Robert Long

Robert Long

Senior Editor, Southern Maine

 
The State House in Augusta, as seen Monday, March 11, 2013.

Advocacy groups put pressure on Maine lawmakers to support Medicaid expansion

By Robert Long on April 29, 2013, at 1:07 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A coalition of advocacy groups, including AARP Maine, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Heart Association, will launch newspaper and radio advertisements Tuesday urging legislators to support a plan that would allow the state to expand Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act. …
Chellie Pingree

Chellie Pingree won’t run for governor in 2014

By Robert Long on April 26, 2013, at 4:21 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 1st District, will not run for governor in 2014. Andrew Colvin, Pingree’s deputy communications director, confirmed Friday afternoon that Pingree has decided against a gubernatorial run. “After considering the decision carefully over the last few months, I have …

Panel wants more information before investigating LePage’s role in unemployment decisions

By Robert Long on April 26, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Instead of asking for a new investigation of whether Gov. Paul LePage or anyone else exerted improper influence on hearings officers for unemployment claims appeals, the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee voted unanimously Friday morning to seek more information about two other probes of Maine’s unemployment system. Committee …

Maine Senate delivers death blow to pair of ‘right-to-work’ bills

By Robert Long on April 25, 2013, at 6:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate slammed the door on two bills that Republicans called “right-to-work” legislation with 21-13 votes Thursday. Both bills went to the full Legislature with divided “ought not to pass” recommendations from the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, where they garnered support from minority …
Gov. Paul LePage

Bill to shield personal info about concealed firearms permit holders heads to LePage

By Robert Long on April 25, 2013, at 5:56 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature gave final approval Thursday to a bill that will shield personal information about concealed firearms permit holders from the public. After more than an hour of debate on what was expected to be a procedural second vote on the measure, the Maine House voted …

Senator’s late vote breaks committee deadlock on Maine bill to limit gun magazines

By Robert Long on April 24, 2013, at 12:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A late vote by Sen. David Dutremble, D-Biddeford, will send to the full Senate a controversial bill to restrict the amount of ammunition that can be placed in firearms’ magazines. Sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, the bill, LD 997, essentially limits the number of rounds …
POLL QUESTION

Legislative panel votes against letting Maine cities and towns pass their own gun bans

By Robert Long on April 22, 2013, at 1 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative committee voted 8-3 Monday to recommend against a bill that would allow Maine cities and towns to set their own rules about firearms possession in government buildings. Rep. Matthew Moonen, D-Portland, sponsored LD 1122, An Act Allowing Municipalities to Enact Firearms Policies in Local Government …
Gov. Paul LePage

Letter from LePage helps Republican group decide to hold national convention in Portland

By Robert Long on April 16, 2013, at 8:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Republican Liberty Caucus, a national organization with ties to the tea party and Ron Paul wing of the GOP, will hold its 2015 national conference in Portland. The RLC’s national committee announced Tuesday evening that it had voted unanimously to hold the group’s biennial convention April …

Chellie Pingree renews push to help military sexual assault survivors receive benefits

By Robert Long on April 16, 2013, at 8:20 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing Tuesday on a bill inspired by a Maine woman that would make it easier for veterans who are survivors of sexual assault in the military to receive compensatory benefits. The bill is named for Ruth Moore, …
POLL QUESTION
Dana Lagassie of Vassalboro flies a Declaration of Liberty flag during a Patriots Day rally at Capitol Park in Augusta on Monday.

Gun rights take center stage at Patriots Day rally in Augusta

By Robert Long on April 15, 2013, at 4:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — When organizer Amy Hale opened Monday’s Maine Patriots Day rally in Capitol Park with “Greetings, fellow patriots,” she was addressing an eclectic mix of gun rights defenders, food sovereignty advocates, marijuana legalization supporters and Mainers who believe God has been wrongfully banished from government. The afternoon rally …

Republican senators explain need for budget cuts in letters to municipal officials

By Robert Long on April 11, 2013, at 1:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Buffeted by complaints from municipal officials and constituents about potential negative effects of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed two-year budget on property taxes and local services, Republican senators are responding in writing. Republican state senators are sending letters to municipal officials that attempt to put LePage’s call for …

Legislature sends St. Croix alewife restoration bill to LePage

By Robert Long on April 10, 2013, at 7:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Emergency legislation to open the St. Croix River watershed to sea-run alewives easily won passage Wednesday in the Maine Senate and House. The bill, LD 72, now goes to Gov. Paul LePage, who has 10 days to sign, veto or let the bill become law. The House …
Sen. Susan Collins

Susan Collins says gun control groups, gun rights groups both have her position wrong

By Robert Long on April 09, 2013, at 7:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Sen. Susan Collins is pushing back in two directions against ads and mailers designed to pressure her before congressional votes on President Barack Obama’s proposals to toughen national gun laws. “This is one of those issues where out-of-state groups are targeting me from completely opposite directions,” Collins …

Offshore wind pilot project advances, decision eyed in 2014

By Robert Long on April 08, 2013, at 1:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — An international energy development firm announced Monday that it’s moving ahead with plans for an offshore wind energy pilot project in the Gulf of Maine, with a goal of making a final decision on the project next year. As a test site for more extensive development of …
VIDEO

LePage supporters’ hospital debt ad ignites political firestorm

By Robert Long on April 04, 2013, at 7:33 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A new television ad from Maine People Before Politics, a group that supports Republican Gov. Paul LePage, inflamed partisan hostilities in Augusta and across Maine’s political spectrum Thursday. The ad criticizes LePage’s predecessor, Democrat John Baldacci, for leaving behind a Medicaid “welfare” debt to the state’s 39 …

Party-line vote in Maine Senate sends earned-income tax credit bill to LePage

By Robert Long on April 04, 2013, at 3:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Voting along party lines, the Maine Senate voted 19-16 Thursday in favor of a bill that would expand earned-income tax credits for low-income Mainers. All Democrats voted for the bill. All Republicans opposed it, as did independent Sen. Richard Woodbury of Yarmouth. The bill, LD 455, sponsored …
POLL QUESTION
Eliot Cutler

Poll: Cutler would lead LePage in 2014 governor’s race — if he ran as a Democrat

By Robert Long on April 03, 2013, at 9:59 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — If independent Eliot Cutler ran for governor as a Democrat in 2014, he would lead incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage by almost eight percentage points, according to a poll released Wednesday. The Pan Atlantic SMS Group survey of 403 Maine residents, conducted by veteran Portland pollster Patrick …
Rep. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville

State won’t immediately investigate drama-plagued Portland charter school

By Robert Long on April 02, 2013, at 5:09 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee decided Tuesday to wait before determining whether to seek an investigation of Baxter Academy, the controversy-plagued Portland charter school scheduled to open this fall. Specifically, committee members chose to let the Maine Charter Schools Commission address Baxter Academy’s issues during the commission’s …

Maine Senate passes bill that would raise minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2016

By Robert Long on April 02, 2013, at 12:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate on Tuesday voted 19-16 along party lines in favor of a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2016 and index future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index. Democrats unanimously supported the bill. All Republicans opposed …
Fisheries technician Leah McConkey counts the alewife run at the Milltown fishway on the St. Croix River in July 2010.

Bill to remove St. Croix alewife barriers clears committee hurdle

By Robert Long on April 01, 2013, at 4:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Emergency legislation calling for removal of barriers that block sea-run alewives from full access to the St. Croix River watershed won unanimous endorsement Monday from the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. The committee’s recommendation that LD 72, sponsored by Passamaquoddy Tribal Rep. Madonna Soctomah, pass came quickly and …
 
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