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 […]

As adjournment looms, Maine lawmakers have plenty of vetoes but no budget

The end of the legislative session is oh so close, yet so far away. Wednesday marks the statutory adjournment date for the Legislature, which means that’s the day that was set months ago for lawmakers to wrap up their work. To go beyond that day will require a vote of the Legislature, a routine matter […]

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 […]

Start the shutdown ticker if Maine lawmakers don’t cut budget deal Thursday

The special panel of six lawmakers trying to bridge their own gaps on Maine’s two-year budget is setting a deadline of noon today to finish their work, but there was no agreement on the sticking point — education funding — by the time they adjourned late Wednesday. There was some movement, with Democrats and Senate […]

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 […]

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 […]