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.

Maine Public staff/file

Another turn in the ongoing legal and political fight over ranked-choice voting Maine — Republicans in the Maine Senate on Monday passed a measure to block implementation of the system, which could be in place for the June primaries.

Mark Humphrey / Associated Press File

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will relax greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks that were last approved more than five years ago.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

It’s still unclear whether Maine voters will use a landmark ranked choice voting system in June that will purportedly make elections less acrimonious and less partisan. But the fate of the voting system could largely be determined by voters who identify as partisans, and less so by the state’s biggest voting bloc: independents.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press/file

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says that he plans to use ranked-choice voting in the June primary elections after all, despite a conflict in election laws triggered by a people's veto petition.  Supporters say they believe the courts will clear up the matter quickly.

LM Otero / Associated Press File

Police officers have shorter life spans than the rest of us, are more prone to suicide, but for years, a stoic police culture has made it difficult for many to admit they may struggle with mental health issues.

Time is running out for the Downeast Correctional Facility:  It will close for good June 30, unless lawmakers authorize additional funding for another year. 

Right now, lawmakers can't agree on whether a planned pre-release center should move forward in Washington County or whether the governor's decision to abruptly shut down DCF should be carefully reviewed. And with the legislative session nearing its end, hopes for either option are dimming.

It's Thursday and time again for Across the Aisle, our weekly politics roundtable. Our analysts this week include Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in the Maine Legislature as a Democrat, former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, and Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in Augusta as an independent. They spoke with Keith Shortall.

Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to significantly increase the salary of future Maine governors was before a legislative committee Wednesday. Advocates of the increase say a boost is long overdue.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to stay at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. last year may have helped advance a Maryland court case challenging the president’s ability to hold onto his financial stake in his business empire.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

A Waldo County District Court judge has ordered that confidential school records of the woman charged in the beating death of her daughter be sealed. Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys accused the state of misconduct in obtaining the records.

In court on Tuesday, defense attorney Laura Shaw argued that state prosecutors improperly issued a Maine subpoena across state borders when they sought records from a New York school that Carrillo attended more than a decade ago.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

With several changes, the House has approved a tax break for Bath Iron Works that will provide the shipbuilder with $45 million worth of tax relief over 15 years. But there’s a catch — in return, the company will be expected to make investments in the facility and keep the workforce at minimum levels.

The Bath shipyard’s current tax break, worth $60 million, is due to expire next year, two decades after it was first approved. But this time around, the Legislature’s Taxation Committee wanted BIW to give something in return.

The Maine House of Representatives has approved over $5 million to keep the Downeast Correctional Facility operating for another year.

The 95-53 vote was the strongest support for funding in the House so far, but still short of what will be needed to override the expected veto of Gov. Paul LePage, who opposes continued operation of the jail.

Supporters, including Democratic Rep. Anne Perry of Calais, say DCF should keep operating as it is now.

Jesica Waller / University of Maine Darling Marine Center

New science is bearing down on a poorly understood part of the North American lobster’s diet. And it turns out that a tiny crustacean’s abundance may help to explain expected declines in Maine’s lobster harvest.

Feds Give $1.3 Million To Maine Islands For ‘Same Quality Internet As NYC’

Mar 27, 2018
Courtesy Island Institute / via Bangor Daily News

About 120 year-round residents of a cluster of isolated Maine islands recently decided to spend a lot of money upgrading their internet, and now the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will cover the bill.

Maine's Department of Education wants to end its current system for educating young children with disabilities, and shift much of the responsibility on to local school districts. But at a legislative hearing on the new proposal on Monday, advocates, parents and legislators were asking a lot of questions about how the new system would impact children across the state.