All posts by Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.

Collins, King list what they don’t like about Senate health care bill

Good morning from Augusta. Republicans in the U.S. Senate released their long-secret Affordable Care Act replacement bill on Thursday. It’s far-reaching, proposing a nearly $1 trillion tax cut mostly for corporations and high earners, scaling back tax credits, limiting Medicaid spending and winding down the Medicaid expansion in current law. Early reviews from Maine’s senators […]

Ranked-choice voting is still alive in Maine, but it could be a short reprieve

One of the big issues the Legislature has left to contend with before adjourning this year is the state’s ranked-choice voting law, which was enacted by citizen petition and referendum in 2016. After a Republican bid to kill a constitutional amendment allowing it failed on Thursday, that bill passed in the Maine Senate. But it […]

It’s crunch time on Maine’s budget, but lawmakers are arguing about everything else

The Legislature will breeze past its scheduled adjournment on Wednesday because of the two-year budget impasse, but things got testy on Tuesday about what seemed like everything but the budget. In the House of Representatives, Republicans attacked Democrats for supposedly not backing police. In the Senate, Democrats hit Republicans who backed what they called an […]

LePage re-enters Maine’s budget fight as shutdown fears grow

Five months and 10 days after Gov. Paul LePage floated a two-year budget proposal largely ignored by the Legislature, he has muscled his way back into their stalled and dysfunctional budget process with the state as close as it’s been to a shutdown during his tenure. Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said Friday morning that […]

Start the shutdown ticker if Maine lawmakers don’t cut budget deal Thursday

The special panel of six lawmakers trying to bridge their own gaps on Maine’s two-year budget is setting a deadline of noon today to finish their work, but there was no agreement on the sticking point — education funding — by the time they adjourned late Wednesday. There was some movement, with Democrats and Senate […]

What to expect from Collins, King when they question Comey today

Good morning from Augusta, where we’ll have an eye on the busy Maine Legislature and another on Washington, D.C., where former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after President Donald Trump fired him in May. Comey previewed his testimony in a seven-page opening statement released by the committee on Wednesday. […]

Maine House Democrats offer to trim school aid surtax in budget impasse

Good morning from Augusta, where House Democrats have blinked in a standoff over education funding, offering an deal to increase the threshold for Maine’s surtax on high earners and lower it from 3 percent to 1.75 percent. Republicans are on the record as wanting the surtax gone. Progressives still want to keep it and Senate […]

Maine ethics watchdog questions casino referendum funding

Good morning from Augusta, where Maine’s ethics watchdog may soon begin an investigation into the bid for a new casino in York County by a group that has been giving them plenty to think about during the last few months. Staff at the Maine Ethics Commission will recommend at a June 9 meeting that commissioners […]

Senate GOP’s $100 million school aid offer fails to break Maine budget impasse

Good morning from Augusta, where much of the attention right now is on Maine’s two-year budget, where a “huge gap” remains on education funding even after Senate Republicans came forward on Wednesday to propose $100 million in extra education funding. But the reception on that pivotal budget issue was more than frosty. Democrats pooh-poohed it […]

Maine budget negotiators remain far apart on school funding

Good morning from Augusta, where a Tuesday meeting of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee showed just how far apart Democrats and Republicans are on education funding with a key deadline on the state’s two-year budget looming in less than a week. After closed-door partisan caucuses over the Memorial Day weekend, the committee met yesterday to take […]