Maine Public

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

In an unexpected announcement, Maine's chief justice says that in the future state court records will be available to the public online.  

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley says she envisions something similar to the federal PACER system which charges a small fee for online access to  court documents such as schedules, motions and decisions.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved the Transportation budget that was recommended by the subcommittee chaired by Sen. Susan Collins. The bill provides increased funding for several key programs, including $1 billion for BUILD grants – a new acronym for TIGER grants.

“This is the transportation program that Maine has been very successful in competing for funds under,” says Collins.

EMILY’s List, a national organization dedicated to electing pro-choice women to office, has given $300,000 to support Janet Mills' campaign for governor.

The money went to the South Portland-based PAC Maine Women Together, which incorporated at the beginning of this month. In filings with the state, Maine Women Together disclosed that it has spent $192,500 of the donation on online ads and social media campaigns opposing Mills' democratic primary opponent Adam Cote; and $7,500 on supporting Mills.

Lucas St. Clair helped win national monument designation for the land now known as Katahdin Woods and Waters, and he’d like to win the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd District.

Garrett Mason, Maine Senate majority leader, is among four Republicans who would like to succeed Gov. Paul LePage.

Mason was first elected to the Maine Senate in 2010. He is currently serving his fourth term and is now the Senate majority leader. Mason has worked for the Portland Sea Dogs, the city’s AA baseball team, and for the Lewiston MAINEiacs hockey team as a business administrator. He is currently a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Portland.

Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

A coalition of Maine organizations has come together to form 'unifymaine.'

Founding member Amy Sneirson of the Maine Human Rights Commission says that the purpose of unifymaine is to spread awareness and speak out against bias-related incidents and hate crimes.

“The hope is to decrease the walls that separate us,” says Sneirson. “Decrease what seems to be hate or violence that's based on fear, rather than knowledge.”

U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree’s effort to block a federal plan to drill offshore for oil and gas has failed on Capitol Hill.

The Interior Department announced last year that it planned to allow exploratory offshore drilling, prompting Pingree to propose a budget amendment that would have blocked the use of any funds appropriated to the agency to implement that plan.

Flickr

Next week, Maine voters will decide whether to continue to use ranked-choice voting in future elections. In anticipation of this decision, two very different campaigns are underway, each attempting to shape public opinion in advance of the election.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting are behind hundreds of thousands of dollars of broadcast advertisements urging Mainers to keep the system they will use for the first time next week, including on featuring actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Originally published June 5, 2018.

The Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute is calling the return of an adult, male loon to a chain of ponds in southeastern Massachusetts “a major milestone in loon conservation.”

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Central Maine Power (CMP) and a group of stakeholders in the western region of Maine, where the company wants to build a major new transmission line, have struck a mitigation deal worth up to $22 million.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

The Republican candidates in Maine's gubernatorial primary race are now hitting the airwaves with ads. Brenda Garrand and Sam Surprise have been watching them closely, and are back to comment on what they see and hear. 

Garrand is the owner of Garrand Mohlenkamp, Surprise runs Surprise Advertising. Garrand is also on Maine Public's board of trustees.  They gathered in our Portland studios earlier this week with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Editor's Note:  This interview was recorded late last month, and, since then, Mary Mayhew has released some campaign ads.

Mark Eves, a former Maine House speaker, is among seven Democrats running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Eves was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2008, where he served the maximum allowed four terms, the last two as House speaker, from 2012 to 2016.

Eves earned a bachelor’s from the University of Louisville and a master’s from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is a family therapist.

Maine Public’s Mal Leary asked Eves why Democrats should choose him over the field:

Janet Mills, Maine’s current attorney general, is among seven Democrats running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Mills was district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties from 1980 to 1992. She was then elected to the Maine House of Representatives, where she served from 2002 to 2008.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Representatives from 126 organizations, ranging from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce to advocacy groups for direct care workers, are calling on Maine lawmakers to set a date for a special legislative session to complete their work. 

“Direct care services will be cut by 12 percent on June 30 if the Legislature doesn’t come back and prevent this crisis and fund direct care workers,” said Lydia Dawson, executive director of the Maine Association of Community Service Providers, at an Augusta news briefing Tuesday.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Maine independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says he will vote to keep ranked-choice voting in next week’s referendum vote.

“A high number of voters said this is something they want," King says, "and I don’t like the idea that we essentially voided what the voters said.”

King says he was reluctant to publicly comment on the ranked-choice voting referendum because some will say he is doing so to benefit his re-election campaign.

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