State House News

Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, listens to David Boyer, head of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and Scott Gagnon of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, face off in a forum hosted by the Maine Law Federalist Society April 20, 2015, in Portland.

Ethics panel fines Portland legislator $500 after email list complaint

By Michael Shepherd on July 20, 2016, at 12:22 p.m.
A state ethics panel fined an outgoing legislator’s campaign $500 on Wednesday, but effectively cleared her of more serious allegations around a huge email list that she used to raise a massive sum for a failed Maine Senate primary.
Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, talks on the phone in the State House in Augusta, Jan. 14, 2016.

Why it looks like Maine’s lame-duck House speaker is campaigning

By Christopher Cousins on July 18, 2016, at 7:04 a.m.
House Speaker Mark Eves, a Democrat, has less than six months left in office before being forced out by Maine’s term limits law, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him lately.

Maine Senate to return Aug. 4 for votes on LePage nominees

By Christopher Cousins on July 12, 2016, at 4:09 p.m.
The Maine Senate will return to Augusta next month to consider a series of nominations by Gov. Paul LePage, according to Senate President Mike Thibodeau.
A dose of Suboxone is seen in this May 1, 2015, BDN file photo.

Advocates say new DHHS draft rules could shutter Maine drug treatment clinics

By Christopher Cousins on July 11, 2016, at 3:40 p.m.
The draft rules, proposed recently by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, would introduce new requirements for medication-assisted treatment facilities that disburse methadone and Suboxone, medications that are used to help people with opioid addictions kick their habits.
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the audience during a town hall meeting at Bucksport Middle School, Sept. 29, 2015.

In town halls and radio calls, LePage controls the message to his audience — and they like it

By Christopher Cousins and Michael Shepherd on July 10, 2016, at 1:02 a.m.
When it comes to communicating with Mainers, Gov. Paul LePage prefers small groups.
Gov. Paul LePage speaks during a congressional field hearing in East Millinocket, June 1, 2016.

Gov. Paul LePage’s Richmond town hall, annotated

By Darren Fishell on July 05, 2016, at 8:38 a.m.
The Bangor Daily News took a transcript of LePage’s June public forum in Richmond and checked about 80 statements of fact.

Gov. LePage’s town hall meeting in Greenville postponed

on June 28, 2016, at 9:42 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage

Rebuffed on special session, LePage issues executive order

By Christopher Cousins on June 27, 2016, at 3:49 p.m.
LePage says he’ll use money from the Low-Cost Drugs for Maine’s Elderly Program, the Fund for a Healthy Maine and personal services accounts to fund the bills and may resort to a hiring freeze with the Department of Health and Human Services to find the funding.
Howard Hill in Augusta seen in this photo courtesy of Kennebec Land Trust.

Why do LePage, environmentalists keep fighting?

By Christopher Cousins on June 19, 2016, at 7:24 a.m.
There’s no reason to expect a ceasefire.

What stands out about LePage’s approach to the economy: A focus on industries of the past

By Christopher Burns on June 18, 2016, at 8:41 a.m.
The governor has focused his energy on eliminating the state income tax, reducing energy costs and lightening regulations in hopes of reviving the state’s flagging manufacturing and natural resource industries and attracting businesses from out of state. But the results of these efforts have been mixed, according to economists.
Ben Chipman shakes hands with a voters at the polls in Portland on Tuesday.

Chipman, Chenette appear to score key wins in Democratic primaries

By Michael Shepherd on June 14, 2016, at 9:18 p.m.
The Democratic candidate would be the favorite to win Maine Senate District 27 in Portland.
The State House in Augusta

Four key questions Maine primary voters will answer

By Michael Shepherd on June 12, 2016, at 1 a.m.
Here are the questions we’ll be answering Tuesday.
Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, talks on the phone in the State House in Augusta, Jan. 14, 2016.

The campaign to lead Maine’s next Legislature quietly unfolds

By Christopher Cousins on June 05, 2016, at 6:22 a.m.
With Maine voters growing more attentive to the November elections, the people running for the State House have their eyes cast a bit further into the future to when the new Legislature chooses its leaders for the next two years.
A "Senate Gallery Open" sign can be seen in Augusta in this June 2015 file photo.

The stakes are high in 10 Maine Senate primaries

By Michael Shepherd on May 30, 2016, at 9:13 a.m.
The 10 Maine Senate nominations to be decided on June 14 will either alter the campaign calculus for determining control of the next Senate or pick runaway general election favorites.
Gov. Paul LePage answers questions from the audience during a town hall meeting at  William S. Cohen School in Bangor on May 25, 2016.

LePage administration makes it easier for veterans to get work licenses

By Dawn Gagnon on May 29, 2016, at 1:49 p.m.
Laws signed by the governor in 2012 and 2013 have made it quicker and easier for veterans with relevant military training and experience to obtain occupational licensing.
Gov. Paul LePage answers questions from the third graders at the Brewer Community School on April 2, 2016, following the signing of LD 1609. The bill made the American lobster the official crustacean of Maine.

Can Maine make schools better by raising income tax on high earners?

By Christopher Cousins on May 29, 2016, at 8 a.m.
Voters in November will be asked again whether they want state funding for education to reach 55 percent. This time the referendum identifies a funding source.
Debra Plowman is seen at the Maine Republican Party convention in Augusta, May 6, 2012.

LePage taps another temp, continues refusal to nominate education commissioner

By Christopher Cousins on May 26, 2016, at 3:01 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage continued to sidestep the law regarding legislative confirmation of top administrators Tuesday when he appointed Debra Plowman of Hampden as “temporary deputy education commissioner.”
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage joins Texas lawsuit against Obama’s decree on transgender rights

By Christopher Cousins on May 25, 2016, at 6:14 p.m.
The governor’s spokesman Peter Steele said Wednesday afternoon that Maine is not a plaintiff in the suit but that the governor has signed on to it “pro se,” which means on his own personal behalf.
Mike Thibodeau

Legislative panel to review Maine wardens’ poaching sting

By Steve Mistler, MPBN on May 20, 2016, at 3 p.m.
The hearing follows a report that raised questions about the 2014 poaching raid, the conduct of an undercover agent and whether the operation was fueled by the presence of a reality TV crew.
Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew participates in an event in South Portland last year.

Mayhew backtracks on outsourcing Maine’s Meals on Wheels

By Anthony Brino on May 19, 2016, at 1:04 p.m.