March 29, 2017

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Politics & Legislation
We Did It!
Nov 07, 2012
Governor Angus King Elected as our next U.S. Senator! To all of our members and their families that worked hard with us to elect Governor King as the next U.S. Senator from our Great State of Maine. I just want to thank all of you for your efforts. Your support and involvement with this campaign and this election cycle was noted and greatly appreciated.
PFFM Endorsed Candidates For the November 6, 2012 General Elections
Sep 29, 2012

Click here for list


PFFM Endorsed Candidates For the November 6, 2012 General Elections
Sep 29, 2012
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Download: 2012 PFFM LEGISLATIVE ENDORSEMENTS (1).docx

2010 PFFM Endorsed State Candidates
Sep 23, 2012

Download: 2010_PFFM_LEGISLATIVE_ENDORSEMENTS.docx

2012 PFFM Election Questionnaire
Sep 09, 2012
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Download: 2012_PFFM_Election_Questionnaire.doc

House Adopts Budget Plan that Targets Fire Fighters
May 17, 2012
May 10, 2012 – The House of Representatives has brushed aside objections from the White House and the IAFF to endorse a budget plan that will result in significant cutbacks in fire protection and require federal fire fighters to pay more out of pocket to qualify for a pension. The legislation, HR 5652, was approved by a vote of 218-199.
9/11Act passes with Support of Maine Delegation
Dec 30, 2010
9/11 Health Compensation Act Becomes LawOn December 22, 2010, the last day of the 111th Congress, the 9/11 James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act became law. The long struggle to honor those who died on that fateful day and to take care of our brothers and sisters who worked Ground Zero in the following months has ended in victory.
Maine Legislator/Firefighter Speaks Out
Dec 19, 2010
http://www.pressherald.com/news/mainer-urges-extra-ground-zero-help_2010-12-19.
Office of the Governor
Jul 19, 2008

Maine's House of Representatives
Jul 19, 2008

Maine's State Senate
Jul 19, 2008

U.S. Senator Sue Collins
Jul 19, 2008

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Jul 19, 2008

U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree [1st Congressional District]
Jul 19, 2008

U.S. Representative Mike Michaud [2nd Congressional District]
Jul 19, 2008

Election Results - Check here
Nov 05, 2008

Firefighters Elected to Maine House of Representatives
Nov 07, 2008
November 6---Two candidates with ties to the IAFF and the PFFM were elected to the Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 4.     Representative Benjamin Marriner Pratt, D-Eddington, was reelected to represent House District 20, which covers the towns of Bradley, Brewer, Clifton, Dedham, Eddington and Holden. Rep
PFFM's 2008 Endorsed State Candidates
Oct 05, 2008

New Feature: Make Your Voice Count Forms
Jul 11, 2008
The Make Your Voice Count forms allow users to send a direct email containing a pre-composed subject and message to the representatives that you specify for the form. For example, create a campaign to allow users to send a message to the mayor and all city council members of your city urging them to vote for a certain piece of legislation
LD 1292 Enacted
Jun 05, 2009
        On Thursday, June 4, 2009 both the Maine House and Senate Enacted LD 1292 , An Act to Provide More Transparency and Protection for Public Employees in the Laws Governing the Maine Public Employees Retirement System . The bill has now been sent to the Governor for his signature to become law and he is expected to sign the legislation
LD 550 Smoke/CO Bill Gets Final Passage
May 16, 2009
   LD 550 Smoke/CO Bill Gets Final Passage"An Act To Protect Maine Residents from Home Fires and Carbon Monoxide", with a unanimous vote of 35-0. The bill will now go to the Governor’s desk for his signature
This is the federal FF presumptive bill… Senator Collins takes up our cause…
May 21, 2009

This is the federal FF presumptive bill… Senator Collins takes up our cause…

 
At the below link you will find a video of the Senate Committee meeting marking up S599 the Federal Fire Fighters Fairness Act.  Discussion regarding S599 begins at the 47 minute mark on the video.
 
 

US House Approves Landmark Health Reform
Nov 19, 2009

November 10, 2009 – By a 220-215 vote late Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the most comprehensive reform of our nation’s health insurance system since Congress created Medicare and Medicaid over four decades ago. The bill (H.R. 3962) creates a new insurance exchange similar to the one available to members of Congress and expands Medicaid to reduce our nation’s uninsured population by over two-thirds—all without taxing health benefits.

After months of hearings and years of debate, the three relevant committees in the House—Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor—passed their versions of the health reform bill before the August recess. Last week, House leadership rolled out a compromise bill reconciling the differences between the committee drafts, and making key concessions to appeal to conservative Blue Dog Democrats who have been concerned about the overall cost of the package. Passage was secured by last-minute deals on two controversial issues: barring illegal immigrants from participating in the new health programs and reducing insurance coverage of abortion.

The IAFF, along with other unions and led by congressional champion Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), successfully beat back efforts to tax benefits to pay for reform. The bill would instead impose a surtax on those making over $1 million a year. “There is a right way and a wrong way to pay for healthcare reform,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “The House bill is the right way, without taxing our members’ hard-earned health benefits.” The IAFF has made opposition to taxing health benefits the focal point of its health care lobbying. “We will continue to oppose any proposal to tax our members’ insurance benefits,” adds Schaitberger.

The bill addresses the two biggest health care challenges—the increasing cost of insurance and the growing ranks of the uninsured—in several different ways. The exchange created by the bill would help drive down the cost of health care by promoting competition between insurance companies, and the expansion of Medicaid would provide coverage to many people who currently cannot afford to buy insurance.

Other important provisions of the bill include a $10 billion retiree reinsurance program to encourage employers—including state and local governments—to provide coverage to retirees; insurance reforms that prohibit insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions; eliminating the Medicare “donut hole”; and an increase in federal assistance to state Medicaid programs, giving states some much-needed budget relief. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that once the reforms are fully implemented, the legislation will significantly reduce federal spending on health care and will reduce the overall federal debt.

House passage is merely one more step in a process that will continue for several more weeks. Senate leadership will soon unveil a compromise version of health care based on the work of two different committees. Once the bill reaches the Senate floor, a marathon floor debate is expected, likely to last weeks or even months. President Obama continues to press the House and Senate to put a bill on his desk by the end of the year.

 


LD 1558 Reported out Unanimous Ought to Pass from Labor Committee
Feb 12, 2010
On Thursday, February 11, 2010 the Labor Committee "Reconsidered" it's Committee Amendment on LD 1558 and voted out a "Unanimous Ought To Pass" report. This is good news for the bill "An Act Regarding Accidental Death Benefits for Beneficiaries of Deceased Firefighters" as it will now move over to the State House for consideration in the Senate and then the House.
During last Monday's Labor Committee Work Session, serious discussions were held with members from both political sides of the Labor Committee, the Maine Municipal Association representative and leadership from the PFFM. The conversations were open and frank and at the end of a long afternoon an acceptable bi-partisan agreement was reached between the members of the Labor Committee and the PFFM. Both Democrat and Republican committee members worked in good faith with the PFFM trying to find workable language all could agree upon. The Committee Amendment was moved with a 12-1vote on that day. The bill was brought up again in Work Session on Thursday, 2/11/2010, and asked to be "Reconsidered" and this time the vote was unanimous in    favor of passage.
The essence of the bill is that if a qualifying member of MainePERS dies as result of injury or disease as a result of cardiovascular or pulmonary disease in the course of employment as an employee, within 30 days of the death MainePERS will award the beneficiary of that firefighter an Accidental Death Benefit. If the death occurs 30 days out to 6 months there is a rebuttable presumption that the death occurred as a result of employment as an employee.
MainePERS will be working on Rules surrounding the rebuttable presumption and will be reviewed by the Labor Committee. In order for the firefighter to be eligible for this provision they must have participated in fire fighting, or training or drill that actually involved fire fighting. This language largely mirrors existing Workers Compensation statute for rebutable presumption involving cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. The bill is also retroactive to November 1, 2004.
The legislation will shortly be reported out of committee and then move onto the Senate and then House for consideration. We need to ensure that we follow through as we have done with other bills in the past. There are no guarantees and we will need to work hard to ensure final passage. We will be calling upon all of you to contact your Legislators about LD 1558 and also asking you to once again come to Augusta in support of this legislation.
Thanks to all our members who have attended the Public Hearing and Work Sessions up to this point. The presence of PFFM members in the committee room was instrumental in our success so far and shows the importance of this bill to the Labor Committee members. We will update you as we move forward and with requests for your help. Please follow updates on our web site for talking points and other important information on this legislation.

 

 

 
 
John Martell
President
Professional Fire Fighters of Maine

 

 



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