Maine Medicine Weekly Update - Special 2021 Election Issue - Maine Medicine Weekly  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
Lead Story
•  Want to Influence Your Local Government? Vote In Off-Cycle Elections
Statewide Ballot Issues
•  “CMP Corridor” or the “Clean Energy Corridor” - Question 1
Maine Secretary of State Resources
•  The Maine Secretary of State Website Has All The Logistical Information You Need
Opinion
•  Vote Yes on One
•  Yes on 1, Yes on 2, No on 3
Informational Resources
•  Question 2 – Bond Issue
•  Question 3 – Constitutional Amendment
Additional Media Resources
•  Local Media Links to Learn More About Your Local Issues and Candidates
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Join us for an introduction to hospice services in our 11/2 webinar: Let’s Talk Hospice!
•  AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
•  SUPPORT For ME Training and Technical Assistance Initiative Webinars on November 3 & December 1
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service: MICIS presentations & Academic Detailing
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine)
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Bingham Area Health Center

 

Yes on 1, Yes on 2, No on 3

MMA member & Maine State Representative, Patty Hymanson, MD (York)

*The views expressed are the opinions of Dr. Hymanson. The Maine Medical Association does not have a formal position on Question 1. Please vote regardless.

Of the three questions on the November 2nd ballot, the second is the least controversial so we will begin there. Transportation bonds come up each two-year cycle and pass easily. This year $85 million is for highways and $15 million for rail, aviation, ports and active transportation. Money from federal pandemic relief and matching programs will more than double this. Over 10 years, approximately $27 million will also be paid in interest through state revenue sources. Bonding is not a great way to pay for these costs but increased gas tax, mileage fee, fuel-efficiency or electric vehicle off-sets have not gained traction to replace it. 

*The views expressed are the opinions of Dr. Hymanson. The Maine Medical Association does not have a formal position on Question 1. Please vote regardless.

Of the three questions on the November 2nd ballot, the second is the least controversial so we will begin there. Transportation bonds come up each two-year cycle and pass easily. This year $85 million is for highways and $15 million for rail, aviation, ports and active transportation. Money from federal pandemic relief and matching programs will more than double this. Over 10 years, approximately $27 million will also be paid in interest through state revenue sources. Bonding is not a great way to pay for these costs but increased gas tax, mileage fee, fuel-efficiency or electric vehicle off-sets have not gained traction to replace it. 

Question 1 is a complex citizens’ referendum to stop the CMP power corridor linking HydroQuebec and Massachusetts through Maine.  The Portland Press Herald has a comprehensive article I would suggest you read. You can find the article on my Facebook page along with a good dialogue in the comments from concerned Mainers and legislators. I learned a lot from them.

The ads from the “no” camp have been maddeningly deceptive but I support hydropower to lessen fossil fuel use. What I learned is that Vermont has a plan, wants the project so it will likely be built there if Maine rejects it as NH did. Also, Hydro-Quebec has not guaranteed that more hydropower will be produced for this project so it may be a redistribution of existing hydropower. It is hard to trust CMP as the builder and maintainer of this transmission project. The benefits to Maine come in different forms but are not seen by many as enough. Others disagree.

Question 3 asks us to expand our Maine Constitution to include “All individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to food…” While one might agree with the intent, the wording is so vague that what it means might be decided case by case by a judge in court. There is no groundswell of support for this amendment and animal rights groups are actively against it while others are silent. Individual bills heard in the legislature might be a more focused way to protect private seed use as an example rather than the vague wording here that might be interpreted in the courts. 

Here is a link to the referenda wording. Be sure to peruse the proposed laws themselves, not only the referenda questions, by clicking on the active links.

https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/pdf/11-21citizensguide.pdf

Question 1 – Citizen Initiative
Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?

Link to Legislation

Question 2 – Bond Issue
Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to leverage an estimated $253,000,000 in federal and other funds?

Link to Legislation

Question 3 – Constitutional Amendment
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being?

Link to Legislation