Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone

Opinion Page Editor

 
Registered Nurse Rebecca Moak poses for a photo in trauma center of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, in October 2013.

6 reasons why Maine topped the nation for Medicaid spending growth

By Matthew Stone on April 23, 2015, at 12:48 p.m.
Maine has historically struggled to manage the costs of its Medicaid program. Over time, it has come to consume a growing portion of the state budget. But that reality isn’t unique to Maine. Between 2000 and 2013, Medicaid came to consume a growing portion of state revenues in 49 states, …
Trebor Mansion Inn in Guilford, a Maine rental property available on Airbnb.

Can anyone keep Airbnb down?

By Matthew Stone on April 14, 2015, at 2:33 p.m.
Are Maine’s hoteliers feeling the disruption? On Monday, lawmakers rejected a bill supported by Maine’s hospitality industry that would have extended hotel licensing requirements to every entity that rents rooms overnight to guests for less than seven days. The prime target for the hotel industry, of course, were homeowners throughout …
The State House in Augusta.

Document translation: Have Democrats offered Maine a ‘better deal?’

By Matthew Stone on April 09, 2015, at 2:20 p.m.
It’s been three months since Gov. Paul LePage came out with his two-year budget proposal and its cornerstone that has driven debate in Augusta all winter: His plan to overhaul Maine’s tax system with significant income tax cuts offset in part by higher, more broadly applied sales taxes. Now, Democrats …

Affordability or fiscal nightmare? The University of Maine System’s tuition freeze

By Matthew Stone on April 04, 2015, at 6:31 a.m.
The University of Maine System is staring down another year of red ink as it attempts to plug a long-term budget hole. This coming year, five of the university network’s seven universities expect to dip into reserves to the tune of $8.6 million to balance the books. The reserve-dipping is …
The BDN logo goes up at One Merchant's Plaza.

5 changes you can look forward to on The Point, from the BDN

By Matthew Stone on April 01, 2015, at 5:47 a.m.
The Bangor Daily News launched The Point in November 2014 with a simple goal in mind: explain — as in, really explain — critical Maine issues and why they matter. Since then, our talented staff has delivered some of the most insightful, engaging and compelling reporting on Maine politics and …
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks to the crowd Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

What Ohio Gov. Kasich is pushing in Maine is ‘uncharted territory’ for the nation

By Matthew Stone on March 26, 2015, at 11:53 a.m.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in Maine today to gin up support for a constitutional convention where a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be proposed. It takes the support of two-thirds of the states (34) to call the convention; it would take the support of three-quarters of …
Karla DeMaris is an English teacher at Penquis Valley High School in Milo.

iPad troubles, adjustment time: A teacher’s perspective on Maine’s new standardized test

By Matthew Stone on March 26, 2015, at 11:46 a.m.
Karla DeMaris’ 11th-grade English students at Penquis Valley High School in Milo will soon join students from across Maine and 16 other states in the start of a new spring ritual. In the coming weeks, they’ll take the Smarter Balanced standardized tests in math and English, which have replaced the …

I’m actually excited to see the GOP presidential campaign begin

on March 25, 2015, at 4:41 p.m.
The other day, I was reading some news and I found an article on the upcoming presidential race that suggested that there is a realistic possibility that 20 people — 20! — could be running for the Republican nomination in 2016. When I read that, I was immediately skeptical. Usually, …
The State House in Augusta.

Document translation: LePage tax cuts give most to the richest and poorest

By Darren Fishell and Matthew Stone on March 21, 2015, at 10:22 a.m.
Estimates of how Gov. Paul LePage’s tax reforms would affect households at all different income levels show the steepest cuts would go to Maine’s richest and poorest residents. The breakdown comes from a Maine Revenue Services analysis that models the contours of the LePage proposal against current tax law for …
A collection of campaign mailers that circulated before an August 2013 special state Senate election in the Bath area.

Rockland’s special House election is pricier than all of last year’s races

By Matthew Stone on March 10, 2015, at 2:10 p.m.
The special House election on Tuesday in Rockland and Owls Head is already more expensive than every Maine House contest during the 2014 election cycle. But a review of campaign spending data shows one major departure from high-spending legislative races in recent years: a more positive tone. The major state …
Lobsters at the 2014 Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.

Maine loves lobsters — and it depends on them more than ever

By Matthew Stone on March 06, 2015, at 7:45 a.m.
Maine fishermen have come off a record season — both for the lobster and for Maine’s commercial fishery as a whole. The Maine Department of Marine Resources on Thursday said the state’s 2014 fishing season was the most valuable yet. Fishermen hauled in $585.3 million worth of lobsters, clams, herring, …
Kevin Klucher of Maryland snaps a photo of a live lobster in Rockland  at the 67th annual Maine Lobster Festival in July 2014.

Maine’s lobster enigma: Record catches in warming waters

By Matthew Stone on March 03, 2015, at 4:06 p.m.
The lobster is in its boom years on the Maine coast, and no one knows precisely why, scientifically speaking, or how long the boom will last. Maine lobstermen had a record year in 2014, hauling in $456.9 million worth of the popular crustacean. While the actual amount of lobster landed …

A third of Maine’s trailers are from away, the most from Missouri

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 27, 2015, at 6:58 a.m.
Connecticut officials have complained in recent weeks about the number of personal vehicles Connecticut residents have registered in Maine to avoid paying the property taxes they owe their cities and towns. But it turns out, many more Maine-registered trailers than cars are from away — and Missouri is the most …
An illustration picture taken in Paris shows cigarettes in a pack.

Maine made a dent in teen smoking, but it’s changing course

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 20, 2015, at 10:31 a.m.
It has been 17 years since Maine and 45 other states were promised a financial windfall of sorts, nearly $10 billion each year from the nation’s five largest tobacco companies. The states pledged to use the money for anti-tobacco efforts, including smoking prevention and cessation and tobacco-related health care. But …

Bangor at $9.75 an hour: More for low-wage workers, likely minimal job loss

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 13, 2015, at 12:29 p.m.
What does $7.50 buy you? An hour of a minimum wage worker’s time in Maine, and it’s been that way for more than five years. Now, City Councilor Joe Baldacci is suggesting the city of Bangor break away from the rest of Maine and require a higher minimum wage for …

We annotated Gov. Paul LePage’s State of the State speech

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 04, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage gave us a lot to think about Tuesday night in his State of the State address. We’ve taken the governor’s speech — as prepared — and added some context and analysis, conducted some fact checking and noted where the governor veered off script.   Click on any …
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to reporters during the New England Patriots press conference at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass on Thursday.

Did the Pats become impossibly better after 2006? The Super Bowl could be our answer

By Matthew Stone and Susan Young on Jan. 29, 2015, at 3:49 p.m.
Unfortunately for devoted fans of the New England Patriots, their top-performing team is entering its sixth Super Bowl of the Brady-Belichick era with doubts hanging over its unprecedented success. When the allegations first trickled out that the Patriots had under-inflated game balls during the AFC Championship faceoff against the Indianapolis …

A tax on tax preparers, dog groomers, plow guys: The makings of a modern tax code?

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 16, 2015, at 5:20 a.m.
If Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to overhaul Maine’s tax system goes through, the governor says the changes will result in a modern tax system. “We will achieve this significant reduction by transitioning our tax code from one dependent on taxing earnings to a more modern tax model based on consumption,” …
Jim Zaffiro, left, and his daughter Emily Zaffiro, 17, a student at Pius Catholic High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, work on filling out a FAFSA form, which determines how much and what types of financial aid students are eligible for when starting college.

It’s financial aid season for college applicants, a time when deadlines rule

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 09, 2015, at 10:34 a.m.
High school seniors across Maine have written their personal essays, completed their applications and submitted them to the colleges they might attend in the fall. Others are still at work on those applications with later deadlines. Now that it’s January, the focus shifts to the applications for the financial aid …
The Maine Legislature's party makeup over the years.

When the Senate had no Democrats: Maine Legislature’s party makeup over the years

By Eric Zelz and Matthew Stone on Dec. 08, 2014, at 2:29 p.m.
A special Senate committee starts its work Tuesday of digging into the circumstances surrounding the unsettled race to represent District 25 in the state Senate. The district encompasses some of Portland’s northern suburbs. Depending on what the committee finds, the partisan composition of the state Senate could change by one …
 
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