Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

 
Gov. Paul LePage explains his biennial budget proposal to reporters on Friday at the State House in Augusta.

Digging deeper into LePage’s biennial budget proposal

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 12, 2015, at 2:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Friday’s late afternoon release of Gov. Paul LePage’s biennial budget proposal didn’t leave lawmakers or reporters much time to digest the contents of the document, which spans hundreds of pages. More details will emerge in the coming days, along with plaudits and criticisms from the constituencies that …
Gov. Paul LePage explains his biennial budget proposal to reporters on Friday at the State House in Augusta.

LePage’s willingness to broaden sales tax base surprises some lawmakers

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 09, 2015, at 7:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The word of the day in the State House on Friday was “bold” as Gov. Paul LePage presented a biennial budget bill that surprised Democrats for its compassion and appeared to create concern among Republicans because of a range of tax increases it proposes. In the immediate …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: LePage will propose budget plan today

on Jan. 09, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
With majority Republicans in the Senate friendly to his agenda, LePage will be hoping for better luck shepherding his budget proposal through the Legislature this year than he had two years ago.
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: LePage will propose budget plan today

on Jan. 09, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
With majority Republicans in the Senate friendly to his agenda, LePage will be hoping for better luck shepherding his budget proposal through the Legislature this year than he had two years ago.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills

Maine attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer sworn in for two-year terms

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 08, 2015, at 5:24 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine’s three constitutional officers were sworn in Thursday by Gov. Paul LePage amid complaints that the governor deprived two of them of public ceremonies. Attorney General Janet Mills, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and State Treasurer Terry Hayes were all elected last month by a vote of …
Gov. Paul Lepage makes a point during his address at his second inaugural in Augusta on Wednesday.

Four ways Paul LePage is the same as he was in 2010 and four ways he’s different

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 08, 2015, at 6:17 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Republican Gov. Paul LePage continued to defy tradition Wednesday when he used his second-term inaugural address to hammer home his policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session. The speech, delivered to the Legislature and more than 3,000 supporters at the Augusta Civic Center, came across more like …

Poliquin, Pingree sworn in to new Congress, pledge to work together on behalf of Maine

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 06, 2015, at 4:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Representation of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District shifted officially to Republican hands on Tuesday when Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Oakland was sworn into office. Tuesday’s ceremony in Washington was a milestone for Poliquin, who has been seeking public office since an unsuccessful GOP primary bid for governor in …
Gov. Paul LePage celebrates at the Franco Center in Lewiston in this November 2014 photo.

LePage inauguration to draw thousands to the Augusta Civic Center

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 05, 2015, at 5:11 p.m.
Wednesday is shaping up to be a busy day in Augusta with the 127th Legislature returning for Gov. Paul LePage’s second-term inauguration. Inauguration festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Augusta Civic Center, where thousands of well-wishers and the entire Legislature will convene for one of the …

Group pushing Maine electoral reform nears signature threshold, eyes referendum in 2015 or 2016

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 05, 2015, at 4:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The organizers of a petition drive to create a ranked choice voting system in Maine said Monday they are close to achieving their 61,000-signature goal but are still weighing the timing of when they’ll put the question to statewide referendum. Although there hasn’t been a tally since …
POLL QUESTION
Gov. Paul LePage

Emboldened LePage, return of John Martin portend tense legislative session

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 02, 2015, at 4:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Pledges among lawmakers to work with their colleagues from the other party — which swirl around the beginning of legislative sessions in January like snowflakes — are on borrowed time. Tick, tick, tick. The alarm goes off next week. Or is it a time bomb? On Wednesday, …
Richard Rosen

LePage taps longtime ally Richard Rosen to be Maine’s top finance official

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 02, 2015, at 1:33 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Former lawmaker Richard Rosen of Bucksport has been nominated by Gov. Paul LePage to become commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. Rosen has been acting commissioner of the department since the retirement of LePage’s former finance chief, H. Sawin Millett, in May. Rosen was …
The MacMaster family (from left) Tripp, Scott, Parker and Jake, poses with a drawing of the boys' mother, Cyndi MacMaster, on Wednesday. Cyndi MacMaster died on Dec. 19.

Father, three young sons searching for new Christmas normal less than a week after mother’s death

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 24, 2014, at 5:28 p.m.
DRESDEN | Cyndi MacMaster was the kind of woman who knew what had to be done today to ensure a better tomorrow. With young children at home and a husband working three jobs, she trained to sell real estate, then earned her bachelor’s degree in social work. For a …

State uses federal funds to acquire and protect 2 miles of Moosehead Lake shoreline

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 24, 2014, at 10:16 a.m.
BANGOR | The state has acquired 81 acres of undeveloped land with 2 miles of shoreline on northern Moosehead Lake that will connect another state-owned parcel called the Seboomook Unit to the water. Known locally as Little W. Shoreline, the new parcel is accessible by the Northern Forest Canoe …
Rep. Peggy Rotundo

Maine lawmakers release committee assignments

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 23, 2014, at 5:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Legislative leaders concluded days of negotiations around who will sit on which committees for the coming two years by installing a mix of veteran and rookie lawmakers in powerful positions. Committee assignments are the kind of under-the-dome, pre-session business that few Mainers follow closely, but they’re crucial …
Gov. Paul LePage celebrates at the Franco Center in Lewiston early Nov. 5.

What did we learn about Maine politics in 2014?

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 23, 2014, at 4:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Politically speaking, 2014 in Maine started as if it would be the year when everything would go the Democrats’ way. But then, it didn’t. Despite expectations that Republicans would gain nationally during off-year elections because of dissatisfaction with Democratic President Barack Obama and vulnerable Democrats in Congress …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Monday roundup: How much did your favorite gubernatorial candidate pay for your vote?

on Dec. 22, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.
Did you vote for Republican Paul LePage for governor? If so, he spent almost $6.50 on you and compared to what Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler spent on their supporters, you were a bargain. This shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention, but now …
These telephone wires on Monhegan Island were taken down during a Nov. 1 ice storm and as of Friday, they were still on the road. FairPoint workers placed sheets of plywood over the wires so they can be driven on but have not returned to replace two damaged telephone poles. The building in the background houses the community's fire truck.

Maine sees ‘dramatic spike’ in FairPoint complaints, but public advocate says state lacks ‘any real leverage’

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 19, 2014, at 6:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA | On Nov. 1, an ice storm broke a telephone pole and took down two FairPoint Communications telephone lines on Monhegan Island, laying them across the community’s main drag, Blackhead Road. FairPoint workers rigged a temporary fix that restored phone service, but they couldn’t immediately replace two broken …
Signage for a T-Mobile store is pictured in Los Angeles in this August 2011 file photo.

13,000 T-Mobile cellphone customers in Maine eligible for part of $90 million national settlement

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 19, 2014, at 1:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Some 13,000 Mainers who are former and current customers of cellphone carrier T-Mobile USA Inc. might be eligible for part of a $90 million settlement against the company for engaging in a practice known as “mobile cramming.” Mobile cramming, according to a news release from Maine Attorney …

Maine licensing official calls privacy concerns over new medical marijuana card system ‘misinformation’

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 19, 2014, at 12:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | An official with the Department of Health and Human Services has reacted to privacy concerns raised by the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine by accusing the group of “disseminating misinformation and unnecessarily creating fear.” Dr. Dustin Sulak, one of the leading proponents of medical marijuana in Maine, …
Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport

Maine launches electronic monitoring program for high-risk domestic violence offenders

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 18, 2014, at 11:47 a.m.
AUGUSTA | An electronic monitoring program for people deemed to be some of Maine’s most dangerous domestic violence perpetrators will begin in three counties following the allocation of funds this week by Gov. Paul LePage. The purpose of the pilot programs is for the state to research the use …
 
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