Maine lawmakers will vote again today to end shutdown. Don’t hold your breath

It’s day three of Maine partial government shutdown and though the Legislature will return to the State House today to try to end it, some of the same issues that have been blocking it remain outstanding. As my colleague Michael Shepherd reported to you late last night — after who knows how many hours at […]

All the ways Maine’s budget ‘deal’ could fall apart

We don’t think we’re exaggerating when we say that Friday promises to be the most suspenseful day in the era of Gov. Paul LePage with the Legislature’s two presiding officers throwing a Hail Mary pass to close Maine’s budget impasse with no idea where it’ll land. What we know is that the deal brokered late […]

LePage hammers Senate GOP budget offer as shutdown approaches

Gov. Paul LePage has again vowed to shut down state government if the Legislature votes for an increase in the lodging tax, which the governor himself proposed in February and which was resurrected Wednesday by Senate Republicans. That proposal drew fire from LePage on Thursday, who accused Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, of just wanting […]

LePage might not have a budget to veto Friday if lawmakers fail to cut a deal today

It’s the day of reckoning in Augusta. We’ve been giving you updates on the state budget process day after day and ticking off a number of deadlines by which lawmakers must act or cause a government shutdown. Today marks perhaps the hardest deadline yet. The six-member conference committee formed by legislative leaders two weeks ago […]

LePage: ‘I believe we’re going to shut down Friday night’

Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday it’s worth putting state government into a shutdown to ensure that the two-year state budget lawmakers are struggling to pass won’t harm Maine’s economy for the next decade. LePage, speaking during a radio interview on WVOM, accused Democrats of backing measures that will “do damage” to the state, namely preserving […]

LePage tells Legislature to vote for his budget or there will be a shutdown

Good morning from Augusta, where we think it’s safe to start your government shutdown clock — if you have one — after a Friday meeting between Gov. Paul LePage and the Legislature’s top Democrat that has only inflamed partisan tension at the State House. A Democratic account of that meeting was circulating around Facebook over […]

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’s return to budget talks hasn’t broken impasse, but he predicts no shutdown

While the Legislature winnows its list of bills left to deal with this year, talks on the budget are totally stalled. Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, said the same conflicts exist now as have hamstrung budget negotiations during the past few weeks, and that the situation might have become worse since he and other […]