State House News

Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta.

Lawmakers consider regulating fantasy sports gambling in Maine

By Mal Leary on Aug. 14, 2016, at 2 a.m.
Maine will join the growing number of states that will consider legislation next year to regulate fantasy sports gambling.
Gov. Paul LePage placed a paper copy of the biennial state budget beneath rubber pigs and a Christmas tree at the State House in Augusta, June 17, 2015.

Why only a fraction of Maine’s $93 million budget surplus goes to savings

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 14, 2016, at 1 a.m.
Among Gov. Paul LePage’s top complaints about the Legislature is how it deals with extra money in the state budget.
An Orono Middle School student uses his Apple laptop during class on June 12, 2013.

LePage eyes changing laptop program launched by Angus King

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 12, 2016, at 2:39 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has placed a key element of Angus King’s legacy as governor under a microscope by ordering a sweeping review of a taxpayer-funded program that provides thousands of computer devices to Maine students.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew speaks during a press conference in Bangor, Oct. 28, 2014.

Maine DHHS proceeds with plan to build facility for mentally ill patients

By Steve Mistler, MPBN on Aug. 12, 2016, at 2:39 p.m.
The Maine DHHS is moving forward with a plan to build a new facility for mentally ill patients who have committed crimes but have been deemed not responsible by a judge.
Maine Families served 2,393 families with 2,644 children in all counties in state fiscal year 2014.

How Maine quietly handed off financial oversight of a $23M program for infants

By Erin Rhoda on Aug. 11, 2016, at 6:16 a.m.
The circumstances raise questions about transparency and accountability.
The Blaine House

New PAC enlists LePage as fundraiser, met at Blaine House

By Joshua F. Moore, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on Aug. 04, 2016, at 9:39 a.m.
Organizers of a brand new political action committee that has quickly attracted some of Maine’s largest donors revealed Wednesday that one of the PAC’s officers is Gov. Paul LePage.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage orders state government hiring freeze

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 01, 2016, at 4:54 p.m.
“Beginning immediately, no positions will be posted by the Bureau of Human Resources, nor should they be posted by agencies electronically or in print,” the memo reads.
Gov. Paul LePage wields a pig, which he used as a prop, to protest the state's biennial budget during a press conference at the State House, June 17, 2015.

Who would go if LePage succeeds in trimming state payroll

By Michael Shepherd on July 31, 2016, at 1:02 a.m.
The details of the Republican governor’s state employee plan have been hazy.
Gov. Paul LePage speaks at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris on Wednesday.

LePage blasts Congress, lobbyists, legislators in latest town hall

By Matthew Daigle, Sun Journal on July 28, 2016, at 8:47 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage set his sights on the November referendum ballot questions during his latest town hall forum, held in Paris on Wednesday evening.
Gov. Paul LePage

Memo: LePage seeks to reduce state workforce to cut taxes

By Mal Leary on July 27, 2016, at 1 a.m.
A memo that was sent to commissioners earlier this month and obtained by Maine Public Radio reveals that the governor has set three goals for the budget-writing process that is already underway.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage staff broke texting policy while working to keep public meeting private

By Steve Mistler, MPBN on July 20, 2016, at 1:33 p.m.
Officials in the governor’s office violated LePage’s policy that prohibits state employees from using texts to conduct government business as they discussed denying public access to a special education commission meeting.
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.