State House News

Gov. Paul LePage and Senate President Justin Alfond.

Top Democrats to LePage: Show us your plan to aid Maine nursing homes

By Mario Moretto on July 16, 2014, at 6:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The top two Democrats in the Legislature are calling Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s bluff on his repeated requests that lawmakers order a special session to provide more funds for Maine’s nursing homes. In a July 14 letter to Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, and House Speaker Mark …
Richard Rosen

Study faults Maine for poor ‘rainy day’ planning, but lots of other states fare worse

By Christopher Cousins on July 16, 2014, at 4:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The balance in Maine’s rainy day fund has been the source of considerable State House drama in recent months, but a new study by a respected national group highlights that piling up cash reserves is not just political theater. The state’s rainy day fund is essentially state …
Sen. Edward Youngblood listens to Penobscot residents' concerns about a proposed state budget along with fellow state legislators during a town hall meeting at the Brewer auditorium in March 2013.

Sen. Ed Youngblood drops re-election bid, joining one-third of Maine legislators who will not return

By Mario Moretto on July 14, 2014, at 6:13 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — State Sen. Ed Youngblood announced Monday that he will not seek re-election this year. Youngblood, a Republican from Brewer, was elected most recently in 2012, but had served two previous terms in the Senate, from 2000 through 2004. He said Monday that his decision to leave results …
From the community

State Education Board welcomes new leadership

on July 08, 2014, at 3:05 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Peter E. Geiger as chair and Martha J. Harris as vice-chair.   Geiger, of Lewiston, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Nancy Perkins, who will remain on the board. He is the Executive Vice …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks during the 2014 Maine Republican Convention.

Group that met with LePage denies terrorist links

By Christopher Cousins on July 01, 2014, at 7:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The group with alleged ties to domestic terrorism that met eight times with Gov. Paul LePage in 2013 consists of four Maine men who believe their constitutional rights have been violated. The little-known Maine Constitution Coalition was thrust into the state and national spotlight Monday when Mike …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders

Bangor Daily News on June 30, 2014, at 7:50 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — In two calls Monday evening to the Bangor Daily News, Gov. Paul LePage vehemently disputed assertions made by a liberal blogger in a forthcoming book that LePage made references in 2013 to executing Maine’s speaker of the House and Senate president. “I was never in the room …
Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler speaks at Gomez Park on the Bangor waterfront in May.

Cutler says he can pay for his education plan

By Scott Thistle on June 03, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler rolled out his education platform during stops in Bangor and Portland on Tuesday. Cutler, from Cape Elizabeth, is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat from East Millinocket. Michaud is leaving …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage tells Democratic leaders to butt out of Alexander Group contract controversy

By Mario Moretto on June 02, 2014, at 4:15 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Marine — In a strident letter delivered Monday, Republican Gov. Paul LePage told Democratic legislative leaders not to “stick their noses” into executive branch business. The letter was a response to one sent to the governor last week by Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, and House Speaker Mark Eves, …

State Senator Andre Cushing overstates effectiveness of Right to Work and tax incentives

on May 30, 2014, at 2:51 p.m.
IN an op-ed piece published today, Sen. Andre Cushing overstates the effectiveness of right to work legislation and tax incentives in generating economic growth and employment.  He writes: The bill’s goal: provide a number of proven incentives to entice large companies as other states have done. Among them: • Eligibility …
From the community

Award presentations highlight Deaf Culture Week in September

Bangor Daily News on May 29, 2014, at 4:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened seeks nominations for the annual awards presented during the state’s Deaf Culture Week celebration. The 2014 tea in celebration of Deaf Culture Week will take place 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the State House …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander presents his Medicaid expansion feasibility study to lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Committee, including (from left) Reps. Carol McElwee, R-Caribou, and Ann Dorney, D-Norridgewock, and Sens. James Hamper, R-Oxford, and Colleen Lachowicz, D-Waterville, in January.

Alexander Group revives plan to cap local assistance programs; towns wary of cost shift

By Christopher Cousins on May 17, 2014, at 7:19 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — New recommendations floated Thursday by the Alexander Group for changes to Maine’s statewide General Assistance system are causing a sense of deja vu among municipal officials who say the ideas aren’t new and are geared toward the simple goal of ending the state’s financial support of the …
From the community

Maine Child Care Licensing adding 16 investigators

Bangor Daily News on May 14, 2014, at 2:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine –  The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has announced that its Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services has begun hiring additional investigators to ensure that licensed child care providers abide by state regulations and provide a safe environment for the children in their care.Kenneth Albert, director of …
From the community

Reps. Gideon and Dorney to receive Harm Reduction Hero awards

Bangor Daily News on May 12, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Representatives Sara Gideon and Ann Dorney will be presented Harm Reduction Hero awards at the second annual Maine Harm Reduction Conference. The Maine Harm Reduction Conference is an opportunity for medical, social service, and public health providers as well as advocates and community members to connect and learn about …
Governor Paul LePage

State blocking use of EBT cards at liquor store, casino and strip club ATMs under 2-year-old law

By Christopher Cousins on May 12, 2014, at 1:13 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services has begun blocking the use of EBT cards at ATMs in or near certain establishments under the provisions of a two-year-old law that makes the transactions illegal. The LePage administration said Monday that DHHS has already blocked EBT card use …
Jim Rier is Maine's commissioner of education.

School report cards to be released starting May 13, will include data on school poverty levels

By Nell Gluckman on May 10, 2014, at 10:22 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s Department of Education will release controversial school report cards in the coming week, assigning a letter grade to each of Maine’s public schools and districts. The grades are based on how well students performed and improved on standardized tests. Schools will get their grade of A-F …
The State House in Augusta

GOP lawmakers cry foul after Dems refuse to reconvene Legislature to address nursing home funding

By Mario Moretto on May 07, 2014, at 4:40 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The top Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate are criticizing Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves for refusing to call the Legislature back into session to discuss a highly politicized attempt by the governor to funnel more money into the state’s nursing …

Maine agency drops plan requiring disclosure of formaldehyde in children’s products

By Jackie Farwell on May 06, 2014, at 3:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Manufacturers can continue selling children’s products in Maine without disclosing which items contain the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde under a new Maine Department of Environmental Protection decision. The department formally withdrew a proposed rule that would have named formaldehyde a priority chemical under the Kid-Safe Products Act, a …
This flier, paid for by the Maine People's Alliance, was distribute in House District 104, which is represented by Republican Rep. Dale Crafts. Crafts uses a wheelchair, and Republicans were outraged by the language criticizing him for not "standing up" to Gov. Paul LePage.

Maine People’s Alliance apologizes for offense to lawmaker who uses wheelchair

By Mario Moretto on May 05, 2014, at 5:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The state’s leading liberal activist group has apologized to a disabled Lisbon lawmaker for distributing a flier in his district that said the legislator, who uses a wheelchair, had “no spine” and refused to “stand up” to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The flier was distributed by Maine …
Brig. Gen. James Campbell

LePage says Maine’s 133rd Engineer Battalion isn’t going anywhere

By Mario Moretto on May 02, 2014, at 5:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — In an interview Friday, Gov. Paul LePage said reports that the Maine Army National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion would be relocated to Pennsylvania had been “blown out of proportion.” As commander in chief of the state’s National Guard, LePage said he would fight to keep the 500-member …
Gov. Paul LePage

GOP support for LePage splinters on Legislature’s ‘Veto Day’

By Christopher Cousins on May 02, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The unity that Maine Republicans touted at last week’s convention splintered a bit Thursday, when GOP lawmakers joined Democrats in overriding 15 of Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes. With GOP lawmakers’ support, LePage won key victories when his latest two vetoes of Medicaid expansion — along with more …
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