Category Archives: Legislature

What’s next for ranked-choice voting in Maine?

Good morning from Augusta, where the implementation of ranked-choice voting hangs in limbo. The system, which election reform advocates have called a “better way to vote,” could be headed back to voters or could die at the hands of the Legislature, depending on what happens with two 11th-hour bills allowed into the legislative process on […]

Maine Democrats make their own state government shutdown threat

With less than a month left before statutory adjournment, Democrats have threatened to shut down government if state funding for schools doesn’t reach 55 percent. Fifty-two Democratic and two independent House members, along with four Democratic senators, have signed a pact to oppose any budget bill that doesn’t have “a progressive and sustainable funding source […]

LePage’s push for a statewide teacher contract fails its first test

After voicing tepid openness to negotiating Gov. Paul LePage’s call for a statewide teacher contract, Democrats have drawn a line in the sand that could doom the proposal. Democrats on the Legislature’s Education Committee on Tuesday rejected the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta. The committee votes are still coming in but […]

LePage doesn’t like newspapers. But he vetoed a bill hurting newspapers

Good morning from Augusta, where a heavier flow of bills moving to the floors of the legislative chambers means more vetoes from the all-time champion in that statistic, Gov. Paul LePage. The House of Representatives will vote on whether to override another five vetoes today, including one of a bill that would actually hurt Maine […]

About that $6.8 billion budget Maine needs to keep state government running …

It’s a light day in Augusta after a week of collegial debates and votes in the House and Senate, who held hours-long sessions for three consecutive days. But lawmakers have been working and will work this weekend on the two-year budget, even though there’s no deal in sight. The Legislature has picked up the pace […]

LePage’s flood of late bills includes bid to end Maine Turnpike Authority

With the end of the legislative session drawing near, Gov. Paul LePage continues to submit new bills for consideration. Today was no exception. The governor, who has been known to submit bills just hours before the Legislature is set to adjourn for the year, has offered 34 so far in 2017. Some of his boldest […]

LePage can count on House Republicans to stand by their man — to a point

Good morning from Augusta. The days are getting long as the Legislature moves into the last month of the session, when lawmakers actually start voting on bills in earnest instead of talking about them in news conferences and committees. And just as during the past three years, Gov. Paul LePage can rely on a firewall […]

Amid offers to help opiate users, LePage suggests death penalty for dealers

Gov. Paul LePage kept his focus on fighting Maine’s opiate addiction epidemic Tuesday when he said he supports a pending bill that would make dealing drugs that cause an overdose Class A manslaughter. The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Scott Cyrway of Benton, has been voted out of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee […]

At crunch time, Maine’s budget talks move to back rooms and dark corners

“PLEASE NOTE: The committee will likely continue to break for caucus during, or in lieu of, scheduled budget work sessions.” Those words appeared Sunday in a summary of the work on the biennial state budget that is left to be done by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, and they mean the budget crunch is upon us. […]