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Maine Legislative Session Comes to An End

Apr 23, 2014
The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine
Albany NY of English Wikipedia

Maine lawmakers have gone home, until May 1, when they return to handle any vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage. A lot of issues this session have been settled, while others wait for the governor's action and votes on May 1. MPBN's Mal Leary and Tom Porter discuss what got accomplished, and what didn't, in this legislative session.

 

[There is no transcript for this story]

Dan Demeritt and Cynthia Dill (r.) Democratic pundit at the MPBN studios in Portland.
Tom Porter/MPBN

Another Thursday is upon us, and thus, another installment of "Across the Aisle," our weekly look at Maine politics with Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state senator, and Dan Demeritt, a political consultant and former communications director for Gov. Paul LePage.

Cynthia Dill is a practicing attorney and former Democratic state senator, and Dan Demeritt is a political consultant and former communications director for Gov. Paul LePage.

YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) _ Maine Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud is calling for the state to cut heating oil usage in half with a plan that involves mandatory energy ratings for new homes and initiatives to promote wind power and solar panels.

The Democratic congressman detailed his energy policy on Tuesday at a news conference in Yarmouth celebrating Earth Day.

Michaud says his plan to help towns and residents install new technology serves the dual purpose of cutting energy usage while reducing environmental impacts.

A photograph of the Maine State House in Augusta, Maine.
Albany NY of English Wikipedia

Budget battles, medicaid expansion, solar energy subsidies and Narcan use were just some of the headline grabbing issues out of Augusta this legislative session. MPBN state house bureau chief AJ Higgins and leaders from both political parties discuss what the legislature accomplished, what the governor veteod, and what's still left to be done.

The Raye for Congress campaign is demanding that 2nd District congressional primary rival Bruce Poliquin apologize for encouraging Republicans to vote Sen. Susan Collins out of office. Kevin Raye says Poliquin should be standing up for Collins instead of trying to elect her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows.

In the past, Republican primary opponents for Maine's 2nd Congressional District haven't been shy about expressing their criticisms of each other or the political system. But they usually draw a line at recommending that disgruntled voters should elect Democrats instead.

MPBN

Republican Paul LePage has a slim lead over Democrat Mike Michaud in the Maine governor's race. That's according to the latest Pan Atlantic SMS Omnibus Poll, out today. The survey also shows independent candidate Eliot Cutler running nearly 20 points behind both candidates. Cutler's campaign dismissed the numbers, saying it's way too early in the political season to tell where things will end up in November. Both the LePage and Michaud campaigns, though, say the poll holds clues as to why their candidate will ultimately win.

Republican Paul LePage has a slim lead over Democrat Mike Michaud in the Maine governor's race. That's according to the latest Pan Atlantic SMS Omnibus Poll, out today. The survey also shows independent candidate Eliot Cutler running nearly 20 points behind both candidates. Cutler's campaign dismissed the numbers, saying it's way too early in the political season to tell where things will end up in November. Both the LePage and Michaud campaigns, though, say the poll holds clues as to why their candidate will ultimately win.

Cutler Unveils Maine Tax Overhaul Plan

Apr 15, 2014

Independent Eliot Cutler is proposing a tax overhaul that would slash property taxes for many Mainers while raising the sales tax, either permanently or seasonally, to make up the difference. Cutler, who's in a three-way race for governor with Republican incumbent Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud, chose tax day to unveil the plan, which he says would lower property taxes for most Maine homeowners by 20 to 40 percent by boosting tax relief through the homestead exemption.

A closer look at job growth and unemployment numbers paint a mixed picture of Maine's economic recovery from the great recession. 

That's according to a new report from the progressive Maine Center for Economic Policy, which indicates that, despite improvement in the statewide unemployment rate and growth in the number of Mainers with jobs, Maine's recovery is far from complete and is uneven based on age and geography. 

MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin is one of the report's authors.

Seven months ahead of Maine's gubernatorial elections, independent candidate Eliot Cutler has announced what he desribes as the first in a series of policy proposals: a 21-point transportation and communications infrastructure plan. Cutler, who has launched his second bid for the Blaine House, says more than half of the roads in the state system haven't been properly maintained since the 1950s and many of Maine's bridges have deterioriated to the danger point.

Quebec Elections

Mar 31, 2014

 On April 7, people in Quebec will elect a new government, and for the first time in a while, the question of independence from Canada is part of the debate. It's been a raucous campaign, with polls shifting by the week. Learn what's going on and what's at stake as Quebec voters get ready to head for the polls.

Host Jennifer Rooks discusses Quebec's elections on April 7 with:

Tony Brinkley, Professor of English, Faculty Associate, Franco-American Centre

Louis Balthazar, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science of the University Laval

  Each of the candidates for Maine Governor will have a chance to outline his plans for Maine. Democratic candidate Mike Michaud stepped to the podium where moderators Richard Barringer, professor emeritus in the Muskie School, and MPBN's Irwin Gratz, directed the discussion.

This talk was recorded March 21, 2014 at the Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, on the USM Portland Campus.

  Each of the candidates for Maine Governor will have a chance to outline his plans for Maine. Independent candidate Eliot Cutler stepped to the podium where moderators Richard Barringer, professor emeritus in the Muskie School, and MPBN's Irwin Gratz, directed the discussion.

This talk was recorded March 14, 2014 at the Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, on the USM Portland Campus.

Maine's junior U.S. Senator discusses the situation in Ukraine, his reaction to the President's plan to end the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone data, his recent trip to the Arctic and more.

Host Keith Shortall speaks with:

Maine's junior U.S Senator Angus King

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic Senate candidate Shenna Bellows is joining a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court that's sponsored by groups that support access to birth control.

The Supreme Court is hearing two cases dealing with access to birth control. Two companies want the right to decline to pay for birth control under their personal health insurance plans.

Bellows, who's challenging Republican Sen. Susan Collins, said birth control decisions should be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, ``not the government and certainly not her boss.''

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