Political news

BANGOR, Maine - Maine Sen. Susan Collins is among a group of senators that wants older workers to have more options in battling discrimination at work.

Collins, a Republican, is helping introduce the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. The senators say the proposal would give older workers the ability to take legal action if age discrimination affects their professional opportunities.

Collins is the chair of the Senate Aging Committee. She says the proposal is about ensuring that more senior workers are able to fully participate in the workplace.

PORTLAND, Maine - A young Iraqi immigrant whose return to Maine was delayed by President Donald Trump's travel ban has received a warm welcome from his defense secretary at Tuesday's address to Congress.

Banah Al-Hanfy attended Trump's speech as a guest of Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat.

Pingree tweeted a photo of the 20-year-old college student meeting Gen. James Mattis at the Capitol. She wrote that Mattis told Al-Hanfy, "you are most welcome here.''

Pingree also tweeted a photo of Al-Hanfy shaking hands with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Brennan Linsley / Associated Press/file

Maine and other states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana face a growing cloud of uncertainty following signals of a possible enforcement crackdown from the Trump administration.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A bill that would expand Maine’s 15-cent deposit to miniature liquor bottles could be taken up by rank-and-file lawmakers as soon as next month.

Supporters of the measure, such as co-sponsor Rep. Betty Austin, a Skowhegan Democrat, say the deposit is needed to clear the highways of the discarded 50-milliliter liquor bottles, also known as “nips.” She says current practices suggest that many Mainers need to be more aware of where they’re drinking and what they’re doing with their empty bottles.

Independent Sen. Angus King joined 18 other members of Congress Tuesday to introduce a bill designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The bill would allow Americans access to FDA-approved drugs from other countries, such as Canada.

King says the cost of prescription drugs is overwhelming Mainers, particularly those on fixed incomes.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he's dubious about state-led efforts to legalize marijuana.

Maine’s two U.S. senators are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and members of Congress to push back against news reports focusing on President Donald Trump associates’ links to Russia.

A bill that would set a firm cap on the number of elver fishing licenses issued each year in Maine received broad support at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. The bill would also allow a small number of new fishermen into the fishery.

The elver, or baby eel, fishery is one of the most lucrative in Maine. Considered a delicacy in several Asian countries, elvers were fetching close to $2,000 dollars a pound last year. But because of the pressure on the resource, the fishery has been closed to new fishermen since 2013.

AUGUSTA, Maine -  Maine firefighters and their families turned out in force Monday to support legislation banning the use of flame retardants in new furniture. 

Former state Sen. Linda Baker, of Topsham, believes her husband, a firefighter, died from cancer caused by flame retardants.  Baker urged passage of the bill.

“This bill will help ensure that the remaining manufacturers remove these toxic chemicals from their products being sold in Maine,” Baker said.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage says "tough management'' has produced a $1 billion cash pool and that he favors repealing former President Barack Obama's health care law and letting states craft their own solutions.
The Republican governor spoke on the Fox News program "Fox & Friends'' Monday after President Donald Trump hosted the nation's governors the night before.
LePage said he wants to get rid of "Obamacare'' and replace it with block grants so states can design programs to meet their specific needs.

What's Going on With Your Maine ID? Legislators Scramble

Feb 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Mainers will be grounded next year if legislators don't update driver's licenses to comply with federal requirements.

A state-issued driver's license can no longer get you into military bases, nuclear power plants and other federal facilities. And starting next year, the IDs won't allow you to board commercial flights.

Airports would still accept passports, which cost $135 for first-time applicants.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to recommend a $64 million supplemental state budget to meet needs in state government through the end of June.

Some of the money will go to programs that are short on cash, but most of it is going into the state’s so-called rainy day fund.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's two U.S. senators, independent Angus King and Republican Susan Collins, are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and lawmakers to push back against  several stories that attempt to shed light on Trump associates' links to Russia.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Democratic House speaker says she won't convene a committee to investigate whether the House chairman of the taxation committee violated ethics rules for working for a ballot referendum campaign.
Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki asked House Speaker Sara Gideon to convene the House ethics committee to consider whether Democratic Rep. Ryan Tipping has a conflict of interest for accepting at least $9,000 from a group that successfully pushed for a new income surtax to fund public schools.

LePage Asks Sessions to Boost Drug Prosecution

Feb 24, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Republican governor has asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ramp up prosecution of drug crimes and says the U.S. Attorney's Office isn't actively pursuing drug dealers.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of a Jan. 26 letter in which Gov. Paul LePage tells the former U.S. senator that slow federal prosecution is straining Maine's resources. LePage says the small state is forced to prosecute and imprison most of the people who break "the most serious'' federal laws.