• Gun Injunction May Expire

    WASHINGTON D.C. — The injunction issued in late March by US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that blocked a Bush administration rule allowing visitors to bring loaded, concealed weapons into national parks and wildlife refugee will expire on Monday, April 20. As a result of the injunction, the park service is enforcing a rule adopted

  • State’s Medicaid Program in Race Against the Clock

    AUGUSTA — The state’s Medicaid program will run out of money by May 8 unless federal stimulus funding arrives in time to remedy a problem that’s been growing for months. Brenda Harvey, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, told legislators last month that overspending in several Medicaid accounts had tallied $65 million

  • Hospital Financial Info To Be More Readily Available

    AUGUSTA — Financial information from hospitals will soon become more accessible because of work being done by the Legislature and the Maine Health Data Organization. Revealing the cost of procedures for patients and hospital operating expenses are both targeted by three bills heard recently by the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee. The committee kept

  • Gay Marriage Hearings Set

    AUGUSTA — Facing the possibility that 1,000 people or more might turn out at public hearings on same-sex marriage, Legislative leaders have changed the venue to the Augusta Civic Center. At issue are two bills, “An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom,” sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, and “An

  • Open Government Web Site Causing Stir

    AUGUSTA — A Web site that lists the salary of every state employee by name has triggered a bill to protect their identity, pitting the public’s right to know against the privacy of individuals. The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative Portland-based think tank, launched the Web site www.MaineOpengov.org last September to track payrolls, pension

  • PFD Bill Withdrawn

    AUGUSTA — A bill that would have required all boaters in Maine to wear life jackets has been withdrawn. The bill was pulled by its sponsor before a hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee that had been scheduled for Tuesday. Bath Democratic Rep. Thomas Watson says he withdrew the bill because the scope

  • Famed Defense Attorney to Meet With Convicted Murderer

    AUGUSTA — Famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey was scheduled to meet with convicted murderer Dennis Dechaine Wednesday at Maine State Prison in Warren. Dechaine, who is 21 years into a life sentence, awaits word about whether he will be granted a new trial based on DNA evidence uncovered since his trial. Bailey’s work as

  • Future of License-free Saltwater Fishing Up in the Air

    AUGUSTA — The fate of license-free saltwater fishing in Maine will likely be determined by one of two bills competing for passage in the Legislature. The purpose of either bill would be to conform with new federal requirements that states collect information about who is fishing in salt water and what they are fishing for.

  • Public Input Called for on Expansion of State’s Laptop Program

    AUGUSTA — The proposed expansion of the state’s laptop computer program into the high school grades deserves to be scrutinized by the public, some lawmakers contend. The expansion would provide an Apple MacBook computer to every high school student and teacher in Maine’s public schools. Baldacci and Education Commissioner Susan Gendron propose rerouting technology money