Political news

Sixty Democratic women serving in Congress are asking the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate the reports of sexual misconduct raised against President Donald Trump.

“We passed a bill two weeks ago saying that every member of Congress and their staff should have sexual harassment training. It’s clear in the president’s tweets today that he needs that training and there should be an investigation,” says U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District, who signed onto that request.

Republican Backed By LePage Wins Lewiston Mayoral Race

Dec 13, 2017
Bangor Daily News/file

Lewiston City Councilor Shane Bouchard narrowly won Lewiston’s mayoral runoff election on Tuesday, keeping the seat in Maine’s second-largest city in Republican hands and beating back a second straight challenge from progressive activist Ben Chin.

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is urging fellow members of the Senate Health Committee to approve legislation tackling the high cost of prescription drugs.

Collins wants to limit the practice of drug companies extending patent protection for life-saving drugs, keeping prices higher.

“This monopoly is being used to protect profits rather than patients and R&D, development of new drugs," she said, "and this is something we need to take a look at.”

HALLOWELL, Maine - The Maine Public Utilities Commission is opening an inquiry into the preparedness and response of Maine's electric companies following a powerful windstorm the day before Halloween.
The storm left more than half the state's population in the dark, and it took Central Maine Power up to 10 days to restore power to all customers.
All told, about 400,000 CMP customers and 90,000 Emera Maine customers lost service, making it the largest power outage in Maine history.

PORTLAND, Maine — U.S. Sen. Angus King is praising the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for funding for three new staff positions in Maine.

The VA announcement on Tuesday means there will be a second veterans’ justice outreach specialist along with the first re-entry specialist in more than eight years to help veterans confronting homelessness and mental health and substance abuse issues.

King said veterans struggling with those problems "deserve our comprehensive support."

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s disappointed that the Republican National Committee has resumed its financial backing of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

Collins’ comments on a national public affairs program Sunday come as other Republicans are also protesting the RNC’s reversal of its previous decision to halt its support of Moore, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct and for pursuing young girls, one as young as age 14.

Marina Villeneuve / Associated Press

Gov. Paul LePage is warning lawmakers that he’ll oppose nearly any method they propose to pay for the expansion of Medicaid that voters in the state approved last month.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor says he's trying to come up with proposed spending cuts to pay for voter-approved Medicaid expansion but says "it's a big reach.''
Gov. Paul LePage told The Associated Press "the money has got to be in the bank'' before Maine expands Medicaid to thousands of people at a $54.5 million price tag. LePage didn't detail what cuts could pay for expansion, but previously pushed for cuts to Medicaid eligibility and social assistance programs.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins last week voted for a sweeping GOP overhaul of the federal tax code after receiving assurances that a pair of bills designed to stabilize the health insurance market will pass by the end of the year.

One bill temporarily restores ACA subsidies to insurers. The second would fund a two-year reinsurance program. But passage of the health care bills has long been in doubt, and the outlook isn’t improving.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Speaking Sunday on the CBS's Face The Nation, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins discussed the GOP tax bill, saying Republican leaders have assured her that changes she is seeking will be included in the bill as a committee hammers out a final version. 

She said she has no reason not to believe those promises. One of them is that Medicare won't be slashed to pay for the $1.4 trillion tax cut.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Conservation Law Foundation and clean energy supporters are challenging a big change in how Maine compensates owners of new rooftop solar panels for energy they generate.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday.
Solar installers say a push to gradually reduce such credits for new customers would dissuade residents and small businesses from installing solar panels. The groups behind the legal challenge argue the Maine Public Utilities Commission's adopted rule does not comply with Maine law.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she may change her vote on the GOP tax overhaul if her amendments are not included in the final version.
She tells WABI-TV that she won't make a final decision until she sees what comes out of a conference committee.  
Collins joined the majority in a 51-49 vote after her amendments on property tax and medical expense deductions were included. She also says she secured a promise from House and Senate leaders to remove the threat of a 4 percent cut to Medicare.

Jake Bleiberg / Bangor Daily News

Nine faith leaders who had been occupying U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office for about 10 hours were arrested Thursday night for criminal trespassing by the Portland police.

Courtesy Photo

About a dozen members of the faith community say they won’t be moved when Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office closes Thursday evening.

Rev. Jim Gertmenian has been part of the sit-in action since 11 a.m.

“We’ve been told that we cannot stay, and some of us have said we cannot leave, and so at 5 o’clock there will be something of an impasse, and we’re not exactly sure how that will play out, but that’s where we are right now,” he says.

Thousands of net neutrality supporters protested Thursday outside more than 700 Verizon stores in all 50 states - including Maine - plus the District of Columbia.

In Bangor, more than a dozen people showed up near Verizon's Bangor Mall location to challenge a plan by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai,  a former Verizon attorney, to repeal the net neutrality 2015 rules on Dec. 14. 

Jonathan Fulford, a protestor from Monroe and Democratic candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, said increasing internet costs will have the effect of stifling free speech.