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Group Turns In Petitions In Bid To Expand Home Health Care …

Backed by the Maine People’s Alliance, a progressive advocacy group, supporters of a citizens’ initiative to expand access for in-home care for seniors and the disabled, and increase pay for providers, say they’ve turned in the required number of petition signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Miri Lyons of Boothbay Harbor was one of those circulating petitions. “Too many people with disabilities can’t get the care they need,” she said at an Augusta news conference. “Homecare for all will fix that. It’s a guarantee that if you need help staying in your home, you will get it.”

The MPA says it filed 67,000 signatures with the Secretary of State. Just over 61,000 signatures are needed to force the legislature to consider the proposal.

The measure would expand home care services by instituting a new payroll tax on those who make more than $127,000 a year. That tax would generate about $130 million a year for new services and pay increases for providers.

It immediately drew opposition from business groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses. They claim the plan would hurt economic growth.


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