(From Maine DOE Website)
AUGUSTA – The four-year graduation rate for Maine high schools rose for a third year in a row, to 85.34 percent for 2012. It’s a rise of more than 1½ percentage points from the previous year and nearly 5 percentage points since 2009.
Of Maine’s 133 high schools, 48 – more than a third – did not reach the 83 percent target set according to the federal accountability standards; more than 40 percent of Maine high schools did not improve their graduation rate from the year before.
View the graduation rate data (Includes historical data back to 2005-6)
What is sequestration? (From Maine.gov)
In current discussion, “sequestration” or “the sequester” are terms used to describe the automatic budget cuts passed into law under the Budget Control Act in August 2011. The Act contained new agreements on spending levels and the debt ceiling and created a Congressional Debt Supercommittee (formally known as the Joint Congressional Committee on Deficit Reduction). This Supercommittee, made up of members from the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle, was instructed to cut at least $1.5 trillion from the federal budget. If the Supercommittee failed to present an agreement containing cuts of at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, the Act would trigger automatic budgetary cuts.
The vote that was held today in the affirmative, 129 to 11, was to protect concealed handgun permit information on a temporary basis or LD 576. That temporary basis is only for 60 days. This is 60 days where, through the legislative committee process, we can properly vet Rep. Wilson’s bill to enact the same concept on a permanent basis. Let me try and explain my vote in support of the moratorium and a few concerns I’ve had.
Number one: Do I think we should rush bills through without public hearings, committee vetting, and proper debate from constituents of our district? No.
While I did receive countless emails, Facebook messages, and even some phone calls, a few days over a holiday weekend doesn’t give the public enough time, and for that matter legislators enough time, to debate a contentious issue. Picking and choosing when to listen to the legislative rules to forgo committee process and public hearing to send out a piece of legislation quickly is also a dangerous route for government to take. Imagine though working this fast on emergency legislation to help fix our failing economy?
Final Vote 129 to 11 in the positive. I voted to support the final bill with the Senate amendment. More analysis on my vote to come.
Click images below to view bill
By Kristy Wagner Staff Writer
AUGUSTA – Bipartisanship is the ultimate goal for Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco. The legislature’s youngest member has formed a legislative youth caucus he hopes will bring together Democrats and Republicans.
Currently, there is a record number of 13 members in the Maine Legislature who are younger than 30, but the caucus welcomes any state representative or senator, democrat or republican, who “aims to improve the lives of young Mainers.”
“The purpose of this caucus is to bridge the political divide between parties and set the example of strong bipartisanship for the rest of the legislature,” Chenette said in a prepared statement. “Finding solutions to the issues we face isn’t democratic or republican and legislators on both sides generally want to work together.”
Chenette will serve as the vice chairman of this newly formed caucus that will work on ways of finding common ground on issues impacting the younger generations, such as college affordability and jobs. The goal of focusing the caucus on these issues is to keep young people working and living in the state.