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MORA Meeting

June 8, 2005



Attending:       Jonathan Lepoff; Leslie Manning; Desi-Rae Mason; Steve Greeley; Lyndon Hamm; John Rioux; Ted Bradstreet; Jeff Levesque; Leslie Walleigh; Ruth Lawon-Stopps; Ginger Jordan-Hillier; Saskia Janes; John Newton; Sharon D'Orsie; Linda Nickerson; Carol Eckert


Absent:           Dwight Littlefield; Steve Minkowsky; Ivan Most; Valerie Carter; Peter

Crockett; Denise Dumont; Pat Philbrook, Brad Brown




Jonathan Lepoff opened the meeting at 9:12 a.m.  Introductions of those in attendance were made. 


Minutes of April 13, 2005:


Motion made by Leslie Manning to approve the Minutes of April 13th.  Seconded by Jonathan Lepoff.  A question arose asking what FROI means, as well as MO's.  FROI is first report of injury and MO's is medical only. 


The minutes were voted on and approved.


Future of MORA:


Lyndon Hamm advised attendees that he was there to facilitate the meeting as members expressed concerns regarding MORA's future and structure, as well as maintaining its independence.  Lyndon advised that they needed to check with the Attorney General's office for clarification.


Leslie Manning advised that Gwen Thomas of the AG's office was going to have an interpretation prepared by the end of June. 


Discussion followed and Carol Eckert questioned if such an entity could exist by state standards since the state cannot lobby before the legislature but public members can.  She also wanted to know how MORA could control monies so that it wouldn't go into the General Fund and be self- chartered.


At this time, Lyndon used the flip charts to itemize topics of concern.  Topics are listed below.


I.                     Entity

·                     Committee

·                     Non-profit

·                     Legal questions - lobbying

·                     Advocacy - should be a small part i.e., research happens then follow-ups


·                     Clearing House

·                     Research $$ Dilemma

·                     Advisory

·                     Champion/networking

·                     Group of lone rangers?


II.                  Problems with current MORA

·                     $$ lack of

·                     time/staff

·                     lack of MORA members involvement

·                     political  constraints on state employees

·                     advocacy plays in the above

·                     loose structure

·                     no accountability


Lengthy discussion on the above items transpired.  Carol Eckert stated that they did not know if there was a smaller committee in the state that provided the same services and whether it would be somewhat duplication.


Ginger Jordan-Hillier stated that MORA does not have the money and depends on the Department/Bureau and also did not want to jeopardize relationships.


Sharon D'Orsie stated that the parties need to work together to be most effective and compliment each other.  She also wanted to know more on how they would take on disbursing, raising, and collecting funds.


Ruth Lawon-Stopps stated the MORA currently has no way to handle money. 


Jeff Levesque advised that funding sources are less and money for interns and for research projects is getting smaller. 


Jonathan Lepoff asked what part PDAG plays here and if it could exist without MORA.


Leslie Manning brought up the need to determine the "structure" and what they plan to accomplish. 


Ginger Jordan-Hillier wanted to know what BLS was willing to continue to commit to.


Ruth Lawson-Stopps stated that the big issue is how they are going to be an advisory group, obtaining research information and seeing that something happens with that information. 


Leslie Manning advised that BLS cannot dedicate staff, although they are willing to help, cannot continue to provide staffing.


Carol Eckert stated that not all members have people on staff to be able to assist, as some are from public and not state.


More discussion followed on non-profit, political action committees, and structural procedures for the purpose of lobbying and if a separate group is necessary for advocacy.


Ginger Jordan-Hillier suggested an advisory group and a "friends of MORA" group and that the two groups did not have to be integrated. 


The "friends of MORA" would accept funds.  Discussion followed on how money was handled for the recent symposium at UNE. 


John stated that he was somewhat confused and should MORA be non-profit versus need to separate from DOL?  Ginger Jordan-Hillier responded that the structure would be two groups and statutorily connected to Labor.


Therefore, would MORA be an advisory group by an Executive Order?  Lengthy discussion followed on how groups are created under an executive order. 


Question arose if language could be crafted so that the current MORA members would be the same members under an executive order. 


Members broke for a five-minute break.


The meeting reconvened at 11:02 a.m. Lyndon reviewed the flip charts. Was MORA to be an advisory group or a more formal group?


Ruth Lawson-Stopps suggested that they talk to Commissioner Fortman to get her opinion before moving forward.


With a show of hands, is the general consensus to be that MORA should remain an advisory group formally connected to DOL/BLS and that one does not preclude the other?  (8 hands)


Leslie Manning stated that she would discuss MORA with Commissioner Fortman. 


Ruth Lawson-Stopps stated that they should appoint three people to draft a formal proposal of language structure for MORA for the next meeting.  This group will consist of Ruth, Jonathan, and Leslie Manning.


Motion made by Ruth Lawson-Stopps that the structure and language should consist of two pieces (advisory and advocacy) and the specifics of the roles should be defined. 


Seconded by Ginger Jordan-Hillier. Vote - 7 hands. 


Leslie Manning will follow up with Gwen Thomas, AG's office for interpretation and "terms" of roles.


Next Meeting:


The general consensus of members was to reconvene meetings in September.  Motion was made to hold the next meeting on September 14th.  At that time, a draft should be emailed to all members before the September meeting for comments and review. 


John advised members that OSHA wanted to give a presentation.  It was decided to have OSHA on the agenda for the October meeting and list them first on the agenda.


Leslie Walleigh mentioned that there was a migrant health program representative that expressed interest in MORA and asked if she could invite him to the September meeting.  Response - yes.  Leslie Walleigh to email Terry Hathaway with the representative’s name, etc.


Discussion on MORA Conference - what worked and what didn't.


Question asked "where did participants come from, government?"  Need analysis of registration.  Didn't appear to be many employers attending.  Geographically the location was difficult.  Suggestion made to focus more towards a central area such as Portland - Augusta.  What type of audience did the topics draw?  If another conference were held, what would be the purpose?  Educate employers, audience, content and what would be accomplished.




Motion made to adjourn by Jonathan Lepoff, seconded by Ruth Lawson-Stopps.  Vote, unanimous.  The meeting adjourned at 11:53 a.m.