Augusta – Senator David Burns (R-Washington) is continuing his work to coordinate with federal and state agencies to ensure Washington County receives assistance in the wake of the harsh 2015 winter.

“Throughout this winter I have been in touch with town and county officials, as well as citizens throughout Washington County, who have had a difficult time keeping up with snow removal,” said Senator Burns. “I remain in close contact with local officials, as well as the head of Maine’s Emergency Management Agency, as we work to present our case to the federal government that Washington County should absolutely qualify for emergency relief.”

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards for disaster assistance rely on an “incident period,” for determining if snowfall exceeds a set limit. A recent declaration of three southern Maine counties qualifying for FEMA assistance was based on those counties receiving a certain amount of snowfall over a three-day period.

Senator Burns is continuing to make the case to officials that though Washington County did not exceed a set limit in any one “incident,” Washington County has been regularly and frequently inundated with snow storms larger than usual since December. The size and frequency of the storms has made normal snow removal impossible.

“I am hopeful we will have a resolution soon,” said Senator Burns. “Washington County needs this assistance, and I plan to continue working with all interested parties at all government levels to get emergency relief for our region. I have been pleased with the communication and work of Washington County’s Emergency Management Agency, County Commissioners, town officials, and Maine Emergency Management Agency as they have endeavored to collect all of the necessary information over this long and hard winter to justify federal assistance for Washington County.”

Senator David Burns Appointed to Right To Know Advisory Committee

Augusta – Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) has appointed Senator David Burns (R-Washington) as a member of the Right To Know Advisory Committee.

“It’s an honor to be named to this important committee,” said Senator Burns. “An essential part of our representative form of government is ensuring that there is open dialogue between citizens and their government. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to ensure that openness is protected in Maine.”

The Right To Know Advisory Committee was created to serve as a resource and advisor about Maine’s Freedom of Access laws. The Advisory Committee may make recommendations for changes in statutes to improve the laws and may make recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and local and governmental entities with regard to best practices in providing the public access to records and proceedings and to maintain the integrity of the Freedom of Access laws.

In addition to Senator Burns, there are 15 other members of the Committee, including representatives of the media, a member of the Maine House of Representatives, and appointees of the Judicial and Executive Branches.

Senator David Burns Leads Efforts to Assist Maine’s Aging Population

Augusta – At a press conference held today, Senator David Burns (R-Washington) joined Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick) to speak about legislation to help Maine’s aging population. Senator Burns and Speaker Eves co-chair the Legislature’s bipartisan Caucus on Aging.

In addition to his work with the Caucus on Aging and his support of the proposed bond to ensure Maine’s seniors have access to affordable housing, Senator Burns is sponsoring several bills aimed at solving issues Maine’s older populations face.

“Washington County has one of the highest populations of senior citizens in the state, and that’s a major reason why I’m so involved in these issues,” said Senator Burns. “I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the affordable housing bond, but also recognize there are other areas in which Maine can improve its policy to help seniors. That is why I’ll be sponsoring several pieces of legislation this session to address a variety of needs for seniors.”

Among the legislation Senator Burns is sponsoring is a measure to increase reimbursement rates for Private NonMedical Institutions, as well as a measure to expand access to adult family care homes in Washington County. A member of the Legislature’s Long Term Care Commission, Senator Burns is also a co-sponsor of the legislation suggested by the Commission.

“I’m glad that we have a group of lawmakers from different regions and different political parties ready to make a difference for Maine’s seniors,” said Senator Burns. “From aging in place to ensuring our nursing facilities are adequately funded, we have a lot of work to do. Part of making sure Maine’s seniors have what they need is as basic as strengthening our economy – a stronger economy means more resources for those in need. That’s at the forefront of my legislative priorities, and will also help shape how I approach seniors’ issues.”

Senator Burns is serving his second term in the Maine State Senate. He serves the people of District 6, which is made up of Washington County and part of Hancock County.