Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone

Opinion Page Editor


No ‘one size fits all’ economic strategy for Maine?

on July 23, 2013, at 5:05 p.m.
What’s the best way to plan for Maine’s economic future? Leave it to the regions, argues Michael Aube, president of Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor. In an OpEd published this week in the Bangor Daily News, the former commissioner of economic and community development argues that a statewide economic …
Governor Paul LePage renewed his pledge to veto the state budget at an Americans for Prosperity rally at the State House in Augusta on June 20.

LePage raises taxes on wealthiest in budget he opposed for its tax hikes

By Matthew Stone on July 19, 2013, at 1:52 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage railed against the two-year state budget that took effect July 1 for a number of reasons. Chiefly, though, the Republican governor vehemently objected to the budget’s temporary sales, meals and lodging tax hikes. “I don’t know how you recover from a tax increase when you’re one of …

20 years of plans for Maine’s economy, but where’s the progress?

By Matthew Stone and Whit Richardson on July 17, 2013, at 1:07 p.m.
As Maine struggled to recover from a major recession in the early 1990s, Gov. John McKernan and lawmakers formed the 19-member Maine Economic Growth Council and charged it with developing a long-term economic development strategy for the state. Council members toured the state and held focus groups to craft a …
Elizabeth Milliken of Old Orchard Beach looks toward her husband who was playing a nearby slot machine at Hollywood Casino — then Hollywood Slots — in Bangor in June 2009.

Acquisition could have Maine casino overseer monitoring its own slot machines

By Matthew Stone on July 01, 2013, at 4:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The company that tracks slot machine revenues at Maine’s casinos and warns the state’s gaming regulators if anything is amiss is acquiring one of the five slot machine distributors authorized to do business in Maine. Scientific Games, which holds a state contract to track real-time slot machine …

Minimum wage hike, warrant mandate for drones among late bills passed by Legislature

By Matthew Stone on June 28, 2013, at 12 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Legislature gave final passage to dozens of bills Thursday night as it attempted to wrap up business this week. The legislation, including a bill to raise Maine’s minimum wage and a measure to require genetically modified food products carry special labels, now heads to the desk …
Governor Paul LePage reacts to his overridden budget veto Wednesday in Augusta. LePage said the Legislature is reversing much of the progress he made in his first two years in office.

Does Gov. LePage still matter?

By Matthew Stone on June 27, 2013, at 6:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Moderate Republicans backed away from Gov. Paul LePage this week in the wake of his largest legislative defeat and a string of public outbursts in which the governor crudely insulted a Democratic senator and toyed with a run for Congress rather than re-election to the Blaine House. …

LePage signs budget for highway fund into law

By Matthew Stone on June 26, 2013, at 5:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday signed into law a $614 million highway budget that encountered little resistance in the Legislature. The two-year highway budget funds the Maine Department of Transportation, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles and part of the Maine State Police. LePage signed it into …
Gov. Paul LePage reacts to his overridden budget veto Wednesday in Augusta. LePage said the legislature is reversing much of the progress he made in his first two years in office.

Maine Legislature overrides LePage budget veto, avoids state shutdown

By Christopher Cousins and Matthew Stone on June 26, 2013, at 12:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the two-year, $6.3 billion state budget, avoiding a state government shutdown and temporarily raising sales, meals and lodging taxes. LePage said he wasn’t surprised by the votes, adding that the override represented …

Bulk of LePage vetoes withstand override votes

By Matthew Stone on June 26, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage lost his major veto battle Wednesday when the Maine House and Senate both voted to override his veto of a two-year budget that takes effect Monday. But he won almost every other veto skirmish during votes Wednesday, when the House and Senate sustained more …

Report says poor Maine kids aren’t getting dental care, but dentists disagree

By Matthew Stone on June 25, 2013, at 5:13 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine is one of 10 states where low-income children are least likely to receive dental care, according to a national report released Tuesday that stands to reignite a months-long legislative debate that has pitted dentists against those who support allowing a new type of dental provider in …

Democrats weigh Republican study group proposal as way to expand Medicaid

By Matthew Stone on June 24, 2013, at 5:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Democrats who have championed an expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act have one legislative avenue left this year to pass it into law. Ironically, the last chance this year to enact one of the Democrats’ top priorities hinges on a bill proposed by the …
The State House in Augusta.

Democrats, Republicans tally victories and votes in preparation for budget battle

By Christopher Cousins and Matthew Stone on June 21, 2013, at 6:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Republicans and Gov. Paul LePage scored a major political victory this week with the rejection of a bill calling for the expansion of Medicaid. It’s the most prominent of numerous legislative battles Republicans have won this session despite being outnumbered by Democrats. Those victories range from paying …
Members of the Maine Legislature's Appropriations Committee listen to testimony during a public hearing at Jeff's Catering in Brewer in March.

Does Maine bank on ‘Monopoly’ money to balance budget?

By Matthew Stone on June 21, 2013, at 3:03 p.m.
The state budget proposal Gov. Paul LePage plans to veto in the coming days — and which more than two-thirds of lawmakers voted into law earlier this month — relies on a bit of ambitious thinking in order to bring the $6.3 billion, two-year spending plan into balance. One part …

Senate kills ‘Buffett Rule’ plan to tax Maine’s richest extra if they pay less than state average

By Matthew Stone on June 20, 2013, at 12:52 a.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill that would levy an assessment on the top 1 percent of Maine taxpayers and send much of the revenue raised to towns and cities in the form of municipal revenue sharing won passage in the Maine House on Wednesday night but was later killed in …

Senate kills bill to allow dental hygiene therapists to open up shop

By Matthew Stone on June 20, 2013, at 12:45 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Senate on Wednesday night killed a bill that would allow a new type of dental provider, a dental hygiene therapist, to open up shop in the state and address a shortage of access to dental care in Maine. The Senate first opposed the bill in …

LePage vetoes energy bill with initiatives he proposed, House quickly overrides it

By Matthew Stone on June 20, 2013, at 12:43 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a comprehensive energy bill late Wednesday night aimed at expanding New England ’s natural gas infrastructure, boosting funding for energy efficiency, directly lowering businesses’ electricity costs and making it more affordable for residents to abandon oil heat. The House acted quickly to override …

Effort to create early voting system dies in Maine House

By Matthew Stone on June 19, 2013, at 7:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | An effort to set up an early voting system in Maine died in the Maine House on Wednesday afternoon. The measure failed to garner the two-thirds support it needed in the House to send a question to voters asking them to amend the state constitution to allow …
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, June 14, 2013.

Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush to headline LePage fundraiser

By Matthew Stone on June 19, 2013, at 6:46 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s re-election campaign will get a financial boost July 2 at a Kennebunkport fundraiser headlined by a potential 2016 White House contender. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who served two terms as governor of the Sunshine State, will be the special guest at the fundraiser …
The State House in Augusta.

Maine House deals final blow to Medicaid expansion

By Matthew Stone and Robert Long on June 19, 2013, at 3:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | In two votes Wednesday, the Maine House fell short of overriding Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill calling for the state to expand eligibility for Medicaid, the state-federal low-income health insurance program, as allowed by the federal Affordable Care Act. The House voted 97-52 Wednesday afternoon …

Lawmakers split on bill to ban Mainers from buying junk food with food stamps

By Matthew Stone on June 19, 2013, at 1:18 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House and Senate were at odds Wednesday over a bill aimed at barring food stamp recipients from spending their state-issued benefits on soft drinks and certain snack foods. The Democratically controlled Senate on Wednesday morning reversed itself from a Tuesday vote and opted to turn …
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