Larry Bliss couldn't find work in his home state of Maine so, like many unemployed, he broadened his search and located a job elsewhere in the country. Unlike most unemployed, however, Bliss had "state legislator" listed on his resume as his current title during his entire 16-month job hunt.
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A Democratic member of the House of Representatives and then the Senate, Bliss was laid off from his position as an administrator at the University of Southern Maine in late 2009 after two decades with the school. Maine legislators work only part-time, collecting about $13,000 a year for their service, leaving Bliss raising three children on only his partner's full-time work as a low-income housing consultant.
"It's certainly not an easy decision," Bliss told TPM. "I really wanted to stay. My partner and I love it here and Maine is a very special place."