State House News

Christina and Corey Darveau with some of the hundreds of packets that they will send to police stations and high schools in Maine to bring attention to T.A.Y.L.O.R. tags in this 2014 photo.

‘Taylor’s Law’ headed to enactment after Legislature overrides LePage veto

By Abigail Curtis and Christopher Cousins on May 28, 2015, at 11:07 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The bill that has become known as “Taylor’s Law” will go into law after a 114-32 vote Thursday in the House of Representatives that overrode a veto of the bill by Gov. Paul LePage. The House’s action follows a 23-11 vote in the Senate on Wednesday that …

Brunswick House candidate denies wrongdoing in campaign cash probe

By Christopher Cousins on May 27, 2015, at 4:28 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A former candidate for the House of Representatives faces up to $400 in fines for his alleged failure to account for $1,600 he withdrew as cash from a publicly funded campaign account. The case is scheduled for a hearing Thursday by the Maine Ethics Commission. Byron Watson, …
Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea.

Maine House rejects divisive bill to boost regulation on abortion facilities

By Mario Moretto on May 27, 2015, at 4:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday opposed a contentious bill that would require abortion clinics to meet new licensing requirements. Proponents of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, said the measure was meant only to protect patient safety at clinics operated by groups such …
Rep. Anthony J. Edgecomb, R-Fort Fairfield, Rep. Carol A. McElwee, Chief Petty Officer Carl Smith, and Loring Job Corps Center Honor Guard students.

Loring Job Corps Center students visit State House chamber

on May 27, 2015, at 3:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — State Representatives Carol A. McElwee (R-Caribou) and Anthony J. Edgecomb (R-Fort Fairfield) join students from the Loring Job Corps Center around the Speaker’s rostrum in the House Chamber on Thursday, May 14. The Honor Guard students, along with their instructor, Chief Petty Officer Carl Smith, presented the …
Christina and Corey Darveau with some of the hundreds of packets that they will send to police stations and high schools in Maine to bring attention to T.A.Y.L.O.R. tags in this 2014 file photo.

Senate overrides veto of ‘Taylor’s Law,’ bill’s fate moves to House

By Christopher Cousins on May 27, 2015, at 11:19 a.m.
AUGUSTA | “Taylor’s Law,” a bill vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage last week, was revived Wednesday when the Senate voted 23-11 against the governor’s effort to kill the bill. Taylor’s Law, LD 737, seeks to strengthen the enforcement of an existing law that bars drivers with intermediate licenses from …
Chad Januskiewicz snowshoe hikes up Borestone Mountain in Piscataquis County on March 21 as part of The Summit Project.

The weight of loss: Summit Project honoring fallen Maine warriors comes to State House

By Scott Thistle on May 27, 2015, at 8:41 a.m.
AUGUSTA | State Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, never knew her dad. He was killed in 1944, near the end of World War II while serving with the U.S. Army in the Philippine Islands. Haskell joined a group of lawmakers and surviving family members of other Mainers who lost their …

Bill would allow Maine Amish hunters to wear red instead of orange

By Jen Lynds on May 26, 2015, at 3:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Emergency legislation was submitted Tuesday to allow Amish hunters to wear red items of clothing instead of the standard orange during hunting season. The Amish faith prohibits the use of bright colors, but Amish hunters are forced to use the bright, fluorescent hunter orange to comply with …
Gov. Paul LePage talks about his budget during a Town Hall meeting at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast on April 28.

LePage proposes creating system of public defenders in Maine

By Mal Leary on May 26, 2015, at 3 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage has submitted legislation that would create a new system of public defenders to assure that every poor Maine resident charged with a crime receives adequate legal representation. Maine is the only state without public defenders, and has long relied on paying individual lawyers on …
Members of Maine's Native American tribes rallied outside the State House on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, after tribal representatives in the House of Representatives resigned from their seats over conflicts with state government and Gov. Paul LePage.

Tribes withdraw from Maine Legislature

By Mario Moretto on May 26, 2015, at 11:50 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Citing growing concerns about state government’s apparent lack of respect for tribal sovereignty, the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes announced Tuesday that they were withdrawing their delegates to the Maine Legislature. “We have gone to great lengths to demonstrate good faith and cooperation, only to be lied to,” …
Corey Arsenault enjoys a cigarette during his smoke break Thursday in Bangor.

Health groups fear lawmakers may shift Maine’s anti-smoking stance

By Mario Moretto on May 21, 2015, at 7:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Health advocates say that if lawmakers aren’t careful, they could undo decades of successful anti-tobacco policy. Elements of Gov. Paul LePage’s budget and several bills in the Legislature could each push Maine toward a backslide, they said during a news conference Thursday. “For over 25 years, we …
Oxford Street Shelter awaits the night's occupants as Portland Democrats and social services leaders said that a recent state audit claiming the city mismanagement of its General Assistance program is part of a “coordinated attack” by Gov. Paul LePage's administration at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 27, outside the Portland shelter.

Maine Senate approves 9-month limit for General Assistance

By Mario Moretto on May 21, 2015, at 1:18 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Senate on Thursday approved a bill to impose for the first time a cap on the number of months a person can receive aid through the General Assistance program. LD 1035, by Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, would limit recipients to nine months of assistance in …
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 …
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 …

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 …
Lawmakers applaud during the 2015 State of the State address in the House of Representatives chamber at the State House in Augusta in this Feb. 3, 2015, file photo.

Numbers show Maine Legislature has a lot of work to do, not much time

By Christopher Cousins on May 17, 2015, at 5:42 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Sunday marks one month until the Legislature’s theoretical adjournment date. This is the time of year when the Legislature begins its scramble to finish its work for the 2015 session. Here are some numbers from the Legislature’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, accurate as of Friday …
Twelve Dempsey Center volunteers recently received the Governor's Award for Service and Volunteerism. Pictured here are: (back, left) Pat Rand, Phyllis Benoit, Nancy Muir, Priscilla Agurkis, Holly Boom; (front) Connie Lagrange. Not pictured are: Wanda Brown, Marilyn Businelli, Betty Lane, Jeannette MacDonald, Phyllis Walder and Sandy Bechard

Dempsey Center Volunteers receive Governor’s Award

By Kathy Dion on May 14, 2015, at 2:28 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Twelve volunteers at the Dempsey Center were presented with the Governor’s Award for Service and Volunteerism at a recent Volunteer Recognition celebration. The award is presented each year to volunteers for their “exemplary work as Maine’s most dedicated citizens,” according to Dempsey Center volunteers who received …
District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz

Maine Senate puts off vote on judge who issued gag order on press

By Judy Harrison on May 14, 2015, at 1:09 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Senate on Thursday indefinitely delayed confirmation votes on the reappointments of District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz and Superior Court Justice William Anderson. Information on why the votes were tabled was not available Thursday afternoon. Efforts to reach Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, who is chairman of …
Judy Karhl of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights testifies Wednesday against two abortion-related bills Maine lawmakers are considering.

Conflict over reproductive rights in Maine erupts again in Legislature

By Patty Wight, MPBN News on May 14, 2015, at 11:38 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Legislature is taking up several proposals that affect Maine’s laws governing abortions. One bill that went before the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon would require parental consent for teens who want an abortion. Another would establish operational and safety standards for abortion clinics. No government …
Gov. Paul LePage

Bill asking voters to repeal income tax rejected by committee

By Scott Thistle on May 13, 2015, at 5:39 p.m.
AUGUSTA | In a mostly party-line vote, lawmakers on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Republican Gov. Paul LePage that would ask Maine voters to repeal the state’s income tax by 2020. The proposal by LePage seeks to send a ballot question to Maine voters …
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