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Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Oak Hill Students Take On Projects In Place of Finals

Three years from now, high school seniors in Maine will have to demonstrate proficiency in math, English, science and other core subjects in order to graduate.

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Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

President Trump may have signed an executive order to stop the forcible separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border, but Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree says that's not the end of the issue. For one thing, there are caveats to the order itself, and Pingree says they raise red flags.

Maine’s 1st District U.S. House Rep. Pingree and more than 20 other Democrats will visit federal detention facilities in Texas this weekend to investigate conditions for immigrant families separated at the border.

It is Thursday, and time for Across the Aisle, our foray into Maine Politics.

This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic legislator; Meredith Strang-Burgess of Burgess Advertizing and Marketing who served in Augusta as a Republican; and economist Dick Woodbury, who served in the legislature as an independent spoke with Keith Shortall.

Maine's highest court has granted the LePage administration's request to delay expanding Medicaid, at least temporarily.

Medicaid expansion is supposed to take effect July 2, but the law is on hold until oral arguments in a lawsuit are heard in mid-July.

In a one-page order issued Wednesday, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley granted a temporary stay that gives the LePage administration more time to file a Medicaid expansion plan with the federal government, at least until after oral arguments on the matter are heard.

Portland officials are considering a new 200-bed homeless center on city-owned land near a facility that provides nursing and rehabilitation services.

City Manager Jon Jennings tells the Portland Press Herald he'd like to build the new facility near the Barron Center campus. It would replace the Oxford Street Shelter.

Oxford Street Shelter Director Rob Parritt says a bigger center would help more people and allow his staff to better work with service agencies that provide health and dental care. He estimates the new shelter will cost about $10 million.

Maine Public

A number of high-profile bills remain unresolved as the Maine Legislature is approaching the end of its three day special session.

Lawmakers sent several proposals to Gov. Paul LePage, including a $41 million spending bill to provide funding to help the elderly and disabled, as well as people suffering from opioid use disorders.

A $35 million bill to fund the implementation of Medicaid expansion has also passed, but it faces a likely veto by LePage.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders delayed a vote on the "consensus" immigration legislation Thursday afternoon as they scrambled to convince enough GOP lawmakers to support the measure.

The vote on that bill is now scheduled for Friday morning, according to multiple House GOP leadership aides.

Some GOP lawmakers felt that they didn't know what was in the "consensus" bill as it was still being tweaked hours before they were scheduled to vote on it.

AUGUSTA, Maine - One gubernatorial hopeful and 220 legislative candidates who are counting on public campaign funds are in limbo as Maine lawmakers argue over fixing a mistake preventing the release of the money.
 
Lawmakers on Thursday continued trying to hash out a deal that could satisfy House Republicans ideologically opposed to public campaign funding.  Such a fix could return some of the money to Maine's general fund.
 

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Maine Democrats rallied at the State House Thursday to show support for their nominee for governor, Attorney General Janet Mills.

The event was held roughly 10 hours after Mills' victory in a seven-way primary was confirmed, after a runoff vote in the nation's first statewide ranked-choice voting primary.

Mills will now face Republican candidate Shawn Moody, the founder of a chain of auto body repair shops who is touting his business experience. Moody has vowed to continue LePage's policy agenda.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Jared Golden has won the Democratic nomination for Maine's Second Congressional District Race. The Maine Secretary of State's office made the announcement Wednesday evening after the results from ranked-choice voting catapulted Golden into a clear majority, which he fell just short of on election night.

Golden garnered 49 percent of the the vote on election night, giving him a strong lead over runner-up Lucas St. Clair's 41 percent. After the ranked-choice voting count, Golden sealed his victory, with 54 percent of the vote compared to St. Clair's 45 percent.

Maine officials say the northern Maine state park that includes Mount Katahdin has a new director.

The Baxter State Park Authority announced on Thursday that Eben Sypitkowski has been named the new head of Baxter State Park, the home to the state's highest peak. Sypitkowski is currently the park's resource manager.

The state says Sypitkowski will direct about 60 year-round and seasonal employees who maintain the park, which is a major tourist attraction in northern Maine.

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MAINE CALLING

Tourism in Iceland

Thursday—Iceland, like Maine, is small and not densely populated, yet draws tourists from all over. We'll learn more about the similarities between the two places, and the role of tourism.

This Day in Maine gathers together the news that matters to Mainers. The nightly show features stories from the award-winning Maine Public Radio News team.