• Bill Raises Debate About Charter Schools

    AUGUSTA — The prospect of creating charter schools in Maine attracted parents and educators to Augusta Tuesday to debate whether their merits as alternative learning settings would be worth diverting funding away from the existing public school system. The bill in question, “An Act to Permit Charter Schools in Maine,” sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon

  • Milbridge Residents Divided on Subsidized Housing Project

    MILBRIDGE — Voters will decide at a special town meeting May 14 whether to approve a six-month moratorium on multifamily housing developments in response to plans for a $1.2-million subsidized apartment complex for workers employed in farming and fishing. A nonprofit organization, Mano en Mano, has a purchase and sale agreement on a five-acre lot

  • Governor Baldacci Presents Plan to Close $569 Million Budget Gap

    AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci today released the details of his plan to close a $569 million budget gap created by declining revenues. “The global recession continues to have a sharp impact on Maine,” Governor Baldacci said. “The plan I’m presenting includes many difficult decisions. It requires shared sacrifice across the State. But I

  • Same-Sex Marriage Passes In Senate

    AUGUSTA—A bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maine gathered momentum today when the Senate voted 21-14 in favor of sending the matter on to the House of Representatives and not to the Maine people for a referendum. Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, the prime sponsor of “An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm

  • Governor to Announce Plan to Cover $573M Revenue Deficit

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci will unveil a plan Friday to cover a $573-million revenue deficit that has left lawmakers reeling since its scope was revealed late last week. The state’s Revenue Forecasting Committee met Tuesday to put precise numbers behind the shortfall, which is the result of a downward revenue trend in virtually every

  • Same-Sex Marriage Bill Headed to Legislature

    AUGUSTA — A bill that would allow same-sex marriage in Maine is in the hands of the Legislature following an 11-2-1 vote, with one abstention, by the Judiciary Committee Tuesday in support of the measure. The bill, as it has since it was introduced by Sen. Dennis Damon (D-Hancock County), triggered strong emotions. One woman

  • Senator Proposes Long-term Protection Plan for State Budget

    AUGUSTA — Sen. Joseph Perry (D-Penobscot County) has a plan that 20 years from now could produce a hearty revenue stream to benefit the state’s general fund. Fifty years from now, that stream could grow to a river that protects state government from low points in the economy. To start the process, though, requires an

  • State’s Budget Picture Worsens Dramatically

    AUGUSTA — The gap between the cost of current state services and the revenue to pay for them has widened by approximately $575 million, creating a virtual worst-case scenario for lawmakers who have spent the last few months struggling with an already dismal budget situation. Ryan Low, commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial

  • Same-sex Marriage Bill Now Rests With Judiciary Committee

    AUGUSTA — The fate of a measure to allow same-sex marriages in Maine rests with the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee following 11 hours of tug-of-war testimony April 22 at the Augusta Civic Center. The number of people observing the proceedings, which initially numbered in the thousands, steadily declined through the day, but the pleas of those