01/23/2015 - 2016 Municipal Revenue Sharing Figures
Maine Municipal Association’s State & Federal Relations staff has compiled numbers showing how much towns and cities should receive in FY 2016 from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Program, and how much they are now projected to receive, depending upon what happens to the proposed state budget. The figures are beyond disappointing: Statewide, $158 million is due municipalities, by law; the Governor proposes to allocate $62.5 million, and end the program after that (FY 2017).Read More..
01/23/2015 - Senate President Wants Mandate Information
State Senate President Michael Thibodeau is aware there are too many unfunded state mandates placed on municipalities – and he wants to know more about them. Maine Municipal Association strongly encourages members to contact Sen. Thibodeau’s office (for directions on doing so, see the link below) with a list of mandates facing your town or city, and the effects of those mandates. Read More..
01/15/2015 - New Publication: Municipal Partnerships With State Government
Maine Municipal Association this week mailed to members and to legislators a report that details 20 programs that towns and cities operate on behalf of state government. They range from animal control to local General Assistance to conducting elections and enforcing state zoning and planning laws. The upshot: This is why the Municipal Revenue Sharing Act was passed in 1972, and why it should be fully funded. Municipal revenue sharing provides meaningful financial recognition for important work that’s done at the municipal level. Read More..
01/09/2015 - NLC Congressional City Conference
The National League of Cities will hold its annual Congressional City Conference on March 7-11 in Washington, D.C. This is your chance to interact with and hear from federal officials whose decisions affect your communities and talk to Maine’s Congressional delegation. Maine Municipal Association sends a contingent to this event, and to meet with the delegation, every year.
01/06/2015 - MMA Fiscal Survey Released
Every year, Maine Municipal Association’s State & Federal Relations staff issues a report on how municipalities are handling their finances – revenues and expenditures. This year, participation dropped to 27 percent of our members, a sign that staffing cuts have affected our members’ ability to participate in the extensive survey. The low response rate makes comparisons to previous years unreliable. However, the partial results may have value, so we are releasing what was reported.
12/31/2014 - Real Estate Forecast Conference
The Maine Real Estate and Development Association will host its annual forecast conference on Jan. 22 at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. This is the biggest gathering of commercial real estate professionals and developers held in Maine. The keynote speaker will be Michael Dolega, senior economist at TD Economics. Gov. Paul LePage will deliver opening remarks.
12/16/2014 - Remaining ‘Electioneering’ Lawsuit Counts Dismissed
Maine Superior Court Justice M. Michaela Murphy on Monday dismissed both remaining counts from a 2010 lawsuit filed by plaintiffs represented by the Maine Heritage Policy Center against Maine Municipal Association, regarding MMA’s involvement in five citizens’ initiative referendum campaigns from 2003-09. Chief U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. in 2013 dismissed the relevant federal counts in the lawsuit, providing MMA with a clear victory. Judge Woodcock remanded two state law claims to the state court. With Justice Murphy’s ruling on Monday, MMA has prevailed on all counts in summary judgment, both in Federal and State court. Justice Murphy also denied the plaintiffs’ request to restrict MMA from participating in future referendum campaigns or otherwise limiting MMA’s advocacy activities.
12/05/2014 - MMA Case Remanded to State Court
Chief U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. on Thursday issued a 33-page ruling that remands a lawsuit filed on July 10 by Maine Municipal Association, and the cities of Portland and Westbrook, to state court. The lawsuit challenges the manner in which the state Department of Health & Human Services issued guidelines last June affecting how municipalities issue General Assistance to applicants who are “aliens who are not present lawfully in the U.S.” and how they are reimbursed for the state share of that assistance, if at all. DHHS had removed the case to federal court, but MMA and its co-plaintiffs asked Judge Woodcock to remand the case back to state court, where it originally was filed, because the only issue MMA and the two cities have advanced in court is how rules should be developed and implemented under state law. We have not advanced in court the issue of providing General Assistance to non-citizens. MMA’s request was granted.
11/19/2014 - Constitution Speakers
The Liberty Day Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1996, encourages Maine municipal officials to visit 5th grade classrooms in their communities to review and discuss the U.S. Constitution. The organization also strives to get pocket-sized copies of the Constitution into Maine students’ hands.
11/10/2014 - Revenue Sharing: By the Numbers
Municipal officials are asking for up-to-date, statewide numbers on Revenue Sharing “raids” by the state over the years and actual distributions. A state law enacted in 1972 says that 5 percent of all state income and sales tax revenue should be distributed each year to towns and cities.