In this October 2014 file photo, Bruce Poliquin knocks on doors in Bangor as he campaigns to represent Maine's 2nd Congressional District. He won with 45 percent of the vote.

Is Bruce Poliquin the Energizer Bunny?

By Erin Rhoda on May 20, 2015, at 3:17 p.m.
Today, Roll Call devoted more than 1,000 words to a profile of Bruce Poliquin, the Republican representing Maine’s 2nd District in Congress. In the piece headlined “Why this vulnerable freshman is surprising people,” writer Simone Pathé describes Poliquin as the Energizer Bunny: “He may be new to the halls of …

The state budget and the importance of being nitpicky

on May 20, 2015, at 3:03 p.m.
Friday, legislative Republicans gave us a major budget proposal. Just as the legislative Democrats had. Just as the governor had. We now have three budget proposals floating about, and what we end up with is anyone’s guess. What I was struck with more than anything was that the GOP proposal …
Lincoln Park in Portland will be the starting point of a rally Thursday that hopes to raise awareness about proposed cuts to General Assistance and other aid programs for immigrants.

Groups to rally in Portland to protest LePage social policies

By Francis Flisiuk on May 20, 2015, at 11:22 a.m.
Activists opposed to Gov. Paul LePage’s proposals to limit or eliminate state-funded public assistance for some immigrants and other Mainers in economic peril will march and rally Thursday evening in Monument Square. Hosted by the Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition, a diverse and growing group of 33 advocacy …

U.S. lawmakers compromise on ‘poison pill’ Pacific trade rules

By Reuters on May 20, 2015, at 8:11 a.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers reached a compromise Tuesday on rules that threatened to derail a proposed Pacific trade partnership by agreeing to soften tough provisions against human trafficking. An amendment to legislation allowing trade deals a rapid run through Congress had been dubbed a “poison pill” for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific …

Debates on weed, welfare and abortion to dominate State House today

on May 20, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Greetings from the state capitol, where today will be referred to as “weed day.” OK, maybe that’s a bit too flippant a way to put it, but two bills aimed at legalizing the recreational use of marijuana by adults are both scheduled for public hearings today in the Criminal Justice …
Gov. Paul LePage signs a veto letter he delivered to the Legislature instantly in 2013 after the Senate gave final passage to a bill that links repayment of Maine's hospital debt with an expansion of Medicaid.

LePage’s veto doctrine: No patience for studies, feel-good bills and piecemeal change

By Christopher Cousins on May 20, 2015, at 5:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage long ago established that he’ll use the full breadth of his constitutional powers to advance the policy agenda he believes is best for Maine. He has withheld voter-approved bonds, refused to nominate people for the Public Utilities Commission and Board of Corrections, and perhaps …
Gov. Paul LePage

Legislature overrides LePage’s veto on moose permit transfers

By John Holyoke on May 19, 2015, at 4:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Legislature on Tuesday unanimously voted in both the House and the Senate to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that will allow the transfer of a moose permit to a hunter’s family member in certain circumstances, according to a press release issued by …
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan speaks at a City Council workshop focused on July 21, 2014, flanked by City Councilor Jill Duson.

‘What are we doing?’ Portland councilors kvetch about budget vote delay

By David Harry on May 19, 2015, at 3:38 p.m.
In the midst of Monday’s three-hour Portland City Council meeting, Councilor Nick Mavodones Jr. posed a critical question. “What are we doing?” he asked as councilors wrestled with a series of motions that ultimately postponed until June 1 a public hearing and final vote on the $221 …
Sen. Garrett Mason

License plate to mark Maine bicentennial wins Senate approval

By Staff Report, Sun Journal on May 19, 2015, at 3:26 p.m.
AUGUSTA | As Maine turns 200, history buffs and others who are excited about the state being free from Massachusetts for two centuries can show their love with a new license plate for their car if a bill approved by an unanimous vote of the Senate on Tuesday becomes …
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills

Maine attorney general joins suit against phony cancer charities

By Jackie Farwell on May 19, 2015, at 2:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has joined law enforcement officials from across the country to sue four phony cancer charities that allegedly scammed consumers out of more than $187 million. Mills, along with officials in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission, …
District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz addresses the court and media Jan. 7 in a brief hearing. Moskowitz apologized for ordering reporters not to report on a witness statement made in open court on Monday, a decision that attracted strong criticism from free press and court transparency advocates.

Senate approves reappointment of judge who tried, but failed, to silence media

By Mario Moretto on May 19, 2015, at 2:38 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After some debate Tuesday, the Maine Senate confirmed the reappointment of District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz, who recently made headlines with a controversial gag order against reporters. Moskowitz issued the gag order during a criminal proceeding in January in Portland, only to apologize and rescind it two …
Former Detective John Robinson (from left), Sgt. Dave Bushey and Sgt. Timothy Cotton of the Bangor Police Department look over files from the 20-year-old homicide cold case of Aisha Dickson, who died on Jan. 6, 1995, in the Bangor Police Department in this January 2015 file photo.

Senate approves bill to fund Maine cold case squad

By Mario Moretto on May 19, 2015, at 12:39 p.m.
AUGUSTA | An effort to fund a unit of law enforcement officers to reopen unsolved homicide cases advanced Tuesday in the Maine Senate. The Legislature passed a bill last year to create the cold case homicide unit in the attorney general’s office but failed to appropriate the necessary funding. …

One waitress and the coming pitched battle for women’s votes

on May 19, 2015, at 12:23 p.m.
When candidates speak and elected officials craft policies, they should remember Judy, a waitress and housekeeper who played a bit role in a Washington, D.C., drama. In September 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor to rail against the Affordable Care Act. Republicans later shut down the …

Susan Collins named one of the most powerful women in Washington

on May 19, 2015, at 7:29 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where legislative committees are in a rush to dispense with all the bills on their dockets by the end of the week. Proceedings at the State House will take on a different tone after the weight of final action on bills lawmakers have been debating for months …

Panel votes to dump Smarter Balanced school test after debut year

By Nick McCrea on May 18, 2015, at 6:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After its debut year, Maine appears to be on the path to dumping its brand new statewide test meant to measure what students have learned. That means whatever state assessment comes next would be the third that Maine schools have seen in as many years. On Monday, …
Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick

Eves pitches $5 million in public-private partnerships for job training

By Mario Moretto on May 18, 2015, at 6:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA | With so many Mainers looking for work, it can be hard to imagine that there are employers out there waiting to write paychecks for employees they just can’t find. But that’s exactly the case for certain industries that require workers with skills that just can’t be found …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage proposes drug testing for every TANF applicant

By Christopher Cousins on May 18, 2015, at 3:15 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to prevent anyone with a felony drug conviction from collecting cash welfare benefits advanced Monday in Augusta with a bill that would extend a program launched earlier this year. In January, LePage and his administration began administering drug tests on Temporary Assistance for …
Rep. Bob Duchesne, D-Hudson, will serve on a nationwide policy panel on legislative effectiveness and transparency.

Duchesne, Dunphy to serve on nationwide policy panels

By Amy Sylvester on May 18, 2015, at 10:32 a.m.
AUGUSTA – Reps. Bob Duchesne, D-Hudson, and Michelle Dunphy, D-Old Town, will each serve on a national panel of state lawmakers. Duchesne was appointed to the Legislative Effectiveness Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. The committee brings state lawmakers from across the country together to work …
Rep. Jim Davitt, D-Hampden, will serve on a national panel on public safety and legal issues.

Davitt to serve on nationwide criminal justice panel

By Amy Sylvester on May 18, 2015, at 9:08 a.m.
AUGUSTA – Rep. Jim Davitt, D-Hampden, will serve on a national panel on public safety and legal issues. House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, chose Davitt for the Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. The committee brings state lawmakers from …
Rep. Arthur "Archie" Verow, D-Brewer, will serve on a national infrastructure panel.

Verow to serve on nationwide infrastructure panel

By Amy Sylvester on May 18, 2015, at 8:44 a.m.
AUGUSTA – Rep. Arthur “Archie” Verow, D-Brewer, will serve on a national panel on infrastructure issues. House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, chose Verow for the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. The committee brings state lawmakers from across the country together …
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