Political news

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Department of Labor has rescheduled a vote on a proposal by Republican Gov. Paul LePage that would force workforce development agencies to spend a larger portion of their money directly on worker training.
Mike Bourret, executive director of Coastal Counties Workforce, tells the Portland Press Herald the move would force agencies like his to cut staff and locations just to meet the threshold.

Organizers of a referendum effort aimed at guaranteeing access to home care for all seniors and those with a disability say they collected more than 40,000 signatures on Election Day.

Mike Tipping, of the Maine People's Alliance, says he's pleased with the progress made so far and is confident that the Home Care for All initiative will make the 2018 ballot.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Gorham businessman Shawn Moody launched his second run for governor Tuesday, this time as a Republican.

Moody hit topics familiar to conservative audiences, including welfare, supporting veterans and a business approach to government.  Mainers are tired of just getting by," he said. "It's time to get ahead."

Moody, who finished fourth out of five candidates as an independent seven years ago, has enlisted several political advisors to Gov. Paul LePage to bolster his run.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is being targeted by advertising and telephone campaigns as the political battle over the Republican tax plan heats up.

One TV ad airing in Maine urges Collins to vote for the Senate Republican tax plan, touting it as a tax cut. Another ad from a different political action committee denounces both the Senate and House versions of tax legislation.

“Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins told us that she would say no to tax breaks for the wealthiest. Call her and tell her not to lose her way,” the ad said.

Maine Isn't Treating Children With Disabilities As Required Under Federal Law

Nov 20, 2017
Erin Rhoda / Bangor Daily News

Sophie Parent used to keep to herself a lot more. She played on her own. She didn’t seek out much social interaction.  “I could tell that she wasn’t going to be a snuggly kid. Affection was not high on her list,” said her mother, Alisha Parent. “If she didn’t get a lot of hugs and stuff, she didn’t seem to care one way or another.”  When Sophie was 13 months old, her mom said, “Her pediatrician looked at me and said, ‘Have you ever heard of autism?’”

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King has called on the Senate to fund federally qualified health centers, a month after they lost 70 percent of their federal funding and amid talks about layoffs and cutbacks in services starting in January.

“If we leave at the end of the year and haven’t done this, it will be a tragedy for rural America, it will be a betrayal of rural America, it will be a betrayal of our constituents,” he says.

The lack of skilled workers facing Maine employers has become a crisis — so says a legislative task force charged with finding ways to improve the state’s labor pool.

The shortage of skilled workers applies to a wide array of both professional and support occupations, the task force has found. There are not enough doctors or nurses in Maine, and the state is also in need of more medical support staff such as phlebotomists.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - Former presidential candidate Jill Stein is joining a push to get Maine to enact ranked-choice voting.
The ranked-choice system is designed to let voters rank candidates on ballots. Proponents say it eliminates spoilers and ensures majority support for the winner.
Voters chose to enact ranked-choice voting in Maine with a 2016 referendum vote. But the system may never be put in place because of delays imposed by state lawmakers who say it conflicts with the Maine Constitution.

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in the Legislature as a Democrat; Dick Woodbury, and economist and former independent lawmaker; and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a Republican who served at the State House.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District voted with fellow Republicans on Thursday in favor of the House tax overhaul proposal, which he says will help Maine families and small businesses.

In a written statement, Poliquin says the House bill keeps intact the current highest tax rate for top earners and simplifies the system so that ordinary Mainers will be able to keep more of their own money.

Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Nate Libby of Lewiston wants legislative rules to require that all lawmakers get yearly sexual harassment training.

Libby says the many reports of lawmakers involved in sexual harassment cases in other states is worrisome.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

The U.S. House is expected to vote today on the GOP tax overhaul plan. The plan is drawing the ire of senior advocacy groups who say that a significant portion of Maine's population would see costs go up.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is increasing the pressure on President Trump's election fraud commission to release documents he says have been withheld from him.

Congressman Bruce Poliquin's Office

A dispute between clammers, wormers and seaweed harvesters with Acadia National Park appears headed for a resolution in Congress.

A congressional subcommittee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin that would allow clammers and wormers to continue to make a living in the intertidal zone near the park’s boundary. The bill also requires Acadia to follow specific guidelines when adding new acreage to the park.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says the proposal to repeal a key component of the Affordable Care Act in the GOP tax overhaul could wipe out any tax break middle-income Americans might get under the plan.