Articles by Scott Thistle

Tom Pelkey of Orland climbs on top of his load of logs to secure them in Blue Hill, Oct. 9, 2014.

Legislators reject LePage attempt to trim tree growth tax break

By Scott Thistle on April 05, 2016, at 12:40 p.m.
Legislation designed to dramatically overhaul Maine’s tree growth property tax credit program fell largely on deaf ears Monday as lawmakers on the Taxation Committee unanimously rejected the proposal offered by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, D-Portland, speaks in Augusta, June 16, 2015.

Next Maine Legislature will need to find money for presidential primary

By Scott Thistle on April 05, 2016, at 8:51 a.m.
A March statewide presidential primary vote could be in the works for Maine in 2020, if the new Legislature elected in November can figure out a way to pay for it.
Color guardsman Bill Kiley of American Veterans Post 6 in New Gloucester listens as Gov. Paul LePage speaks during a Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony at Fort Allen Park in Portland in this December 2015 file photo.

Maine lawmakers forge deal on veterans aid funding

By Scott Thistle on April 01, 2016, at 1:19 p.m.
“Politicians did the right thing today,” Rep. Brad Farrin said. “The winners are our veterans and our soldiers and airmen of the Maine National Guard.”
Gov. Paul LePage gives a kiss to a lawmaker after the 2015 State of the State address Tuesday at the State House in Augusta.

LePage’s bid to up governor’s pay, shrink Legislature gets icy reception

By Scott Thistle on April 01, 2016, at 12:04 p.m.
Proposals by Gov. Paul LePage to hike the salary of Maine’s next governor to $150,000 per year, increase pay for lawmakers and reduce the size of the Legislature appeared poised for defeat.
Members of the Chester L. Briggs American Legion Post 47 Color Guard are seen in this file photo.

Bid to use liquor profits to fund Maine veterans programs stumbles

By Scott Thistle on March 30, 2016, at 4:38 p.m.
Legislation designed to increase funding for the state’s Bureau of Veterans Services hit a political brick wall.
After a hike to the summit of The Owl carrying the tribute stone of Sgt. Daniel F. J. Cunningham of Lewiston, who died in Iraq in 2004, Jared Golden of Lewiston returns to Twin Pine Camps, to present the stone to family and friends of the fallen Maine heroes honored by The Summit Project on May 24, 2014.

Maine lawmaker proposes tapping liquor sales to fund veterans aid

By Scott Thistle on March 30, 2016, at 10:43 a.m.
A bill before the Legislature proposes using about $550,000 from the $46 million profit the state makes selling $144 million worth of alcohol each year to help Maine’s 140,000 veterans.
Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland

Change to closed primary could cost Maine taxpayers more than $1M

By Scott Thistle on March 28, 2016, at 9:26 p.m.
Sen. Justin Alfond said his bill would see Maine hold a statewide presidential primary vote, but only for those who are enrolled in one of the two major parties.

Law change could make Maine vanity plates more risque

By Scott Thistle on March 27, 2016, at 3:11 p.m.
A long list of variations on the spelling of the F-bomb, now banned, as well as “HOTDAM,” “HOTS,” “IDIOT,” “IDIOTS” and “MCDUDU” could be approved under the law change.
Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook

Democrats rip DHHS for welfare program spending changes

By Scott Thistle on March 25, 2016, at 10:56 a.m.
Lawmakers split along party lines repeatedly Thursday as they debated and voted on a series of bills aimed at reforming Maine’s welfare system.
Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon

Maine Senate vote sends estate tax repeal to legislative limbo

By Scott Thistle on March 23, 2016, at 4:26 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon, said the division on the issue was one of the key philosophical divides between his party and that of the opposition.
Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea

Maine Republicans say Democrats’ welfare changes lack teeth

By Scott Thistle on March 22, 2016, at 6:26 p.m.
“You get what I call the ‘You’ve been a bad boy letter.’ It’s significantly watered down. The floods ran through and washed it out.”
Maine State Police leaders inspect the troopers and their vehicles at the Air National Guard base in Bangor in this October 2014 file photo.

State budget panel hears bill to increase Maine trooper pay

By Scott Thistle on March 21, 2016, at 10:02 p.m.
The current starting wage for a state trooper is $18.57 per hour.
 Gov.  Paul LePage speaks at Ellsworth High School, April 16, 2015.

LePage chides lawmakers over paper mill closures

By Scott Thistle on March 16, 2016, at 10:53 a.m.
In a pair of blistering missives to State House leaders Tuesday, Republican Gov. Paul LePage charged lawmakers with doing little to help the state’s sagging pulp and paper industry.
The schooner Bowdoin heads down the Bagaduce River and out of Castine Harbor.

State asked to kick in $1 million for historic schooner repairs

By Scott Thistle on March 16, 2016, at 9:26 a.m.
“When the old deck was removed, more extensive deterioration was discovered.”
Cannabis was on display at the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor, April, 19, 2014.

Bill to set marijuana blood level standards for OUI stalls

By Scott Thistle on March 11, 2016, at 8:24 a.m.
A Maine legislative panel Thursday rejected a bill to set a blood-level limit that could have been used as evidence to convict a person for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Rep. Bruce Poliquin

Lauded by business group, Bruce Poliquin says Congress a ‘mess’

By Scott Thistle on March 10, 2016, at 1:07 p.m.
Rep. Bruce Poliquin said trying to clean up that mess was exactly why he ran for Congress.
Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, and Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn.

Maine lawmakers: DHHS stalling on new lead standards

By Scott Thistle on March 09, 2016, at 8:20 p.m.
Lawmakers say the issue should be treated as a public health emergency, but DHHS instead has moved to a rule-making process that could take another four months to implement.
Juliette St. Clair of Rockland, foreground, is in line to register to vote for the first time at the Democratic caucus in the city. St. Clair she came to the caucus to support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. She said she really likes that he stands for and what he believes in.

Caucus lines renew interest in restoring Maine primary

By Scott Thistle on March 07, 2016, at 12:17 p.m.
Leading Democratic and Republican state senators said Monday that turnout at the state’s caucuses over the weekend was so strong it shows Maine should now become a primary state — with voters from both parties casting their ballots on a single day.
Sen. Ron Collins, R-Wells

Bills to boost services to Maine veterans advance

By Scott Thistle on March 03, 2016, at 7:18 a.m.
“This is a situation of clearly drawing lines and saying this a priority for the Maine Legislature — to take care of veterans,” Sen. Ron Collins said.
Empty cans are ready to be filled in a back storage area of Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.

Maine Senate nixes bill to ease limits on brewers’ ‘to go’ sales

By Scott Thistle on March 01, 2016, at 3:59 p.m.
A bill that would have allowed Maine craft brewers to more easily sell their products “to go” was squashed like an aluminum beer can by the state Senate on Tuesday.