Political news

Jim Mone / Associated Press/file

The future of Maine’s residential solar power industry was thrown into doubt Wednesday after lawmakers upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a measure that supporters say aimed to stabilize the sector.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Senate is overturning the governor's vetoes on bills targeting tobacco sales, solar policy and distracted driving.
The chamber on Wednesday voted 24-10 to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill to ban drivers from holding electronic devices like cellphones while driving.
A vetoed bill calling for an overhaul of solar regulations received a 28-6 vote in the Senate.
The chamber voted 29-5 to override a veto of legislation to raise the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 starting next year.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Republican Gov. Paul LePage took his campaign against U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, an independent, to a national audience, furthering speculation about his future political ambitions.

A showdown is looming today between Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature over the future of solar electric power.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Legislature has a busy day ahead with solar, student debt relief and hands-free driving bills on the agenda.
Lawmakers are set to return for their final day of session to deal with bills, vetoes and bonds.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has voiced support for a $40 million bond for student debt relief and a $55 million bond to help companies commercialize products through research and development.

Miller Center / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ryan Lizza has been covering politics for the New Yorker for 10 years, but recently broke the big story about Anthony Scaramucci’s profanity laced rant that played a part in ending his tenure as White House communications director just a few days after it began.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Republican governor is vowing to fight for bonds aimed at attracting young people and supporting research and development.
Gov. Paul LePage on a Tuesday radio appearance expressed frustration with fellow Republicans opposed to such efforts.
A $40 million bond would help pay off student loans for those who agree to live and work in Maine for five years. A $55 million bond would help companies commercialize products through research and development.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

You could say Ryan Lizza is the man who got Anthony Scaramucci fired.  Lizza was the reporter for the New Yorker who Scaramucci called, swearing about other members of the Trump hierarchy, a conversation that went public. 

While it may have forced Chief of Staff Reince Priebus out, it also led to the hiring of John Kelly, who yesterday demanded Scaramucci's resignation.

Lizza spoke at College of the Atlantic last night about - among other things - the aftermath of that call.

AUGUSTA, Maine - More than 30 attorneys general and state consumer advocate agencies are urging Congress to reject plans by the administration of President Donald Trump to eliminate the federal heating assistance program.
The program distributes $3.4 billion to about 6 million households, and the officials say in the letter that the money is well spent with checks going directly to utilities on behalf of low-income individuals who need help.

Four members of a legislative panel are spending a few days in Colorado on a mission to learn the ins and outs of marijuana regulation.
Recreational marijuana is already legal in Maine thanks to a voter-approved referendum last fall. But a joint legislative committee is tasked with figuring out the nitty gritty of implementing sales of retail marijuana.
The committee is set to soon vote on specifics like a likely tax increase on recreational marijuana.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

More than 100 Auburn residents attended a public hearing last night at Central Maine Community College on whether their city should merge with neighboring Lewiston to become one city.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

The manager of Maine's largest city threatened to resign last night, if his bosses on the Portland City Council gave in to a demand by Mayor Ethan Strimling for direct access to lower-level staff.

At a council meeting, City Manager Jon Jennings said Strimling was looking for more powers than allowed by city charter, which provides for a so-called "weak mayor" system that puts the mayor, in most respects, on equal footing with the rest of the city council.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press/file

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says he’s refusing a second request by the Trump administration’s election fraud commission to turn over Maine voters’ personal information.

Congress appears ready to pass emergency funding of $3.4 billion to continue for six months a program that allows veterans to get health care close to home.

The House failed to pass a similar bill earlier in the week, but after some intense committee negotiations, a compromise bill was approved by the House and is expected to win Senate passage next week.

That is good news for Maine veterans, says Amedeo Lauria with the American Legion Department of Maine.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Democrats made a mistake in ramming the Affordable Care Act through without a single Republican vote seven years ago. The Republican says she doesn’t want her party to do the same thing.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine brought a suitcase full of praise for Collins to Portland’s Jetport after the Senate’s early Friday vote on the GOP’s latest effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.