Does Maine have $150 million of unspent federal cash sitting around?

House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, this week unveiled her wide-ranging Leveraging Investments in Families Today bill, which aims to expand and enhance social service programs with federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant money that she says has gone unspent. Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday that Gideon and the Democrats are wrong about […]

Democrats push LePage to tap unused federal funds to aid poor Mainers

House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, will introduce a new bill today that would expand and enhance Maine’s social services safety net, funded largely with what Gideon says is $150 million in federal funds that Gov. Paul LePage’s administration isn’t spending. Among the elements of Gideon’s wide-ranging bill are requirements for the state to use federal […]

Collins’ questions presage Senate trouble for GOP health plan

Good morning from Augusta. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives passed their first hurdle to repealing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. But it’s going to be a different game in the Senate. That was evidenced by the responses from Maine’s two congressional Republicans: Rep. Bruce Poliquin of the 2nd District voted for the […]

Maine lawmakers start cramming on how to pay teachers

A core priority of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposals to reform Maine’s public education system will face its first big public test this afternoon at the State House when a bill to create a statewide teachers contract is introduced to the Legislature’s Education Committee. LD 864 would establish a single contract for all public school teachers, […]

LePage: Fix one thing and the GOP health bill is good to go

Good morning from Augusta, where we’ve been keeping an eye remotely on Gov. Paul LePage’s latest trip to Washington, D.C. He’s trying to play dealmaker on health care reform. But on Tuesday, he was amplifying concerns around protections for people with pre-existing conditions that threaten to sink the bill within the Republican caucus. LePage met […]

Eliot Cutler’s new crusade? Electing independent legislators

On Monday, the Daily Brief caught up with two-time independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler to talk about the future of Maine’s non-party movement. Next year will bring a key election for independents in the state: Mainers passed a first-in-the-nation system of ranked-choice voting in 2016 and while it’s stuck in the state’s high court over […]

Collins, King seem split on Maine health plan as a national blueprint

Maine was all over NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Vice President Mike Pence talked up a state health care reform baked into Republicans’ Affordable Care Act replacement plan. But our U.S. senators seemed split on whether that’s a good thing. After their last replacement plan was pulled in March for lack of support, Republican leaders […]

Maine bids to rename Columbus Day, Clean Election system falter

Good morning from Augusta. What’s in a name? A lot, as history has shown. What we call things has a lot to do with the development of public perception. It’s no accident that President Barack Obama’s administration called his health care bill the Affordable Care Act and that the campaign to label it a failure […]

What LePage hoped to achieve during his special time with Trump

Gov. Paul LePage wasn’t home on Wednesday because of a quick jaunt to Washington, D.C., to stand beside President Donald Trump at two news conferences. Maine’g governor also used the opportunity to bend administration ears on infrastructure and trade policy. It was a surprise trip that we only learned about when the Republican governor showed […]