Political news

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

A new federal report predicts that the effects of climate change will cost federal taxpayers a trillion dollars over the next two decades.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins was among those who called for the study from the Government Accountability Office.

“There has not been nearly enough analysis on the consequences, for our economy, for the federal budget,” Collins says.

The Republican senator says the study shows that Congress must invest in initiatives and policies that mitigate the impacts of climate change, and avoid huge additional budget costs.

Legislature Fixes Food Sovereignty Bill To Comply With State And Federal Rules

Oct 24, 2017
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

The Legislature made short work Monday of fixing Maine’s new food sovereignty law so it isn’t at odds with federal food rules.

PORTLAND, Maine - An ongoing neighborhood feud in a Maine city threatens to close a nearly two decades-old camp for rescue horses.
Jeanann Alves runs the Horse Island Camp on Peaks Island in Portland and leases her land from Thomas Covington Johnson.
The Portland Press Herald reports a dispute between Johnson and recent neighbors has resulted in zoning citations from the city involving 11 unpermitted horse shelters and a trailer used to transport and store horse feed.
City officials say the buildings must be either removed or receive a permit.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Maine lawmakers have passed a compromise bill to implement the citizen initiated measure allowing the retail sale of marijuana in the state. But it faces a likely veto.

More than 200 scientists say Congress should protect federal sustainable fishing laws in advance of a key hearing about the future of the way the government manages fisheries.
The Senate commerce committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday about reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The act is the main law governing U.S. fisheries.

Maine Public/file

After rescinding the nominations of five judges over the weekend, the governor reversed himself after a private, face-to-face meeting with Chief Justice Leigh Saufley.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

In less than a month, voters in Lewiston and Auburn will decide on a proposal to merge the two cities. Signs that read “No Merger” and “One LA” are springing up in neighborhoods on both sides of the Androscoggin River, which divides the two communities.

This is the second in a two-part series. Part one: Lewiston-Auburn Business Owners At Odds Over Whether The Cities Should Merge.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The Maine Legislature convenes today for a special session. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with political correspondent Mal Leary about the origin of the session and what items lawmakers will consider.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Without explanation, Gov. Paul LePage has withdrawn the nominations of five judges who were up for reappointment and expected to be confirmed by the Maine Senate on Monday.

Earlier this year, Gov. Paul LePage signed the food sovereignty bill, designed to establish local control over the private sale of food by farmers to consumers. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that would violate federal food safety laws, which require inspections of meat and poultry.

The Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee has come up with a compromise bill lawmakers will consider Monday.

Maine has received formal notification that state driver’s licenses and identification cards will continue to be accepted for federal purposes through Oct. 10 of next year.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued an additional one-year waiver as Maine works to comply with the federal REAL ID law. Maine was one of a few states that had resisted compliance because of cost and privacy concerns.

At a meeting Thursday of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Maine independent Sen. Angus King grilled Defense Department officials over efforts to defend the country against cyber attacks. 

King said simply bolstering defenses against cyber-attacks is not an effective strategy.

“Just being on the defensive is not going to work in the end," he said. "If you are in a boxing match and you can bob and weave, and you are the best bob-and-weaver in the history of the world, if you can’t punch back, you are going to lose that boxing match.”

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, an economist and former independent lawmaker; and Mike Cianchette, an attorney and former chief counsel to Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Last month, Gov. Paul LePage informed the U.S. Department of Labor that he would no longer accept about $8 million in federal job retraining funding for thousands of unemployed workers.

Haven Daley / Associated Press/file

Republican Gov. Paul LePage and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette say they want to extend Maine’s moratorium on retail marijuana sales and cultivation until 2019.

The proposal further jeopardizes passage of a bipartisan bill designed to overhaul and implement the voter-approved marijuana law passed nearly a year ago.

Fredette says the 9-month process to draft the marijuana implementation bill was rushed. And he says it excluded a key stakeholder — the LePage administration.