Category Archives: U.S. Congress

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Candidate Mayhew portrays herself as heir to LePage legacy

To the surprise of few in Maine’s political world, former Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew entered the 2018 governor’s race this morning as a Republican. Though her official campaign was just announced, themes that we’ll likely be hearing for the next 17 months emerged this morning during a radio interview. As […]

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 […]