• Maine, New Brunswick to Explore Development of Northeast Energy Corridor

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham announced Wednesday that they will work together to explore the development of a Northeast Energy Corridor. Also on Wednesday, Irving Oil Co. announced that it is conducting commercial and technical feasibility on the first phase of development of the corridor, which would include 1,200

  • Maine Clean Election Fund Facing Exhaustion

    AUGUSTA — The Maine Clean Election Fund faces exhaustion if three candidates for governor use it in the 2010 race, a problem some blame on $4.4 million in “loans” to the Legislature that have not been repaid. The fund, which was used by 81 percent of legislative candidates last year, supports Maine’s 13-year-old public campaign

  • Long-term Care Bill Gets More Support on Second Try

    AUGUSTA — A bill that was sent back to its authors for revision after a rough start with the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee has received unanimous support on its second try. Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin County) and the eight co-sponsors of “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission to

  • Correction of 35-year-old Law Could Cost State Hospitals $1M

    AUGUSTA — Correcting a law that’s been misinterpreted since the day it was enacted 35 years ago would cost hospitals across Maine an estimated $1 million, though opponents say that the law is so entrenched that changing it now would be unfair. Sen. Lawrence Bliss (D-Cumberland County) said the error surfaced when a tax assessor

  • Legislation Targeting Paid Signature Gatherers

    AUGUSTA — People paid to gather signatures in pursuit of citizen-initiated laws are targeted in two pieces of legislation that seek to cast private and special interest money out of the process. Rep. James Campbell Sr. (R-West Newfield), who sponsors the two bills, told the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee Monday that paid signature

  • Verso President Lobbies for State Support of Paper Industry

    AUGUSTA — Verso Paper Corp. President and CEO Mike Jackson visited the State House Tuesday to deliver a simple message: Maine can’t afford to lose its pulp and paper industry. But without a commitment on the state’s part to help bolster the industry, said Jackson, the future could be troubled. “We want the state of

  • Heritage Policy Center Wins Maine Sunshine Award

    AUGUSTA — The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition on Monday presented its second annual Maine Sunshine Award to the Maine Heritage Policy Center for its creation of a Web site that tracks state government spending. The Web site, www.MaineOpengov.org, tracks payrolls, pension payments and checks written by the state to individuals and businesses. Tarren Bragdon,

  • State Medicaid Shortfall at $65M

    AUGUSTA — The economic recession and initiatives that haven’t produced the savings hoped for are the culprits behind a $65-million general fund budget overage, the state’s human services chief told the Appropriations Committee Monday. Brenda Harvey, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, said she has seen the problem building for months in

  • State to Expand Laptops for Students Program

    AUGUSTA — The Department of Education has hatched a plan to expand the state’s laptop computer program to all high school students and teachers without spending any new money. The expansion will be accomplished by diverting funds already used for technology in schools to lease 100,000 Apple MacBooks, said Education Commissioner Susan Gendron to the