Politics

  • Help Available in Foreclosure Cases

    AUGUSTA — A total of 87 Mainers who have suffered home foreclosures are eligible for payments of $3,000 or more, providing they can be located. An unknown number of additional Mainers on the brink of foreclosure may be eligible for a program that helps them keep their homes.   The mortgage payments counseling services are

  • Both Sides Gearing Up for Battle in Same-sex Marriage Debate

    AUGUSTA — Both sides of the debate over same-sex marriage in Maine are scrambling to build grassroots support and pools of money for what promises to be an intense campaign between now and the November election.   At issue is a law enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor John Baldacci in May that

  • New Weatherization Group Up and Running

    AUGUSTA — A new association of weatherization and construction professionals was born last week with 100 dues-paying members signed on before the first meeting. The Maine Association of Building Efficiency Professionals conducted its first official business Thursday when it enacted bylaws and elected a board of directors. Conceived just a few months ago over a

  • State’s Ability to Serve Unemployed Improving

    AUGUSTA — The demand for unemployment benefits in Maine remains high, but the state’s ability to serve them is improving. With an 8.5 percent unemployment rate in Maine and another 15.6 percent who are underemployed, the Department of Labor is a busy place, Commissioner Laura Fortman told the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee last week. “The call

  • Two Department Heads Ready to Get Serious on Budget Cutting

    AUGUSTA — The commissioners of the two departments that consume the majority of state resources are preparing for a tough exercise in budget cutting that they say can no longer rely on nibbling around the edges. Brenda Harvey, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Susan Gendron, commissioner of the Department of

  • Retirement Fund Gains

    AUGUSTA — The investment fund for the Maine Public Employee Retirement System, which has been ravaged by worldwide financial upheaval, appears to be on a slow track to recovery. Despite the better performance, the managers of the system are in early discussions about ways to soften the long-term impact of the financial crisis on the

  • List of Governor-Hopefuls Lengthens

    AUGUSTA — With the primary election for governor still 11 months away, some campaigns are operating at full fund-raising force while others still have a zero at the bottom of their ledger sheets. The first deadline for reporting on finances last week revealed that several privately funded candidates have been collecting donations in earnest. Republican

  • Baldacci Concerned About National Health Care Impact on Medicaid

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci joined a chorus of other governors from across the country who oppose any national health care plan that passes costs to states’ Medicaid programs. Several health care bills working their way through Congress rely on increases in what states pay for Medicaid, a drain on resources that Baldacci said just

  • Lawmakers Look to Old Report to Deal with Budget Crunch

    AUGUSTA — As lawmakers restarted the process of finding savings in the state budget this week, much of the emphasis is on re-examining old ideas. The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, which is leading an effort to find $30 million in savings for fiscal year 2011, was scheduled to spend most of Thursday reviewing

  • Public Employee Retirement System on Slow Track to Recovery

    AUGUSTA — The investment fund for the Maine Public Employee Retirement System, which has been ravaged by worldwide financial upheaval, appears to be on a slow track to recovery. Despite the better performance, the managers of the system are in early discussions about ways to soften the long-term impact of the financial crisis on the