Citizens' Initiative

Investigating the left’s latest scam

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While Maine voters were out rejecting a plan for “Universal Home Care” on Election Day last week, the left-wing activist organization which spearheaded it, the Maine People’s Alliance, was out collecting signatures for its next policy disaster: mandatory earned paid sick leave for all workers and businesses in Maine.

Like most progressive ideas, this proposal would hurt many of the people it proposes to help. How many workers will be laid off in order for businesses finance this utopian folly?

We at the Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) are not wasting any time finding out. We are researching the language to find all the ways this plan will impact small business owners who would be forced to guarantee paid time off work for any employee (full-time, part-time and even seasonal workers) to care for friends or family members.

The proposal reads as follows: “’Employee’s family member’ means any individual…whose close association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship.” In other words, if my neighbor, who I may treat like family, is sick, my employer is now on the hook to pay me to stay home and make soup, while possibly paying another employee to cover my absence. I am not required to provide any documentation unless or until I use three or more consecutive days of earned paid sick leave.

With your support, we will determine how this proposal will impact the state, and together we will educate the public in the interest of improving the lives of Maine citizens.

Don’t think we can stop the momentum of the Left’s latest scam? Look at the results of Question 1 last week. When Mainers are given the facts, they make the choice to reject more taxes and unaccountable programs at the ballot box.

MHPC successfully garnered enough public comment to deliver the voters a more truthful ballot question. We called out the lies from the Left about the Universal Home Care program and the tax scheme to fund it. Our research uncovered the disastrous economic effects of the new taxes, plus the dangers of a new governing board, privacy violations and faulty incentives for providers.

MHPC held four public events around the state to energize people on the ground and disseminate crucial information on this ill-conceived plan. Ultimately, Mainers saw the facts and soundly defeated Question 1 by an almost-2-to-1 margin.

We can do it again. Working Mainers support a safety net to care for those who can’t care for themselves. But the paid sick leave mandate proposed by the Maine People’s Alliance is yet another shell game that will hurt more workers than it will help.

 

About Terry Brown

Terry Brown, of Yarmouth, served as the director of communications at The Maine Heritage Policy Center from 2017 through 2018. Prior to joining MHPC, he ran a communications consulting business with public and private sector clients including The World Bank. He previously worked as an analyst for Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, a press liaison at The White House, a media director for the US Olympic Committee, and a marketing executive at Citibank on Wall Street, and in Milan and Los Angeles.

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