State House News

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 …
Rep. Peggy Rotundo

In last-minute twist, lawmakers vote to kill late bills by LePage

By Scott Thistle on May 02, 2014, at 6:36 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee voted unanimously late Thursday to kill a pair of bills that Republican Gov. Paul LePage proposed in the final days of the 126th Legislature’s second session. The decision came after the committee received word from LePage, just as it was preparing …
The State House in Augusta.

Legislature overrides 15 of LePage’s 48 recent vetoes

By Mario Moretto on May 01, 2014, at 9:10 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — During a return to session that people in the State House refer to as “Veto Day,” lawmakers on Thursday overturned 15 of the 48 vetoes issued by Republican Gov. Paul LePage during the past two weeks. While the 15 reversals in one day represent a victory of …
House Majority Leader Seth Berry

Lawmakers disagree about procedure, sustain LePage veto of family planning bill

By Scott Thistle on May 01, 2014, at 7:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — After four Republicans changed their votes to support Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine House on Thursday sustained the governor’s veto of a bill that would have expanded access to birth control and cervical cancer screenings for up to 13,700 low-income women. The reason? Republicans said they were …
Educators are debating what role standardized tests like the one taken recently by students at the Miles Lane School in Bucksport should play in evaluating teachers.

Maine gives teachers say in evaluating whether they’re making the grade

By Nell Gluckman on May 01, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.
FARMINGTON, Maine — Mt. Blue High School biology teacher Doug Hodum has been working for a year with about 20 teachers, administrators and a parent to develop a system for how he and his colleagues will be evaluated. The all-volunteer group first met a couple of times a month but …
Governor Paul LePage speaks during the second day of the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on April 26.

Legislators crush LePage’s supplemental budget veto; bill becomes law

By Christopher Cousins on May 01, 2014, at 1:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage’s objections to the bipartisan supplemental budget bill that closes a more than $30 million revenue gap in the current biennium convinced very few Republicans that it’s a bad plan. With no debate, only 12 members in the House and no members of the Senate …
Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe

Democrats say 2 new LePage vetoes put lakes, jobs at serious risk

By Christopher Cousins on April 30, 2014, at 4:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage vetoed two more bills Wednesday that would protect Maine lakes from pollution and strengthen a revolving loan program for small business. The two new vetoes brings the total that face the Legislature on Thursday to 48. LePage said in his veto letter for LD …
Gov. Paul LePage

With last-minute bill, LePage renews war on drugs with plan to boost enforcement, fund more treatment

By Scott Thistle on April 30, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — In a last-minute move, Gov. Paul LePage is offering up two bills he wants the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes Thursday to take up a long list of veto override votes. One of the bills offered by LePage would fund a proposed expansion of the state’s …
Gov. Paul LePage at the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Friday.

LePage vetoes Medicaid expansion, concealed weapon permit reform

By Mario Moretto on April 29, 2014, at 7:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday dropped 16 more veto letters on lawmakers’ desks, bringing his career total to a record-breaking 179. Among the latest batch of vetoed bills were two efforts at Medicaid expansion, which represented Democrats’ last-ditch attempts to achieve their top policy priority of the …
Rep. Jane Pringle

As LePage vetoes family planning bill, cost of teen births in Maine pegged at $18 million

By Jackie Farwell on April 29, 2014, at 1:55 p.m.
Teen births cost Maine taxpayers at least $18 million in 2010, according to new data released Tuesday just hours after Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies among low-income women. Between 1991 and 2010, 25,713 teen births occurred in Maine, costing state taxpayers $600 million over …
Gov. Paul LePage

Are LePage’s 179 vetoes leadership or extremism?

By Christopher Cousins on April 29, 2014, at 11:53 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage’s use of the veto pen will make for a busy day for lawmakers on Thursday, reigniting a debate about whether the governor’s endgame judgment of bills is obstructionism or leadership. LePage has racked up a record-breaking 179 vetoes during his first term, including 46 …
From the community
St. John Catholic School students on Jan. 30 served as Honorary Pages for the Senate, and on March 18, they served the House of Representatives. Here are (from left) Austin Soucy, Chris Phair, Adam Terry, Emilee Theriault, Sadie Irza, Elsie Suttie, Jake Suttie.

St. John students to have lunch with Gov. LePage

Bangor Daily News on April 28, 2014, at 12:45 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The sixth-grade class at St. John Regional Catholic School in Winslow will receive a private tour of the Blaine House before eating lunch with Gov. Paul LePage at noon Tuesday, April 29. “My hope is that it sparks a personal, lifelong interest in politics, especially involving Maine issues,” …
Mary Mayhew is the commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Maine DHHS chief brushes aside federal warning, will move ahead with plan for photos on EBT cards

By Judy Meyer on April 25, 2014, at 6:32 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The federal government has asked Maine to delay its plan to put photos on public assistance electronic benefits transfer cards until it can fully review and approve the state’s plan. Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said late Friday that the plan is …
Gov. Paul LePage at the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Friday.

LePage vetoes bipartisan supplemental budget bill, citing ‘gimmicks’

By Christopher Cousins on April 25, 2014, at 4:08 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a supplemental budget bill that was crafted by the Legislature and supported by majorities in both parties. The Republican governor rejected the bill because he said it includes “gimmicks” to balance the books. “I cannot support a budget that uses gimmicks to …
Bruce Poliquin

Raye, Poliquin look to GOP convention to trigger interest in June primary

By Christopher Cousins on April 25, 2014, at 3:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — With the primary election for Maine’s open 2nd Congressional District seat just weeks away, the two GOP candidates are using this weekend’s Republican State Convention to capture attention in a race that could be decided with a low voter turnout. The Republicans vying to be their party’s …
From the community

Mercy Hospital’s Sarah Vasil honored for work in sexual assault

Bangor Daily News on April 24, 2014, at 4:42 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine – Mercy Health System of Maine is pleased to announce that Sarah Vasil, RN, a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) in the Emergency Department, was presented with this year’s SAFE Award on April 1, at the annual Blaine House Tea on April 1. Her exceptional dedication and care for …
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills

Report: Roughly half of murders in Maine involve domestic violence, continuing years-old trend

By Mario Moretto on April 24, 2014, at 4:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Last year, about half of Maine’s 25 homicide cases involved domestic violence. The victims were intimately familiar with their attackers: They were spouses or siblings, parents or even children. In 2012, the figures were roughly the same, with about 44 percent of homicides in Maine involving family …
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Maine awards new contracts to 3 Medicaid rides brokers; firm at center of controversy loses out

By Scott Thistle on April 24, 2014, at 12:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — One of the companies at the center of a problematic transition for the state’s nonemergency Medicaid ride program will not have its contract renewed, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Coordinated Transportation Solutions, an Ansonia, Conn.-based company that also employs about 45 call …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage vetoes bill to give lawmakers more say on $67 million tax increase for FairPoint

By Mario Moretto on April 23, 2014, at 8:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill framed by supporters as an effort to protect cable, cellphone and land-line ratepayers from a proposed $67 million fee hike was vetoed Wednesday by Gov. Paul LePage, who said the bill does nothing to address the underlying problem. FairPoint Communications has a pending case before …
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