Tag Archives: Mike Thibodeau

There might be a Maine budget vote today. That doesn’t mean there’s a deal

Good morning from Augusta, where not much has changed. The Legislature continues to slog through a mountain of bills but there’s one that’s sucking up most of the attention: the biennial state budget bill. At the Bangor Daily News we say it every other year: “This is the year we’re not going to write 100 […]

When does state government shutdown talk become more than a budget negotiating ploy?

“Nothing much has changed” doesn’t make for a very good lead on a news story but when it comes to the state budget, we’ve been here before. A week after the Legislature’s budget committee gave up on trying to reach bipartisan compromise on the $6.8 billion state spending plan for the next two years, there […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why the fight for gender equality in Maine is not likely to end soon

Gender equality is up for debate again in the Legislature and again, it could face a rocky road. On Thursday, the House passed a resolution that could lead to a change in the Maine Constitution guaranteeing equal rights between the genders, but only by a slim 78-65 margin. The vote was purely partisan, with all […]

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 […]

LePage: One school superintendent per county would still be too many

Good morning from Augusta, where today’s main event will feature verbal sparring over education funding. Gov. Paul LePage will hold a news conference on the issue, followed closely by a second event that has been organized by the Maine Education Association and the Stand Up for Students coalition. LePage previewed his argument this morning during […]