• Tax Reform Debate Still Going Strong

    AUGUSTA — The debate over tax reform in Maine rages on, despite the adoption of sweeping tax code changes last month that split the Legislature along party lines. The bill, which enjoyed an 84-61 majority in the House and a 20-13 vote in the Senate, is now the subject of a citizen’s petition that seeks

  • Potential Candidates for Governor a Diverse Lot

    AUGUSTA — The field of potential candidates for governor includes at least 22 people whose experience ranges from a Bath Iron Works electrician to four sitting members of the Senate. With well over a year left until the November 2010 election, many of the candidates said in interviews that they are not prepared to make

  • Fees on Suspended Driver’s Licenses to Increase

    AUGUSTA — The cost of restoring a suspended driver’s license or vehicle registration in Maine will increase by $15 next week under new provisions approved by the Legislature. Effective July 1, the reinstatement fee will increase from $35 to $50 on suspended licenses only. Regular license renewals will remain at the current rate of $35.

  • Study Planned on Friendliness of State’s Business Climate

    AUGUSTA — A core issue in the debate about the friendliness of Maine’s business climate will be the target of a study called for in a new bill passed in the Legislature and signed last week by Governor John Baldacci. The study, which is to be undertaken by the state’s Regulatory Fairness Board, will explore

  • Baldacci Signs Bill Delaying Consolidation Penalties

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci ended speculation June 19 about his stance on a bill to delay penalties for towns that haven’t complied with school consolidation requirements for one year by signing the measure into law. “Our intention has never been to punish school districts,” said Baldacci in a prepared statement. “After careful consideration, I

  • Pine Tree Zone Expanded to Entire State

    AUGUSTA — Expanding or relocating companies will enjoy years of financial benefits in Maine under an expansion of Pine Tree Development Zones that Governor John Baldacci said shows the state is open for business. With Baldacci’s signature Monday on “An Act to Reaffirm Maine’s Commitment to Business by Amending the Pine Tree Development Zone Laws,”

  • GrowSmart Maine Looks Ahead After Director’s Resignation

    AUGUSTA — GrowSmart Maine, the organization that has positioned itself as a steward of responsible development for the state, has pulled through recent financial difficulties with hopes for an active future. But on top of the financial situation, the organization’s founding director, Alan Caron, announced recently that he will leave the organization in pursuit of

  • Governor Signs Pair of Anti-pollution Bills

    AUGUSTA — Two bills designed to improve Maine’s environment and protect public health became law Monday with the signature of Governor John Baldacci. One law requires manufacturers of mercury-containing compact fluorescent light bulbs to take responsibility for their disposal by developing a program for recycling them by 2011. The other law requires land managers to

  • Maine Mustard Goes to Washington

    U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) has given President Barack Obama a gift pack of Maine-made Raye’s Mustard. Obama recently made headlines during a visit to Ray’s Hell-Burger, a popular eatery in Arlington, Va., where he famously made it clear that he likes mustard on his burgers. Upon learning of the President’s preference for the

  • Impasses Broken as Legislature Closes Out Session

    AUGUSTA — Weeks-long political impasses over the Highway Fund budget and a bond package finally broke Friday, allowing Republicans and Democrats to close out the legislative session with bipartisan decisions in both areas. The last-minute agreements stretched the state bill reviser’s office to the limit in a scramble to draft an amendment for the budget