State House News

 
State Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, speaks in the Maine House of Representatives Monday urging his colleagues to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill that boosts a solar and heat-pump rebate program by adding a surcharge on all those who purchase electricity in Maine. The House voted 105 -41, in favor of overriding LePage's veto. The state Senate must also vote on the issue.

Maine House overrides LePage veto of solar power rebate bill

By Scott Thistle on April 14, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The House of Representatives voted Monday to override a Gov. Paul LePage veto of a bill would fund a solar and heat pump rebate program by adding a 0.011 cents per kilowatt-hour tax on residential and commercial electric bills. The new fee will cost the average homeowner …
House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport

LePage’s ‘Open for Business Zones’ proposal officially dead after partisan House vote

By Christopher Cousins on April 14, 2014, at 1:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Democrats successfully completed their turn-back of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to create “Open for Business Zones” at two former military bases in Maine with a mostly party-line vote Monday in the House of Representatives. The 91-55 vote Monday morning came after a 22-13 vote Friday in the …
  Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, speaks Monday about her bill to expand the availability of Narcan, a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose, during a floor speech in the House of Representatives.

House unanimously supports expanded access to overdose-reversing drug; LePage pledges veto

By Mario Moretto on April 14, 2014, at 12:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A life-saving drug that can stop an opiate overdose in its tracks could well be on its way into the hands of more emergency responders, law enforcement officers, firefighters and addicts’ loved ones. Despite opposition — and a promised veto — from Gov. Paul LePage, the House …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage appeals to federal government to find funding for new cold case homicide squad

By Christopher Cousins on April 12, 2014, at 5:44 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Friday requested that members of Maine’s congressional delegation find funding for a law enforcement cold case squad focused on solving some 120 open homicide cases. In a letter sent to all four members of the state’s congressional delegation on Friday, LePage wrote that …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage vetoes solar energy bill, two others

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2014, at 8:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage vetoed three more bills Friday evening, including a solar energy concept he has been railing against for weeks. LePage said he vetoed LD 1252, An Act to Improve Maine’s Economy and Energy Security with Solar and Wind Energy, because it establishes a new tax …

LePage’s ‘open for business zones’ bill rejected in Senate behind arguments that it’s too generous

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Senate Democrats led a charge against a proposal by Gov. Paul LePage to give large corporations major incentives to bring jobs to two former military bases in Maine, including a “right to work” prohibition on forcing workers to pay union dues. LePage reacted to the vote by …

LePage’s campaign truth squad bill dead after only 1 legislator votes in favor of it

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2014, at 5:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The House of Representatives killed a proposal by Gov. Paul LePage to have the Maine Ethics Commission serve as a campaign speech lie detector on Friday with a vote of 146-1. After a unanimous vote against the bill in the Senate on Thursday, the bill is dead. …

Senate upholds LePage’s veto of ‘compromise’ Medicaid expansion bill

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2014, at 12:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate has sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have expanded Medicaid in Maine under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. At about noon Friday, the 22-13 vote fell two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto …
State Rep. Adam Goode, D-Bangor, speaks Wednesday during a press conference where Democrats were urging Republican Gov. Paul LePage to sign into law a bill that would help the state collect taxes from multinational corporations that shelter funds in accounts in foreign countries. Goode said the measure could bring in up to $10 million during the state's 2-year budget cycle.

Maine Democrats urge LePage to sign offshore tax haven bill

By Scott Thistle on April 10, 2014, at 7:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers in the Legislature’s Democratic majority were urging Republican Gov. Paul LePage to not veto a tax reform bill that they say closes loopholes in state law that allow multinational corporations to evade Maine income taxes. House majority leader Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, along with a cohort of …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage indicates opposition to $30 million budget patch, threatens to keep lawmakers in Augusta

By Christopher Cousins on April 10, 2014, at 6:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has indicated that he doesn’t support the bipartisan budget compromise unanimously supported Wednesday by the Legislature’s budget committee. He also said he’ll keep lawmakers in Augusta for months to fix it if he has to. “If they try to do what they’ve done for …
POLL QUESTION
Gov. Paul LePage

Senate deals quick death to LePage bill to turn state agency into campaign lie detector

By Mario Moretto on April 10, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — “The truthiness bill.” “The lie-detector law.” “The truth-squad bill.” In hallway conversations, Democrats have come up with many names for Gov. Paul LePage’s bill that would make the state Ethics Commission investigate claims that candidates for state office had lied on the campaign trail. But it was …
Rep. Mark Dion

Maine House passes bill to add drug agents but LePage threatens veto

By Scott Thistle on April 09, 2014, at 6:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The House of Representatives on Wednesday, with broad bipartisan support, passed a scaled-back version of a Gov. Paul LePage bill that would add drug enforcement agents, judges and prosecutors to the state’s payroll in an effort to bring under control the state’s growing opiate drug problems. The …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage vetoes Medicaid expansion, calls the effort ‘ruinous’ for Maine’s future

By Mario Moretto on April 09, 2014, at 4:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — As expected, Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers and dramatically overhaul the administration of the program by outsourcing it to managed care organizations. The Legislature gave final enactment to the bill on March 28, starting …
POLL QUESTION
Robert Pelletier's home on Long Lake.

Sen. Troy Jackson bill sought to help Aroostook County man avoid fines for lakefront clearing development

By Naomi Schalit and John Christie, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on April 09, 2014, at 12:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A state senator and candidate for Congress last month tried to get special legislation passed to help a single constituent by undoing part of a legal agreement with the state designed to protect a lake in Aroostook County. State Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, said his bill would …
Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport

Deal in the works to win LePage’s support for drug that can stop heroin overdose

By Mario Moretto on April 09, 2014, at 11:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A deal is in the works to win Gov. Paul LePage’s support for a proposal to make naloxone — a life-saving, overdose-stopping drug — more readily available, said the bill’s sponsor. Naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan, blocks opioid receptors in the drug user’s brain, …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage veto of Medicaid expansion likely today

By Mario Moretto on April 09, 2014, at 10:53 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Today is the deadline for Gov. Paul LePage to take action on a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers and dramatically overhaul the administration of the program by outsourcing it to managed care organizations. The Legislature gave final enactment to the bill …
Senator Roger Katz, R-Augusta

At State House, burst of pre-dawn votes bridges $30M deficit — but will LePage agree?

By Christopher Cousins on April 09, 2014, at 4:57 a.m.
The bipartisan plan early Wednesday morning would cut waiting lists for people with developmental disabilities and possibly save nursing homes.
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, gestures Tuesday evening during a debate in the House of Representatives regarding a bill that would prohibit the use of cash welfare benefits for tobacco, alcohol and other vice purchases. Fredette was urging his colleagues to reject the bill, as amended by the State Senate Monday, because the penalties in the bill were not strong enough, according to Republicans who have called the bill, "a toothless tiger."

Future looks bleak for last of LePage’s welfare reform proposals

By Mario Moretto on April 08, 2014, at 9:16 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — House Democrats on Tuesday evening condemned the last of Gov. Paul LePage’s welfare reform efforts to an uncertain future in the Senate. The House voted 72-70 to insist the Senate accept a weaker version of a bill originally proposed by the governor that has been through the …
Gov. Paul LePage

Legislature overrides LePage veto of bill to protect fish spawning areas from mining

By Christopher Cousins on April 08, 2014, at 8:40 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature on Tuesday overturned a veto by Gov. Paul LePage of a bill that aims to protect delicate fish spawning habitats from motorized mining operations. After a unanimous vote in the Senate on Tuesday morning, the House voted 119-23 Tuesday evening to override the veto. The …
Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford

GOP balks after Senate Democrats advance bill banning welfare spending on tobacco, liquor, lottery

By Mario Moretto on April 07, 2014, at 8:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A surreal reversal in the Maine Senate on Monday saw majority Democrats advance a bill to ban the use of welfare dollars for alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, gambling and bail, while Republicans voted against the clampdown — despite having originally supported it. The move by Democrats, who …
 
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