State House News

Inmate jumpsuits are seen at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor in 2015.

LePage vetoes bill to bail out county jails

Bangor Daily News on April 22, 2016, at 6:09 p.m.
The one-year funding proposal represents a short-term fix for cash-strapped county jails.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage says Maine will lose up to 1,500 jobs this summer

By Christopher Cousins on April 19, 2016, at 8:53 p.m.
LePage’s comments came about two weeks after claimed a southern Maine company was about to shed 900 jobs.
The State House

Besides killing bills, what did Maine legislators accomplish in 2016?

By Christopher Cousins on April 16, 2016, at 1:31 p.m.
What a difference a year makes.
Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston

Compromise moves state welfare abuse bill forward

By Scott Thistle on April 16, 2016, at 10:57 a.m.
“This bill finally gives Mainers what they’ve wanted,” Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, said.
Gov. Paul LePage flips a switch symbolically marking the re-start of the ReEnergy biomass power plant on the Realty Road in Ashland in October 2014. Joining him are (from left) Mark Thibodeau, facility manager; an unidentified ReEnergy representative; and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

$13.5 million biomass bailout passes Maine Legislature

By Michael Shepherd on April 15, 2016, at 10:02 p.m.
It’s a bid to keep Maine’s four biomass power plants running after two others closed this year, citing low energy prices.
Maine Department of Transportation workers clear a ditch along the southbound lane of Route 202 in Hampden on Sept. 11, 2013.

Lawmakers want voters to approve $150M in new borrowing

By Scott Thistle on April 15, 2016, at 5:02 p.m.
The Maine Legislature on Friday appeared poised to pass a pair of large bonding bills that would ask the state’s voters to borrow as much as $150 million in the next budget cycle.
Maine'’s 14 newest troopers received their badges in ceremonies at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro in this April 2016 photo.

Bill to raise Maine state police pay heads to LePage

By Staff Report, Sun Journal on April 15, 2016, at 3:59 p.m.
“This bill gives our law enforcement officers what they deserve.”
 Jared Golden (left), D-Lewiston and Brad Farrin, R-Norridgewock, stand in the State House Hall of Flags on Thursday after a brief bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage signs bill designed to improve services for Maine veterans

By Scott Thistle on April 14, 2016, at 3:39 p.m.
The legislation provides tuition waivers for Guard members who are in good standing with their units and seeks to strengthen and modernize Maine’s Bureau of Veterans Services.
State Sen. David Burns with Cub Scout Troop 139, Boy Scout Troop 139, and Venture Scout Troop 139.

Sen. David Burns welcomes local Boy Scouts to State House

on April 14, 2016, at 10:01 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — On March 30, 2016, Maine Sen. David Burns welcomed members of Cub Scout Troop 139, Boy Scout Troop 139, and Venture Scout Troop 139 to the State House on March 30. All of the Scout troops are sponsored by the Cherryfield Congregational Church. Pictured, but not in order, are: Thomas Ray-Smith, …
Cannabis is shown at the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor in this April 2014 file photo.

State declines appeal, raising ballot hopes for legal pot in Maine

By Michael Shepherd on April 13, 2016, at 5:29 p.m.
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap won’t appeal a judge’s ruling overturning his decision to invalidate a marijuana legalization referendum.
Two Bridges Regional Jail

Plan to bail out Maine jails with $2.4M clears early hurdle

By Scott Thistle on April 11, 2016, at 5:42 p.m.
A bill that would pump about $2.4 million to Maine’s county jails in 2016 easily cleared the House of Representatives.
Pictured from left to right are: Bethany Zell, Elizabeth Zell, and Rep. McElwee.

State Rep. Carol McElwee welcomes Bethany and Elizabeth Zell to the State House

on April 11, 2016, at 11:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Rep. Carol A. McElwee, R-Caribou, along with Bethany and Elizabeth Zell, gather before the Speaker of the House’s rostrum in the House of Representatives Chamber during the Zells’ visit on Wednesday, March 2. Bethany Zell, project director of Pink Aroostook and president of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, was among the …
Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco.

Lawmakers rebuff LePage’s veto of changes sought by cold case families

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2016, at 11:30 a.m.
The Senate voted unanimously Monday morning against Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that extends the statute of limitations for wrongful death civil actions in homicide cases.
Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, talks on the phone in the State House in Augusta, Jan. 14, 2016.

Legislative Democrats rip last-minute GOP spending plan

By Scott Thistle on April 08, 2016, at 7:26 a.m.
An 11th-hour House Republican supplemental budget and conditions attached to it met strong opposition from Democrats in the Maine Legislature late Thursday.

LePage’s national monument ban passes House, Senate

By Christopher Cousins on April 07, 2016, at 9:49 p.m.
The bill would put the property donated to the federal government back in the original owner’s hands if the land was designated a national monument.
The State House in Augusta

Legislators ignore state law by meeting behind closed doors

By Scott Thistle on April 07, 2016, at 8:56 p.m.
The Maine Freedom of Access Act requires elected officials, including the Legislature, to conduct the public’s business in public.
Sue Sapiel, customer service representative at the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Independence, prints out a new EBT card that includes a photo.

Maine Senate backs welfare reform bill, but penalty conflict looms

By Michael Shepherd on April 07, 2016, at 2:18 p.m.
The Maine Senate endorsed a bill on Thursday that would ban the purchase of lottery tickets, alcohol, tobacco and other items with cash assistance.
Ralph Tripp, 32, of Bangor and Maurice Gunn coordinate on a signature-gathering effort on a 2016 referendum for a York County casino outside the garage at Pickering Square in Bangor, Jan. 13, 2016.

Casino question won’t be on Maine ballot after judge rejects appeal

By Christopher Cousins on April 07, 2016, at 2:02 p.m.
A superior court judge has upheld Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s decision to reject a citizen petition to create a casino in southern Maine.
A sign at the State House in Augusta in this June 2015 file photo.

Senate supports LePage bill to thwart Obama on North Woods

By Michael Shepherd on April 06, 2016, at 7:39 p.m.
The Maine Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved Gov. Paul LePage’s bid to block the president’s authority to establish a national monument in Maine’s North Woods.
Eric McVay of Hampden testifies to the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee about proposed cuts to services for adults with mental illnesses or disabilities on April 1 in Augusta.

Maine legislators compromise on mental health services safeguard

By Michael Shepherd on April 06, 2016, at 3:52 p.m.
A legislative committee unanimously endorsed a bill on Wednesday that would safeguard Mainers with mental illnesses from cuts to services under a proposed rule change from Gov. Paul LePage’s administration.