

Caroline Fredrickson is the president of the American Constitution Society (ACS) and a senior fellow at Demos. She has been widely published on a range of legal and constitutional issues and is a frequent guest on television and radio shows. Before joining ACS, Fredrickson served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. 

Interested in sponsoring or helping with this event? Contact Kathy at 207-622-0851 x3 or kkilraindelrio@mainewomen.org

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