Lewiston Maine. This past year, Lewiston had two house fires due to lighting by candles. A seven year old girl died. No we are not talking about a romantic dinner. The families electricity, been cut off due to lack of payment. They were lighting by candles
A Lawmaker decides she knows the way to fix the situation. She will pass a law telling the landlord his tenants are in a financial bad time. Due to their inability to pay bills they might be putting his property at risk of burning.
This compassionate lawmaker is hosting a bill to inform landlords of the tenants default on paying their electric bills. I think with the idea the land owner will pay the bill and tact the cost onto his sum of income. The TV News took this opportunity a chance to focus on the proposed law. The news touched upon the fact this might break the privacy of the renter.
But beyond that fact, is that evening with the most caring landlord, he or she would be placing their earning at risk by paying the renters electric. The easiest course is to evict the family. This would place individuals and families at risk of homelessness.
This bill does not address the CAUSE of the family being unable to cover the full cost of one of the basics of life. Which simply is the family is extremely underpaid.
Nor does the bill, require programs already in place to aid by paying enough of the electric bill to keep the electricity on. But the news story mentioned the last hope of help General Assistance, as a means of overcoming ones lack. Two thirds who apply are denied, even through they qualify fr the aid. So why should landlords be any kinder then people who transpose state laws?
There is gentlemen's pact entry level employment will not pay more than $8.50 an hour. Factories and unionized worker have a different income limit that, most producers abide by. The pact is way under the amount required to pay all one bills.
To pay all ones bills in a month a Maine think tank decided it would cost $17.40 an hour. If that figure is examined in comparison to what HUD says is required to pay the rent, some where around $15.59 an hour, the think tanks number, seems to be a low estimation.
A person working 40 hours a week would have about $2.00 an hour or $80 dollars a week, before taxes to live on. That is barely enough to buy food for two people. Bit bet you with Uncle Sam's cut , the person would be lucky to have half of that amount left.
What if this law would did past? Would it criminalize the low paying employers? No it would criminalize the poorly paid. Maine employers routinely pay under the Livable wage to 70% of all of Maine employee's. And this is representative of the USA. Notifying the landlord of the renters inability to pay, is the not the core problem.
Having a job paying livable wage, is. One out of three flipping burgers are over 24 years of age. Employers should be ashamed of their pact, to pay less than the needs. While it would be in the land owner's best interest to pay the electric, in the long run. He would then have wait to be reimbursed. So even through house fires or fatal house fire result in 2 of 1,000 people without electric but all could be penalized.
A renter having electrical power cut, would turn into a reason to evict. That would be the simplest of steps in the landlords own self interest.
If this lawmaker wanted to aid the poor, the best avenue would be to talk with the poor ourselves. We Know the Solutions. The poor would say better pay, and more purchasing power, is the best way, to overcome this problem. No child, or adults should die in house fires. If pays were adequate, the Utilities would be paid. Its a late millionaire saying this, not just us poor. There should be no working poor. The poor knows this.
If news were in-depth, the problems would be fixed.