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Patty Wight / Maine Public

'This Is The Safest Place That I Could Be': Honduran Woman And Daughter Find Hosts In Portland

A Honduran woman and her 10-year-old daughter who were detained at the border last month are now in Portland.

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The Pentagon is being asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide temporary beds for up to 20,000 undocumented children. That bed space would be needed beginning in July and running through the end of the year.

Officials tell NPR that four bases are expected to provide space, including the Army's Fort Bliss base in El Paso, Texas. It's uncertain if there would be enough barracks space, so officials say that tents likely would have to be put up.

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.

The White House unveiled a plan Thursday to merge the Education and Labor departments into a single Cabinet agency: the Department of Education and the Workforce. The proposal is part of a 132-page document outlining a broad restructuring of the federal government. The changes would require congressional approval.

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 7:40 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 was initially rescheduled for Friday morning. But after a closed-door meeting that lasted more than two hours, leaders delayed it even further — to next week, according to several House Republican sources.

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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