The wood products and fishing industries, especially lobster, remain critical to the Pine Tree State’s economy. A decade ago, Maine had the highest combined state and local tax burden in the nation. But in recent years, the Legislature cut taxes, leaving lawmakers to wrestle with budget and public pension shortfalls. To help increase access to dental care cost-effectively, the Legislature recently passed a law creating a midlevel dental professional called a dental hygiene therapist, which could help expand dental care options for underserved populations.  

By the numbers
  • $400 million amount of tax cuts over two-year period beginning in 2013

  • $40 billion Maine’s public pension liability, with only 70 percent funded

  • 90%decline in population of New England river herring, a critical species for Maine’s fishing industry

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Pew Commends Maine for Authorizing Dental Hygienists

Maine is the 3rd State to Authorize Midlevel Practitioners

The law, passed with bipartisan support and signed by Governor Paul LePage (R), authorizes dental hygiene therapists who will be licensed to perform both preventive and routine restorative dental care, such as filling cavities, and who will work under the supervision of dentist.

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