• Newspaper Deal Hits a Snag

    AUGUSTA — The state’s retirement system, which last week entertained an offer to become an investor in the purchase of Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc., has decided against the deal. Richard Connor, the man who has been working for a year to purchase the company that includes the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal

  • State Lawmakers Looking for Ways to Stretch Resources

    AUGUSTA — Following a month of public hearings, lawmakers have turned their attention to studying the details of Governor John Baldacci’s biennial budget proposal, looking for ways to stretch resources and avoid cuts in services. The process has been unique because of the more than $900 million in federal stimulus dollars that are coming to

  • Baldacci Unveils Ambitious Agenda in State of the State Address

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci acknowledged the troubled present but focused on his vision for a prosperous future Tuesday as he unveiled a range of initiatives that lawmakers from both parties described as bold and ambitious. At the center of Baldacci’s plan is an extensive energy initiative that ranges from weatherizing every home within 20

  • Bill to Keep Elderly at Home Longer Sent Back for Retooling

    AUGUSTA — A bill designed to keep the elderly and adults with disabilities out of nursing homes for as long as possible has been sent back to its incredulous authors for more work. Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Long-term Home-based and Community-based Care reacted with dismay last week when the Legislature’s Health

  • Governor Unveils State’s Own Stimulus Package

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci unveiled what he called Maine’s own stimulus package Wednesday, proposing $306 million in borrowing for transportation, energy-saving projects, research and development and preservation of Maine’s cultural and natural resources. The $306-million bond package, which has preliminary support from both parties of the Legislature, would trigger another $380 million in federal

  • State Democratic Leaders Plan Push for Tax Reform

    AUGUSTA — Democratic leaders in the Legislature are planning a push for tax reform this session, revamping an earlier proposal to the chagrin of some Republicans who say it doesn’t do enough to reduce the tax burden on Maine citizens. The core of the Democrats’ plan is reducing the state’s top income tax rate while

  • Cost of Maintaining State Services $125M More Than Expected

    AUGUSTA — The estimated cost of maintaining state services for the next two years is $125 million more than the number legislators have been working from, bringing the total General Fund revenue hole to $965 million. The higher number was one of several developments described in the monthly newsletter of the Legislature’s Office of Fiscal