When we talk about Augusta, we are usually talking about conflict.

Whether it’s Democrats versus Republicans, the House versus the Senate or the governor versus anybody, it’s the controversies that get our attention.

This is natural. We live in a time when there are some fundamental disagreements over how government should work, and what its responsibilities are to the people governed. So when the conversation turns to taxes or social services, there are usually strong but conflicting views on both sides of the issue. Those arguments are hard to ignore.

But it’s important to remember that not every issue is partisan, and not everything that’s important is surrounded by people yelling at each other.

We want to highlight three ideas on which there is broad, bipartisan accord. They all have a chance of making progress during this legislative session, they are all important and each in its own way would make life better in Maine. They should not be forgotten just because none is a focus of disagreement.

n The KeepME Home initiative is a bipartisan effort led by House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, that would help more members of Maine’s aging population live independently in their homes and communities. The initiative calls for a $65 million bond issue that would be used to build 1,000 units of sorely needed affordable housing.

Maine needs an estimated 9,000 units of affordable senior housing to meet current needs and will need another 6,000 over the next decade, according to a report commissioned by the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.

An aging population and some of the nation’s oldest housing stock is a bad combination. Isolated elders are more likely to take a debilitating fall or develop an illness, ending up in a nursing home or assisted living facility sooner than might otherwise have been necessary.

Affordable housing for seniors is not a controversial issue, but it is one critically important to families in every corner of the state.

n Maine should end the welfare cliff. In his first campaign, now-Gov. LePage talked about a need to ease the transition from welfare to work by letting people keep some of their benefits as they start getting a paycheck. Efforts to change the system have been introduced by members of both parties, but did not make it into law.

This year, with welfare reform near the top of the legislative agenda, it should be able to move forward.

The current loss of benefits is too abrupt. A family of four could lose all of its assistance if one member started earning more than $1,100 a month. That would not be enough to replace the value of the aid, creating a perverse incentive to avoid employment.

Welfare has been a contentious issue in recent years, but here is an area where members of both parties could find common ground if they want to get something done.

n High-speed Internet connections are as important for bringing products to market as rail lines or highways. But only 20 percent of addresses in Maine have access to this vital tool.

A bill co-sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason and Assistant Democratic House Leader Sara Gideon would help municipalities connect to the state’s Three Ring Binder backbone.

If successful, Maine could go from being one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to the quality of its Internet connections to one of the best, creating business opportunities in places that now appear to be too remote to compete.

This is not a controversial bill, but it’s an important one. Like the senior housing and ending the welfare cliff, it should get the support of both parties this year.