New Issue of Maine Policy Review

The latest issue of Maine Policy Review is now available for download on Digital Commons. MPR Volume 25, number 2, features an essay from Maine Sen. Angus King on climate change and articles on  topics of healthcare, bond referenda, international trade, and municipal waste reduction. Commentaries address the Arctic Council, the presidential election, and financial literacy. This issue also includes the 2016 Margaret Chase Smith Library high school essay contest winners.

Terry Hayes is Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Feb. 23rd

Maine State Treasurer Terry Hayes will visit UMaine on Thursday, February 23, as the next Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow. Hayes served in the Maine House of Representatives from 2006 through 2014, representing parts of Oxford County, and was recently re-elected by a bi-partisan majority as Maine State Treasurer. During her day at UMaine she will meet with students, faculty, and researchers on campus. A public reception will be held at the University Club in Fogler Library at 4:00PM. Her visit is sponsored by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Maine Business School.

Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows are prominent Maine individuals with past or current careers as policy makers in the state. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center brings these individuals to campus for a day to teach an undergraduate class, engage faculty about research and public policy, and meet with UMaine administration and graduate students. More information is available on the webpage of the Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows Program.

Maine Government Summer Internship Program is accepting applications

The Maine Government Summer Internship Program is accepting applications for the summer of 2017. The internship provides an opportunity for students to spend 12 weeks in full-time, paid positions in Maine state, local or county government positions. The application deadline is March 1. Students must be in at least their second year of college. Students enrolled in a Maine college or students from Maine enrolled elsewhere are eligible, The 2017 program will run from May 30 to Aug. 18.

Links to the online application are available on the internship section of our website. The program accepts applications from students at the same time as it accepts requests from agencies who wish to host an intern.

Student Application
State Application
Municipal/Regional Application


Trostel Commentary on Higher Ed Benefits Published in Chronicle of Higher Education

MCS Policy Center and School of Economics Professor Phil Trostel’s commentary on the public benefits of higher education appears in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. Trostel has focused recent research on measuring benefits of a higher education. In this article he states that in addition to increasing graduates’ wages, health status and length of life, having completed a higher degree leads to the following public benefits: increased productivity, increased financing of government-provided goods,  increased charitable giving, and increased civic engagement. Trostel notes that higher education is not only a private good, with benefits accruing to the student, but is, as importantly, a public good with important public benefits to society.

Read the article Beyond the College Earnings Premium. Way Beyond.

Philip Trostel is the author of the recent Lumina Foundation report “It’s Not Just the Money: The Benefits of College Education to Individuals and to Society.”

Policy Center work on trade deal noted in Bangor Daily News

Professor Phil Trostel’s 2016 research on the impacts of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Maine was mentioned in an article in today’s Bangor Daily News.

President Donald Trump on Monday officially withdrew the United States from negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal proposed by former President Barack Obama’s administration to lower tariffs and establish new industry standards between the United States and 11 other countries. The study by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine had  projected a modest impact on the state of Maine.

Read the BDN article Here’s what Trump spiking an Asia trade deal could mean for Maine

New article on biofuels for transportation energy

A new article discussing the “Implications of U.S. biofuels policy for sustainable transportation energy in Maine and the Northeast” is published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews by authors Binod Neupane of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  and Jonathan Rubin of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.

Drop-in biofuels that are compatible with the existing vehicle and retail infrastructure continue to receive great attention due to their promise in addressing climate change and energy security concerns stemming from use of petroleum-based fuels. This paper discusses current drop-in biofuel production technologies and assesses relevant biofuel policies in the U.S., particularly those impacting forest biomass in Maine and the Northeast. In this context, authors examine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) policy and its definition of biomass which favors biomass from plantations regardless of actual ecological impacts on biodiversity, soil and water quality. They argue that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should consider revising the definition of biomass eligible for renewable fuel credits to include sustainably managed natural forests.

2017 Policy Leaders Academy Summit

Looking Ahead: Growing Maine’s Economy for All

Please join us for the 1st Annual Policy Leaders Academy Summit. 

The summit will provide up-to-date information about the state of Maine’s economy and will highlight critical trends, challenges, and opportunities to include human capital needs, now and in the future. State legislators will be joined by other leaders from the public, for-profit business, and non-profit business sectors to explore strategies and actions to systematically ramp up both the quantity and quality of the state’s workforce and catalyze business innovation and entrepreneurship in all regions of the state.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
7:45 AM
3:30 PM
Augusta Civic Center


Thank you to our Partners and Funders who make PLA possible:
The Maine Chamber
Maine Health Access Foundation
Maine Community Foundation
Educate Maine
Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
The Maine Legislature


Plenary 1: Workforce Challenges and Opportunities – Strengthening Maine’s “Human Capital Pipeline”
Plenary 2: Business Challenges and Opportunities –Leveraging Maine’s Assets Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
In breakout sessions, legislators will study four critical, interdependent components of a strong and sustainable Maine economy.
Breakout 1: Education and Training
Breakout 2: Health and Productivity
Breakout 3: Business Climate and Entrepreneurship
Breakout 4: Technology and Innovation

Maine NEW Leadership Application Open

Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership will host its annual six-day residential undergraduate student leadership training program June 1 – June 6, 2017 at the University of Maine.  We are looking for a diverse group of students who are motivated to learn about the importance of women’s participation in public life and to develop their own leadership skills.

As always, this six day program is completely free and is available to any full time college students who are either Maine residents or attending college in Maine. International students and May 2017 graduates are welcome as well!

The deadline is February 1, and all of the information and online applications are here:…/maine-new-leadership/


Jonathan Rubin presents to U.S. Transportation Research Board

Policy Center director Jonathan Rubin gave a research presentation at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting, held January 8–12, 2017 in Washington, D.C.  The introduction of automated vehicles requires new approaches to transportation policy and Rubin’s research examines the efficient taxation policies for automated vehicles.

Leiby, Paul and Jonathan Rubin, “Efficient Fuel and VMT Taxation for Automated Vehicles,” in Methods for Projecting and Evaluating Energy and Demand Impacts of Vehicle Automation, Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 8, 2017.

The annual transportation meeting addresses topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. The theme for the 2017 meeting was Transportation Innovation: Leading the Way in an Era of Rapid Change.


Summer intern’s work now offered as a free finance guide

State Offers New Consumer Booklet Free to Maine Residents:
“On the Money – A Young Person’s Guide to Personal Finance”

Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection announces the release of a new consumer publication, “The Downeaster Common Sense Guide: On the Money – A Young Person’s Guide to Personal Finance.” The booklet is one of the many products of Maine government enhanced by a college student’s 12-week summer internship through the Maine Government Summer Internship Program administered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. During the summer of 2016 thirty-nine college students worked in internships in Maine state and municipal governments through this internship program.

Kyrie Johnson, who co-authored the guide while serving a Maine Government Summer Intern in the Bureau, emphasized the value of the publication for young people.  “As a current college student, I believe the topics in this guide are exactly the ones that many young adults say they lack basic knowledge.  We learn many subjects in school, but from K-12 and in post-secondary education it’s rare to find courses that cover financial literacy.  I hope this booklet will make a positive difference in the financial well-being of my peers.”

Bureau Principal Examiner David Leach, who coauthored the guide, said it will help people become more “situationally-aware” when facing major decisions or making key choices about their finances, including:

  • The financing of a vehicle or student loans
  • Establishing and maintaining credit responsibly
  • The significance of credit reports and credit scores
  • The fundamentals of purchasing stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments
  • Comparison-shopping for the lowest annual percentage rate (APR) when using credit
  • The basics of auto, home, life and health insurance
  • Realizing that credit cards do not represent “free money,” and that charges and cash advances must be paid back, with interest
  • Avoiding too-good-to-be-true fraudulent offers, such as foreign lottery winnings, no-interest loans, or no-risk investments

On the Money is the 10th Downeaster consumer protection guide released by the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection in the past eight years,” Leach said.  “Our goal is to provide essential financial literacy publications on a variety of topics, including auto and home buying, the responsible use of credit cards, comparison shopping for student loans, understanding credit reports and file freezes, helping elders fight back against financial exploitation, and recognizing financial scams.”

The online version of this new guide and all other “Downeaster Common Sense” financial publications can be found at by clicking “Publications” and finding “On the Money.” Copies can also be ordered by calling the Bureau at 1-800-332-8529 (toll-free in Maine) or 624-8527.

The Maine Government Summer Internship Program places college students in 12-week internships with state or municipal government agencies in Maine. More information on the program is available under Student Programs on our website: