Tag Archives: Ken Fredette

Odds and ends from the long, strange trip to ending Maine’s shutdown

Good morning from Augusta, where we have a budget and have gone from constant action to no action in the State House. Weary reporters are still trying to adjust. But there’s a lot that didn’t make our stories from the long weekend. Here are some of them: The impasse popped out of existence like a firecracker. After House […]

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 […]

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 […]

House GOP leader: Special Maine budget panel ‘doomed to fail’

The committee that is supposed to find a path out of the budget impasse in Augusta is “too little, too late,” according to House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, who said the panel is “doomed to fail.” The six-member conference committee convened Tuesday with the ambitious goal of finding a budget compromise in time for […]

LePage calls Legislature ‘the laziest bunch I have ever seen’

Don’t expect Gov. Paul LePage to step in as a peacemaker as negotiations over Maine’s next two-year budget — which must be in place by July 1 to avoid a government shutdown — reach critical mass. During a Tuesday morning radio appearance on WVOM, the Republican governor distanced himself from the budget talks, but not […]

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 […]

LePage rips GOP state senator over prison closure dispute

Gov. Paul LePage claimed Tuesday that members of the Legislature are reneging on a deal regarding the closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport, but didn’t provide many details. Noting that state government sends more aid to Washington County than it receives in revenue from Down East, LePage said during a radio interview Tuesday […]

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 […]