Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto

State House Reporter

 
David Boyer, (left) head of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and Scott Gagnon of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, faced off in a forum hosted by the Maine Law Federalist Society Monday, April 20, in Portland.

Will too many paths to legal marijuana in Maine leave everyone lost?

By Mario Moretto on May 10, 2015, at 3:41 p.m.
AUGUSTA | It’s been well-reported that there are two competing groups trying to place marijuana legalization on the state ballot in 2016. The two plans differ in how much marijuana can be sold, how many retail operations will be allowed, and even which state agency should license growers and …
Sean Wyatt trims medical marijuana plants Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at his Yarmouth primary caregiver facility, New England Alternative Care.

DHHS wants to tighten reins on Maine’s small medical marijuana growers

By Mario Moretto on May 08, 2015, at 4:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The state agency charged with running Maine’s medical marijuana system wants more oversight of the more than 1,700 people who cultivate small amounts of medicinal marijuana for patients. The small cultivators, known as caregivers, can serve as many as five patients, and grow no more than six …
The invasive European green crab

News junkie? Test your trivia knowledge with our politics quiz

By Mario Moretto and Pattie Reaves on May 08, 2015, at 12:19 p.m.
For the week of May 8, we came up with some tough questions. See how well you were paying attention.

Should Maine tighten the reins on its marijuana caregiver industry?

on May 08, 2015, at 7:35 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the days are just packed. This morning, the Health and Human Services Committee will consider 11 — eleven! — different bills related to the state’s medical marijuana industry. One of those bills, LD 1392 by Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, is raising red flags with the …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage moves to gut funding for defunct Board of Corrections

By Mario Moretto on May 07, 2015, at 6:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage is proposing to slash funding for the mothballed state Board of Corrections in the coming budget — a move that could all but ensure the group’s permanent dissolution. The board has been defunct since 2014, when member departures and LePage’s unwillingness to appoint new …
Rep. Lawrence E. Lockman, R-Amherst, represents District 30 in the Maine House of Representatives.

Labor Committee rejects Maine right-to-work bill

By Mario Moretto on May 06, 2015, at 5:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The latest effort to make Maine a right-to-work state stumbled Wednesday, when lawmakers on the Legislature’s Labor Committee narrowly rejected a bill that would have allowed employees who benefit from collective bargaining to opt out of paying unions for those services. The committee voted 7-6 to recommend …
Dana Connors, president of the Maine Chamber of Commerce

Maine Chamber of Commerce throws its weight behind tax reform effort

By Mario Moretto on May 06, 2015, at 5:41 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Tax reform has a new backer, one with significant sway in Augusta. The Maine Chamber of Commerce announced this week that it supports a comprehensive shake-up in the state’s tax structure, and it wants to see such a plan in the biennial budget that lawmakers are negotiating. …

Will Maine’s community colleges get their funding bump?

on May 06, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average. … Wait, I think that’s somewhere else? Anyway, Gov. Paul LePage today is in Bellevue, Washington, where he’ll deliver remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank Meeting, which the think …

Will Community Colleges get their funding bump?

on May 06, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average. … Wait, I think that’s somewhere else? Gov. Paul LePage today is in Bellevue, Washington, where he’ll deliver remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank Meeting, which the think tank …

Will Community Colleges get their funding bump?

By Mario Moretto on May 06, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average. … Wait, I think that’s somewhere else? Gov. Paul LePage today is in Bellevue, Washington, where he’ll deliver remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank Meeting, which the think tank …
Gov. Paul LePage appears at a news conference at the State House on April 15, where he and others discussed the virtues of his tax reform package.

Lawmakers wrestle with whether Maine can afford to eliminate income tax

By Mario Moretto on May 05, 2015, at 6:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA | It would mean a lot more money in Mainers’ paychecks, but critics of Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to eliminate the income tax say the cost is simply too high for the state to bear. During a public hearing Tuesday on the governor’s bill, which would ask voters …
Brig. Gen. Gerard Bolduc, interim adjutant general of the Maine National Guard.

LePage convenes search committee for new Maine National Guard chief

By Mario Moretto on May 05, 2015, at 12:46 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage has convened a panel of 11 retired and current members of the armed services to seek out a new adjutant general of the Maine National Guard. The search committee, which includes LePage’s public safety commissioner, John Morris, and former chief legal counsel, Michael Cianchette, …
Rep. Lawrence E. Lockman

Right-to-work bills face long odds in Maine Legislature

By Mario Moretto on May 04, 2015, at 5:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Testimony on a handful of bills that proponents call right-to-work legislation lasted hours on Monday in the State House, but Gov. Paul LePage — perhaps the effort’s loudest cheerleader — is pessimistic about their chance for success. In an interview on WVOM’s George Hale Ric Tyler Show, …

Candid LePage talks bond controversy, Roger Katz in radio interview

on May 04, 2015, at 5:19 p.m.
This morning on WVOM’s George Hale Rick Tyler Show, Gov. Paul LePage spoke candidly about his anger over Sen. Roger Katz’s bill that would force him to release more than $11 million in voter-approved conservation bonds. LePage is using the bonds as leverage in a fight over his plan to …

Will Maine become first right-to-work state in New England?

on May 04, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the expected 80 degree temperature is sure to have those in the State House thinking about the end of session and the summer recess. The weather might have everyone looking forward to adjournment in June or July, but lawmakers still have a slew of bills …
Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta.

LePage’s use of bonds as bargaining chips spurs GOP infighting

By Mario Moretto on April 28, 2015, at 4:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A state senator known as a moderate on Tuesday called out Gov. Paul LePage for the “artificially created crisis” about voter-approved conservation bonds worth more than $11 million. LePage has refused to issue the bonds, jeopardizing more than 30 land preservation projects already approved by Land for …

Want to hear politicians talk about taxes? You’re in luck

on April 28, 2015, at 11:27 a.m.
You’ve got several opportunities to hear the competing budget visions of Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic leaders this week. Belfast: LePage will hold a town hall meeting on his budget at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. Scarborough: House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate …

Daily Brief: With 2 bills at odds, fight over conservation bonds poised to boil over

on April 28, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where a simmering showdown over conservation bonds and the limits of Gov. Paul LePage’s authority seems poised to finally boil over. Today, Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, will speak with reporters about a bill he’s presenting that would force the governor to release voter approved bonds. Katz …

With 2 bills at odds, fight over conservation bonds poised to boil over

on April 28, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where a simmering showdown over conservation bonds and the limits of Gov. Paul LePage’s authority seems poised to finally boil over. Today, Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, will speak with reporters about a bill he’s presenting that would force the governor to release voter-approved bonds. Katz has …
Canada geese on Monday glide over Knight's Pond in Cumberland, where local land trusts hope to conserve a 215 acre parcel. Supporters held a press conference on Monday urging Gov. LePage to release approved bond funds to seal the deal.

LePage doubles down on effort to trade conservation bonds for timber harvesting

By Mario Moretto on April 27, 2015, at 2:12 p.m.
CUMBERLAND | Gov. Paul LePage on Monday reiterated that he will not authorize roughly $11.5 million in voter-approved conservation bonds unless the Legislature approves a new plan to cut more timber on public land and use the new revenue to pay for heating assistance programs. Details were limited, but …
 
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