Political news

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Angus King says when President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, he has an opportunity to make history. 

Speaking as part of a Washington Post preview on the State of the Union, the Maine independent said the president could lay the groundwork for compromises around several key policy issues. 

But King said Trump must resist the urge to take jabs at his opponents. “People go into these things wanting be to feel uplifted, and positive. And if he can do that and resist the urge to jab people, I think it will be successful.”

Karen Luse

The last couple of months have seen a rise in young people turning to the law to address climate change. Some are suing the Trump administration in federal court over government's failure to protect against climate change. Here in Maine, a group of young people and voters is petitioning the Department of Environmental Protection to address carbon emissions in the state. Twenty-year-old Jessica Szetela is one of the signers of that petition.  She spoke with Maine Public’s Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.  

Maine Department of Corrections

The fate of the embattled Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport was front and center at a public hearing in Augusta on Monday.

For more than a year, prison guards, local employers and town administrators have joined forces in an uphill battle to keep the doors open at the minimum-security prison. Gov. Paul LePage has vowed to close it, arguing that it’s not worth the $5 million a year to keep it operating.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine — When President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday, his audience in the House chamber will include a number “Dreamers” who could face deportation as early as March — including one who grew up here.

The Maine Legislature is considering a proposal that would increase the possible jail time for a second offense of “visual sexual aggression” aimed at a child.

Under current law, the maximum penalty for exposing oneself to a child in Maine is one year in jail even with a prior offense. Sen. Eloise Vitelli, a Democrat from Arrowsic, is sponsoring a bill that would increase that sentence to five years in prison.

She says she sponsored the proposal at the request of a mother of a 13-year-old victim.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's attorney general is pushing back on Republican Gov. Paul LePage's announcements of a moratorium on new wind power projects and creation of a secretive commission to study the impact of wind turbines on tourism.
Janet Mills, a Democrat, said Monday that the governor's executive order does not change existing law.
She said her office will advise agencies on what to do if a company does request a permit.

Collins Advises Trump Against Talking About Mueller’s Russia Probe

Jan 29, 2018
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday that President Donald Trump would be best served by “never” talking about the Russia investigation amid reports that the president sought to unseat the special counsel last summer.

“I think the president would be best served by never discussing the investigation — ever,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mal Leary / Maine Public

The progressive advocacy group the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) has a filed petition with the Secretary of State to force consideration of a citizens’ initiative that outlines a major expansion of home-based care for seniors and the individuals with disabilities. The initiative also seeks to increase pay to the providers of those services. The proposal immediately drew criticism from business groups.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump is speaking at the World Economic Forum this morning in Davos, Switzerland. Aides say the president's speech is a pitch to do business in the United States, where Trump is working to foster a new climate of low taxes and limited regulations.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

  The Maine Ethics Commission could once again rule whether traditional political attacks carried out by an anonymous website attempted to influence an election. This time the attacks were cloaked as news reports.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says an online degree program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle could serve as a model for the rest of the country.

“The goal of this program is to give individuals with some college experience and credit a pathway to complete their degree,” Collins said Thursday morning at Senate Education Committee meeting.

Collins, a member of the committee, told a panel of experts testifying on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that the program has drawn the interest of older Mainers.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Maine Republican Party's executive director says an ethics claim alleging GOP involvement in a conservative website is "completely without merit.''
The Maine Democratic Party wants the Maine Ethics Commission to investigate alleged campaign finance violations by the Maine Examiner and the Maine GOP.
They accused the website of spreading misleading or false claims through a website masquerading as a news organization. They also accused the Maine Examiner of undermining Lewiston mayoral candidate Ben Chin, who lost a Dec. 12 runoff.

The Maine Senate has narrowly confirmed the appointment of a hydrologist employed by Poland Spring to the citizen board overseeing and adjudicating environmental laws.

In a mostly party line vote, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 18-15 to confirm Mark Dubois to the Board of Environmental Protection, despite concerns that he will increase Poland Spring's influence on the regulatory board while furthering the company's aggressive expansion plans.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage says he will put an open-ended moratorium on state permits for wind energy development in Maine. In an executive order Tuesday afternoon, LePage cites the importance of scenic vistas to Maine's $6 billion tourism economy. Wind advocates say he doesn't have the authority, and that he appears to be trying to derail Maine wind developers' bids for a big renewable energy contract that Massachusetts is due to announce Thursday.

The Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 10-3 Wednesday to confirm a hydrologist employed by Poland Spring to the citizen board overseeing and adjudicating environmental laws.

The majority of the committee recommended Mark Dubois' confirmation to the Board of Environmental Protection, despite concerns he will increase Poland Springs' influence on the board while furthering the company's aggressive expansion plans.