Maine Things Considered

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Weekdays at 4 p.m. join host Nora Flaherty and hear Maine’s only daily statewide radio news program. Maine Public Radio's award-winning news staff brings you the latest news from across Maine and the region, as well as in-depth reports on the most important issues.

State Treasurer Terry Hayes has filed papers to run for governor.

Hayes, a former Democrat-turned-independent who was nominated to her current post by Republicans, says she wants to bring civility back to politics in Maine. She hopes to run as a publicly financed candidate under the Clean Election Act, but acknowledges lawmakers are considering a proposal to eliminate funding for gubernatorial candidates.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated a former Democratic lawmaker to become the state’s next public advocate for utility customers.

Saco attorney Barry Hobbins has been tapped for the post currently held by Timothy Schneider, whose chances of getting another four-year term were doomed after he angered the governor for attempting to broker a deal on a landmark solar bill.

The governor picked Schneider for the public advocate post four years ago and seemed pleased with the Portland attorney’s work on behalf of Maine utility customers, until last year.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Maine’s ranked-choice voting law had its day in court Thursday.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments that could determine the fate of the citizen initiative passed by voters in November. The court’s views on the constitutionality of the law will likely influence legislators to either keep the first-in-the-nation system, ditch it altogether or try to amend the constitution.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Around the country and the world there’s a growing movement calling for the end to solitary confinement, also known as administrative segregation, restrictive housing or lockdown. Here in Maine, the Department of Corrections is leading the effort to curtail its use.

It's Thursday, and time for the Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the Legislature as an independent; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising, a former Republican lawmaker; and Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in Augusta as a Democrat.

LM Otero / Associated Press

The Maine Legislature is looking once again at a proposed ban on the use of handheld electronic devices while driving.

The legislation is sponsored by Windham Sen. Bill Diamond, a Democrat and former secretary of state. He says there’s mounting evidence that the likelihood of having an accident increases if you are holding a cellphone to your ear or texting.

Diamond told the Legislature’s Transportation Committee that while some people would ignore the law, its passage would make highways safer.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

A man who has served nearly three decades in prison for a murder in Portland was granted bail Thursday due to new evidence that casts doubt on his guilt.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Students of theater, music, and art at the University of Southern Maine may share similar areas of creative interest, but they tend to focus on their own media. In the past few months, that’s changed.

Marcel Oosterwijk / Flickr/Creative Commons

Next week the Maine Ethics Commission will take up a proposal designed to put some distance between lobbyists on the one hand and elected legislators and state officials on the other.

The proposal stems from a complaint against a former Democratic legislator who was hired by the Maine AFL-CIO.

Maine Public political correspondent Steve Mistler explains the controversy, and more importantly the purpose of, what are often called revolving door laws.

Q: Can you explain what a revolving door is in state government?

Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, along with five other New England ACLU affiliates, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection over President Trump's Muslim travel bans.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Legislation that would provide criminal immunity for people calling 9-1-1 to report drug overdoses has support from civil liberties advocates in Maine. But some law enforcement officials say the bill goes too far. 

Supporters say a person who has drugs or paraphernalia in their possession might be reluctant to summon help for another person who has overdosed for fear that they might be arrested when police arrive.

STRIVE U

This month, seven young adults with developmental disabilities are opening their mailboxes and finding out that they’ve been accepted to STRIVE U, a first-of-its-kind postsecondary education and training program based in South Portland.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine sparked some national news stories Tuesday after her appearance on a Portland radio station in which she talked about the possibility of running for governor next year.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A new poll by the Morning Consult finds that Maine's two U.S. senators are among the most popular in the country, while Gov. Paul LePage's favorability is as high as it's ever been.

The poll of more than 770 Maine voters found that 67 percent of respondents viewed Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King favorably.

It's a slight dip for Collins and a slight jump for King since the Morning Consult polled Mainers last summer.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability in this country — and it’s also the most preventable.

A New Jersey physician who saw a dramatic improvement in her own chronic illness after changing her personal habits is now practicing what’s called “lifestyle medicine,” and a big part of her switch was adapting a plant-based diet. She shared her personal experience at the Maine Nutrition Council’s annual conference.

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