Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature: Family Literacy Activity Calendar, Ice Thickness, Common Unemployment Insurance Questions, & More

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Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


State Library Marks Bicentennial with Family Literacy Activity Calendar

The Maine State Library is marking Maine's bicentennial year with the publication of the Maine Day by Day Family Literacy Activity Calendar.  The perpetual Calendar is designed to assist parents, caregivers, teachers, and librarians in creative activities that encourage emergent reading.

Thirty-thousand calendars were printed with funding from the Maine Bicentennial Commission, the David Family Foundation, and the Maine Community Foundation.  The Calendar is free, and copies are being distributed to libraries throughout the State to give to their patrons.

Each month features works from Maine authors and illustrators with a focus on a theme around which books, songs, activities, arts and cultural events, and health and family wellness information are centered.  The Calendar is an easy to use tool for anyone to work with kids on the five early literacy practices -- reading, writing, talking, playing, and singing.

Copies of the Calendar can be obtained at Maine public libraries.  If a library has not requested copies or need more, they can make a request through the Maine State Library Web site.


Ice Thickness Chart



CareerCenters Can Now Help with Common Unemployment Insurance Questions

Many Mainers are unemployed in the winter due to the seasonal nature of their jobs.  The Maine Department of Labor encourages people to apply for unemployment benefits for which they may be eligible and recognizes that this increase in people applying may cause long wait times to speak to an unemployment representative.  Unemployment staff are doing their best to respond to over 1,000 phone calls a week, and over 350 online inquiries a day.  In order to help claimants get their questions answered as quickly as possible, the Department is now providing an additional avenue for resolving issues such as being locked out of their account or needing to have their password reset.

CareerCenters at the following locations will now have staff available to address these basic unemployment questions from 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Augusta CareerCenter - 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta
  • Bangor CareerCenter – 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor
  • Northern Kennebec Valley CareerCenter – 23 Stanley Rd., Hinckley
  • Lewiston CareerCenter – 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston
  • Presque Isle CareerCenter – 66 Spruce St., Suite 1, Presque Isle
  • Greater Portland CareerCenter – 151 Jetport Blvd., Portland
  • Rockland CareerCenter – 91 Camden St., Suite 201, Rockland

For more complicated issues, claimants need to call the unemployment claims center at 1-800-593-7660 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, or leave an online message on the Department’s customer messaging portal which is available 24/7.


Information about REAL ID

The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress that establishes minimum federal standards for state issued driver's licenses and identification cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic commercial flight.

When applying for a Real ID Maine license or identification card, you must present documents that demonstrate:

  • identity (name and birth date);
  • lawful status in the United States;
  • a valid Social Security number or proof of ineligibility; and
  • Maine residency (at least two documents are required).

What happens after October 1, 2020?

Beginning October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL-ID compliant driver's license, identification card, or an acceptable alternative form of identification as approved by the TSA to board domestic commercial flights or enter a federal facility without a secondary form of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved identification.

Can I board a plane with the driver's license or identification card I have now?

Yes.  Current Maine issued driver's licenses and identification cards will remain acceptable as identification for boarding domestic commercial flights under the current extension until October 1, 2020.


Upcoming Public Hearings

Now that the Second Regular Session is in full swing, legislative committees are busy holding public hearings and work sessions.  Visit here for a complete list of scheduled committee work.