Correction: Maine Legislature story
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — In a story Jan. 9 about Democratic legislative priorities, The Associated Press incorrectly identified the Maine Senate president. His name is Justin Alfond, not Harold Alfond.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Maine Democrats outline legislative priorities
Maine Democrats outline legislative priorities; GOP calls them 'decades-old talking points'
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday they're going to focus during the legislative session on developing workforce skills, strengthening schools, lowering health care and energy costs and investing in research and infrastructure. Republicans questioned how the Democrats could afford to pay for the programs without higher taxes.
Democrats this month created a panel to address a "skills gap" cited by employers. A study by the state's community college says 4,000 jobs between now and 2018 will go unfilled because workers don't have skills that are sought by employers. In addition, Democrats said they will focus on public schools and early childhood education.
"We will make the classroom the best learning environment it can be by supporting our teachers, providing our schools with the tools they need and the dollars needed to acquire these tools," said Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland.
House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said lawmakers should continue to focus on bipartisan energy solutions, including increasing energy efficiency and reducing reliance on oil.
Eves and Alfond talked about collaboration with Republicans.