State House News

 
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (right), R-Newport, answers a question to the House during the House of Representatives vote on the state budget at the Maine State House.

Maine lawmakers back roads bond; GOP stalls LePage-backed student debt relief

By Michael Shepherd on July 20, 2017, at 8:11 p.m.
A $105 million transportation bond proposal cruised through the Maine Legislature, but Republican opposition stalled a $40 million student debt relief plan.
Rep. Deb Sanderson, R-Chelsea (left), counts the votes on a vote board while Rep. Wayne Parry, R-Arundel, looks on during the House of Representatives vote on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta.

How LePage’s shutdown hardball will shape his last year and the race to replace him

By Michael Shepherd on July 09, 2017, at 7 a.m.
The discord in the shutdown debate shows the divisions in Maine’s two major political parties well as both look for a leader to emerge to take LePage’s place in 2018.
POLL QUESTION
After the Maine State Senate voted for the state budget bill the papers associated with the bill are carried to the Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives in Augusta Monday afternoon.

Maine government shutdown ends after LePage and Gideon cut late-night budget deal

By Christopher Cousins on July 03, 2017, at 8:45 p.m.
The House of Representatives voted 147-2 in favor of the deal at nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday and the Senate followed suit 35-0. LePage signed the budget into law.
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- 07/03/2017 -- After the Maine State Senate voted for the state bubget bill the papeprs associated with the bill are carried to the Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives in Augusta Monday afternoon.
Gabor Degre | BDN

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon talks about the state shutdown

By Gabor Degre on July 03, 2017, at 8:39 p.m.
STATE & CAPITOL
Sen. Dave Woodsome, R-North Waterboro, leans back in his chair while listening to arguments during the Senate's hearing on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta, June 30, 2017.

Maine lawmakers will vote again today to end shutdown. Don’t hold your breath.

on July 03, 2017, at 8:19 a.m.
It’s day three of the government shutdown, and though the Legislature will return to the State House today to try to end it, some of the same issues that have been blocking it remain outstanding.
POLL QUESTION
Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls, puts his hands to his face while listening to arguments during the Senate's hearing on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta, June 28 2017.

New effort to break Maine budget stalemate defies LePage demand for no tax hike

By Michael Shepherd on July 03, 2017, at 12:07 a.m.
A special budget panel endorsed a two-year budget late Sunday, setting up a high-pressure round of Monday floor votes on Day 3 of a state shutdown.
Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais, talks to state workers in the Maine Senate chamber on Sunday.

LePage allies tweak budget offer but government shutdown lurches into third day

By Michael Shepherd on July 02, 2017, at 8:09 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, addresses protestors aligned with the state employees union on the first day of Maine's 2017 government shutdown.

Protesters take over Maine State House on Day 1 of shutdown

By Michael Shepherd on July 01, 2017, at 3:32 p.m.
On Day 1 of Maine’s government shutdown, an estimated 200 demonstrators led by the state employees union on Saturday jeered Republican lawmakers who killed a two-year deal opposed by Gov. Paul LePage overnight.
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (right), R-Newport, watches as votes come in on a vote board during the House of Representatives vote on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta Wednesday. Lawmakers are scurrying to avoid a state government shutdown.

Live updates: Maine’s government shutdown, Day 3

on July 01, 2017, at 10:03 a.m.
We’re tracking everything you need to know about the 2017 Maine government shutdown.
House Majority Leader Erin Herbig (left), D-Belfast, watches as votes come in during the House of Representatives vote on the state budget at the Maine State House in Augusta. Lawmakers were scurrying to avoid a state government shutdown.

LePage, lawmakers fail to reach budget deal, triggering government shutdown

By Michael Shepherd on July 01, 2017, at 1:23 a.m.
Maine’s government shut down for the first time since 1991 at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, as Republicans in the House of Representatives left to chants of “shame.”
Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, (left) speaks with House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, at the State House in Augusta on Thursday.

To break budget stalemate, holdout House GOP offers $125 million in education funding

By Michael Shepherd on June 22, 2017, at 12:44 p.m.
It represents the first major movement in negotiations from the holdout group but it’s unclear how Democrats will respond since the plan would eliminate a surtax on high earners to generate revenue earmarked for public schools.
The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians held their election for tribal chief and council members Saturday. The results of that election are being contested after long-time chief Brenda Commander was beaten by Clairissa E. Sabattis by a mere two votes.

Maliseets continue pursuit of casino for The County

on June 21, 2017, at 11:53 a.m.
“We have heard that the bill may be reconsidered in the Senate with an amendment to include a statewide referendum,” said Chief Clairissa Sabbatis of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians.
Ralph Tripp, 32, of Bangor and Maurice Gunn coordinate on a signature-gathering effort on a 2016 referendum for a York County casino outside the garage at Pickering Square in Bangor in January 2016.

House OKs bill tightening requirements for citizen-initiated ballot questions

By Steve Mistler on June 15, 2017, at 3:42 p.m.
The Legislature has taken the first step toward making it more difficult for citizen-initiated referendums to qualify for the ballot.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

A timeline of the LePage/Mills conflict

Bangor Daily News on May 02, 2017, at 8:32 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage sues attorney general for not representing his legal positions

By Christopher Cousins on May 01, 2017, at 4:16 p.m.
“She has publicly denounced court cases which the executive branch has requested to join and subsequently refuses to provide legal representation for the state.”
POLL QUESTION
Dakota was pardoned in March by Gov. Paul LePage. A District Court judge had ordered the Husky euthanized after it attacked other dogs.

Dog pardon again proves LePage is the alpha in Maine’s power structure

By Michael Shepherd on April 23, 2017, at 7:20 a.m.
A husky’s life is on the line in what may be Maine’s most unusual court case, and one of the only things that can save it is Gov. Paul LePage and a creative interpretation of executive power.
Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives watch votes tally on an amendment to the biennial state budget on June 16, 2015, at the State House in Augusta.

It’s about to get wild at the Maine State House

By Christopher Cousins on April 17, 2017, at 6:06 a.m.
With just over 60 days left before the statutory end of this year’s legislative session, there’s a $6.8 billion problem to solve and lots of other work to do.

Here’s the career path a lifelong Democrat took to becoming a LePage nominee

By Darren Fishell on April 14, 2017, at 2:58 p.m.
In an interview Friday, Hobbins said that, based on his resume, “you would think that would foreclose any opportunity for someone like me to be appointed by a Republican.”
Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King at his home in Brunswick

How Angus King went from a Democratic Party exile to a darling of progressives

By Michael Shepherd on April 02, 2017, at 7:14 a.m.
King campaigned hard against the Democratic establishment at first, but he won over many of the party’s voters and some of its leaders.

Lawmakers agree to rename T17 R4 ‘Sinclair’

on March 30, 2017, at 2:27 p.m.