Rep. Jay McCreight


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May 22, 2020

Greetings! 

For 10 weeks now I’ve been sending you regular updates about the evolving COVID-19 situation in Maine. This week I’ve included information about the Governor’s revised reopening plan and resources to help you navigate the pandemic, but I also wanted to take some time to focus on non-coronavirus updates.  

From Teacher of the Year awards to information on how to ward off browntail moths, it’s important to remember that, while COVID-19 has changed our lives a lot, many things have stayed the same. 

Below you’ll find a number of items that I hope will be helpful to you, and I want to remind you that, even in this time, I am available to serve you in all the ways I normally do. Please never hesitate to reach out with your questions, needs and concerns.

 

All my best,

 

Joyce "Jay" McCreight

Serving District 51

207-449-3293

jay.mccreight@legislature.maine.gov

 

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COVID-19 UPDATES - REOPENING CHANGES AND EXPANDED TESTING

 

Gov. Mills has announced that Maine residents may now enjoy campgrounds beginning this Memorial Day weekend. She has also updated guidance for all lodging providers to allow them to accept future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1 and beyond for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement. However, it has also been announced that the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers and nail salons has been delayed in light of emerging research and experiences in other states of COVID-19 transmission linked to these establishments reopening. The latest details of the reopening plan can be found at this website.

I’m also pleased to share that since our COVID-19 testing capacity has tripled, thanks to the IDEXX partnership, testing prioritization has been eliminated - meaning doctors are now able to order tests for anyone they suspect needs one.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SAGADAHOC COUNTY TEACHER OF THE YEAR!

 

Bree Candland of Mt. Ararat High School is the 2020 Sagadahoc County Teacher of the Year! Congratulations on this well-deserved honor. And thank you to ALL the wonderful educators in our district.

 

DOES THE STATE OWE YOU MONEY?

 

Each year, tens of millions of dollars go unclaimed in Maine. These financial assets are turned over by national and local businesses and organizations that lose contact with the rightful owners of the funds. The State Treasurer holds these assets until claimed by the owner or heir. Find out if any of these funds belong to you, your business, your friends or your family by visiting: www.maineunclaimedproperty.gov.

 

WARD OFF BROWNTAIL MOTHS

 

It’s browntail moth season. These pests harm our trees and wood products and can be annoying or even dangerous to humans in some cases. Clip and destroy any webs you see as soon as possible to prevent increases in the browntail moth population.

 

PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDIT

 

Eligible Maineå taxpayers may receive a portion of their property tax or rent paid during the tax year on their Maine individual income tax return whether they owe Maine income tax or not. Homeowners or renters who meet certain income and property tax and/or rent paid limitations during the tax year may qualify. Limits have increased, so if you were not eligible before, you may be now. To learn more follow this link or call Maine Revenue Services at (207) 626-8475.

 

THIS SUMMER, EXPLORE MAINE

 

One of the best ways to pass the time during COVID-19 is to get outside, while maintaining a six foot distance from others. While some coastal state parks are closed until June 1, many others remain open, and they are incredible places to visit. You can search for state parks based on the region or activity you’re looking for at this link. And you can find information on passes and fees here. If you like to fish, check out this year’s fish stocking report as you decide where to head out on the water.

 

FREE CLASSES FOR 2020 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

 

Maine’s community colleges have provided our 2020 high school graduates with an awesome gift, free summer courses! Students interested in getting a head start on their college career will be eligible to choose from online college-level classes in English, math, sciences, languages, psychology, history, digital photography, creative writing and more. More information and details on how to register are available at this link.

 

LEGISLATIVE SCHOLARSHIPS

 

Each year the Maine Legislature recognizes one student from each county who is currently pursuing or planning to pursue education at a two- or four-year degree-granting Maine college or technical school with a scholarship. This year's application deadline has been extended to June 1. Learn more and apply at this link.

 

FREQUENTLY USED RESOURCES

 

As always, here’s a set of resources to help with the most common COVID-19 problems Mainers are facing:

 

·  statewide COVID-19 response website that includes a directory of how each Maine agency is responding, as well as resources for health care, small businesses, education, family care and more.

·  A website outlining Maine’s approach to restarting the economy.

·  COVID-19 Rental Relief Program which allows households that meet certain criteria to receive a one-time, up to $500 payment in rental assistance to be paid directly to their landlord.

·  A Maine Department of Labor factsheet and COVID-19 webpage to help navigate unemployment insurance benefits. CEI has also put together a helpful website with tips for self-employed and other workers applying for PUA.

·  compilation of resources, updates and help created by Maine Equal Justice for Mainers trying to manage health care, food security, evictions, court proceedings and other issues during this time.

·  The website for small businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans through the US Small Business Administration.

·  Paycheck Protection Program implemented through the federal stimulus package. This program helps small businesses and sole proprietors access loans with loan forgiveness when they keep employees on their payroll.

·  Detailed information on the FAME COVID-19 Consumer Loan Guarantee Program offering low-or-no interest loans to qualifying applicants.

·  A resource to get answers any time by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211 or emailing info@211maine.org.

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