Political news

AUGUSTA, Maine - At most 50 homeless opioid users could get access to treatment and housing under a Democrat's bill.
Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine's bill would create a pilot project aiming to provide vulnerable opioid users with access to treatment for substance use disorders and stable housing.
His bill is set for a work session Friday. Lawmakers have tabled the bill previously.
Gattine's bill calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to start the project by September.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage is opposing a bill that critics claim could lead to a massive cruise ship pier in Bar Harbor.
LePage vetoed a bill on Tuesday to allow voters to decide whether to create a port authority in Bar Harbor. The House and Senate strongly supported the bill.
LePage called the idea "unnecessary municipal bureaucracy'' that deflects accountability from the town. He said such autonomy creates "serious safety concerns.''

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's two U.S. senators are joining a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce legislation designed to fund school security improvements.
Independent Sen. Angus King and Republican Sen. Susan Collins say they are supporting fellow senators who want to pass the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018. The legislation would also boost early intervention and prevention programs designed to curb school violence.

Federal officials will hold a meeting that is slated to happen in Maine's capital city about offshore drilling despite a late winter storm that is bearing down on the state.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is scheduled to hold the meeting Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. The bureau has been hosting similar meetings up and down the East Coast to meet with the public about the possibility of searching for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Joel Page / Associated Press/file

A Republican candidate for Maine governor is catching heat for his unique solution for deadly school shootings.

Shawn Moody of Gorham was asked on WVOM Monday about gun control measures. Instead of floating more conventional proposals such as beefing up school security, he offered what he described as a common-sense solution.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage has less than three weeks to select Maine communities that could benefit from an economic development program included in the 2017 GOP federal tax overhaul.
Under the program, governors can designate "opportunity zones'' in a limited number of low-income areas for investors to receive significant tax breaks. The Portland Press Herald reports rules for the program are still under development by the IRS.

Tom Porter / Maine Public File

The people's veto campaign to overturn a law that would eventually repeal Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting system has qualified for the June ballot.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is leading an effort to force the U.S. Department of Transportation to require that  airline fares be clear and understandable to consumers.

“I’m not trying to dictate what airlines can charge, or what services they can charge for," she said, in an interview with Maine Public. "But I do believe there should be complete transparency.”

CONCORD, N.H. - Opponents of the Trump administration's proposal to expand offshore drilling say it poses a grave threat to New Hampshire's marine ecosystem and economy.
Federal officials will be in northern New England this week to meet with the public about the possibility of searching for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. Ahead of Monday's meeting in New Hampshire, opponents held a news conference in Concord featuring seacoast-area lawmakers and several conservation groups.

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - The superintendent of Portland's public school system says students won't be punished for taking part in a national student walkout spurred by the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Superintendent Xavier Botana said Saturday that students will be allowed to participate in March 14 event, citing the students' rights to freedom of speech. WGME-TV reports students will neither be pressured to participate nor will they be punished for taking part.

GARDINER, Maine - A Maine company says 300 employees will receive bonuses following changes to the federal tax code enacted at the end of 2017.

Democrats on the Legislature's labor committee have voted to block Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to lead the Maine State Housing Authority.

All seven Democrats voted to reject the appointment of George Gervais to an agency that provides low interest loans to first-time homebuyers and administers heating assistance programs.

It's Thursday and time again for "Across the Aisle," Maine Public's weekly foray into Maine politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former democratic lawmaker, Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the legislature as an independent, and former republican legislator Phil Harriman, a financial planner join Keith Shortall in a weekly round up.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A rural Somerset County school district said that students and staff will be penalized if they choose to take part in the national school walk out planned for Wednesday, March 14, to protest gun violence.

LePage Administration To Stop Funding For Child Abuse Prevention Program

Mar 1, 2018
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News/file

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration plans to stop funding a child abuse prevention program that works directly with at-risk families in individual neighborhoods across much of the state.