Golden Wraps Up Busy Work Period in Aroostook, Penobscot Counties
BANGOR — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) travelled throughout Aroostook and Penobscot Counties last week and over the weekend meeting with his constituents and staying connected to communities across the Second District.
The congressman began his week with a tour of the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor. Among the topics Golden and the hospital leaders discussed were obstacles the facility faced in offering telemedicine services, particularly the lower reimbursement rate for telemedicine. Golden is a cosponsor of the Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion Act, a bill that would help many providers expand their mental health telemedicine offerings to Medicare patients.
Later that day, the congressman visited GE Power in Bangor to tour the operation with Plant Manager Eric Anderson. He met workers and managers at the plant and learned about their work to build turbines capable of bringing power to more than a million homes. This week, Golden plans to support legislation to reauthorize and improve the Export-Import Bank, which has provided critical services to GE Power Bangor.
Golden met with Pottle’s Transportation, a trucking and transportation company with a location in Hermon, on Tuesday afternoon. Golden discussed with the truckers the challenges facing the trucking industry, including workforce shortages. The congressman is a cosponsor of the DRIVE SAFE Act, a bill that would remove obstacles for young Mainers to pursue careers in trucking. While in Hermon, he dropped by Hermon High School to meet with Maine Secondary School Principal of the year, Brian Walsh. Principal Walsh is working to develop a new program to provide his students with a pathway to a commercial driver’s license.
Tuesday evening brought Golden to Trenton, where he addressed the Downeast Community Partners annual meeting and answered questions from employees and stakeholders. Downeast Community Partners works to protect vulnerable Mainers in both Hancock and Washington Counties by working to improve quality of life, access to services, and opportunities for good jobs.
The congressman spent Wednesday in Orono at the University of Maine. His first stop was the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, where he learned about the impressive tools they’ve developed to predict the effects of climate change in the Gulf of Maine. The technology could be critical for understanding the implications of climate change on Maine industries.
Later that day, he joined Professor Mark Brewer’s Advanced Theory and Leadership class at the University of Maine and observed the work of UMaine’s Cooperative Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory to understand the impact of climate change on agricultural pests and how ocean acidification will affect lobsters.
Golden wrapped up his time in Orono with a visit to Cerahelix, a small business that has developed some of the world’s most innovative water filters using DNA-based nanofiltration.
Golden spent Veterans Day weekend in Aroostook County, beginning with a flag retirement and flag raising ceremony by the Student Veterans Association at the University of Maine Fort Kent. At the ceremony, Golden presented a new flag his office had directed be flown over the U.S. Capitol. He also joined American Legion Commander Matthew Jabaut and Siiri Mahonen in the laying of the wreath.
The Congressman then stopped by two veteran-owned businesses in Fort Kent: Crossings, a recently reopened business which put on a lunch with the University of Maine at Fort Kent Chapter of Student Veterans of America, and the Sears Hometown Store, a business that has been assisted by the local Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Fort Kent. They discussed some of the challenges of running a small business in Northern Maine. Last month, Golden passed a bill through the House that would reauthorize and expand the SBDC program nationally.
After spending time in the Allagash with state Sen. Troy Jackson and his family, Golden stopped in Wallagrass to discuss labor and health care issues with loggers. The congressman closed out his time in Aroostook County in Caribou for Veterans Day. He joined veterans, their families, and community members at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery on a frigid Monday morning to pay their respects to Maine veterans. Golden delivered remarks and chatted with local veterans at the event.