Tag Archives: Sara Gideon

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

LePage, Democrats still can’t agree on the basic math of Question 2

Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage’s Office of Policy and Management released an economic impact study on a new 3 percent surtax on income over $200,000 that is drawing some criticism over its methodology. The Republican governor opposed Question 2, which passed on the 2016 ballot with an aim to boost school funding […]

Democrats emerge from budget hearings firing back at LePage

Good morning from Augusta, where things continue to be slow this week with the Maine Legislature mostly out of town on a February break. But after the Appropriations Committee began four days of hearings on the wide-ranging Maine Department of Health and Human Services portion of Gov. Paul LePage’s two-year budget proposal on Tuesday, Democrats began to fire back […]