Maine

Politics in Brief - November 19 2018 | 11-16-2018

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR VA REDISTRICTING CASE The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Republican lawmakers in VIRGINIA of a lower court ruling ordering 11 House of Delegates districts to be redrawn to address racial gerrymandering. That...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

Partisan Control of Legislative Chambers Shifts in Seven States | 11-09-2018

Five state legislative chambers currently led by Republican majorities - including both the House and Senate in New Hampshire - will flip to Democratic control next year, as a result of the Nov. 6 elections. The Democrats also took full control of the...

Voters Rejected Most Tax Measures on Ballot: | 11-09-2018

Proposed tax increases and restrictions on future tax hikes were on the ballot in several states last week. Most of them failed. Colorado voters rejected both Amendment 73 , which would have increased corporate and personal income taxes to provide...

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures | 11-09-2018

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures: As anticipated, given the record number of female candidates running for political office this year , women made significant gains in state legislatures on Election Day. Preliminary analysis by the...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Sizable Statehouse Gains Possible for Dems in November | 10-19-2018

If the November election holds to the usual pattern for the first midterm election of a new presidency, Democrats could win control of nine legislative chambers in seven states, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures...

Opioid Taxes Not Faring Well This Session | 10-12-2018

Minnesota state Rep. Dave Baker (R) sponsored a bill ( HB 1440 ) this session that would have imposed a “penny a pill” fee on every opioid painkiller pharmaceutical companies sold in the state to provide funding for opioid abuse prevention...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

Politics in Brief - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

WV SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SPARED IMPEACHMENT After over an hour of deliberation, the WEST VIRGINIA Senate voted 32-1 not to impeach state Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker over her part in a court spending scandal. Three of the state’s other justices...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

LePage Remains Defiant on ME Medicaid Expansion | 09-14-2018

Responding to Medicaid expansion advocates who are urging eligible Mainers to sign up for the insurance plan, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he will reject those applications until lawmakers fund the program to his satisfaction. Expansion supporters...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

Governors in Brief - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

RAIMONDO ISSUES RI SCHOOL GUN BAN RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) issued an executive order last month barring anyone except police officers from carrying firearms at public schools and grounds in the Ocean State. The order closes a loophole in...

Governors in Brief - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

ME, KY, MS GOVS FILE WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION BRIEF MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R), KENTUCKY Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and MISSISSIPPI Gov. Phil Bryant (R) join the attorneys general of 13 other states in an Aug. 23 brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule...

Tip Credit Latest Front in Minimum Wage Battle | 08-10-2018

In June, Washington D.C. voters strongly endorsed Initiative 77 , a ballot referendum to require District eateries to pay workers that rely on tips the same minimum wage as other employees. But amidst furious pushback from the restaurant industry, a majority...

California Projected to Lose $329M to Cybercrime in 2018 | 08-03-2018

California will have the highest cybercrime losses of any state this year, according to analysis of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Insurance Information Institute by Website Builder Expert. The website development adviser estimates...

ME GOP Again Upholds Medicaid Expansion Veto | 07-13-2018

Maine lawmakers overturned 23 of Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) 43 vetoes, but failed to turn back his rejection of startup funding for voter-approved Medicaid expansion in the Pine Tree State. The successful veto marks the seventh time that LePage...

Now We’re Talking | 07-13-2018

As noted elsewhere in the issue, Maine Gov. Paul LePage managed for the seventh time last week to block the will of a majority of lawmakers and voters to expand Medicaid health coverage to an additional 70,000 poor Mainers. The matter is now in the courts...

LePage Vetoes, Set Up ME Override Battle | 07-06-2018

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) rejected 36 bills last week, adding to the record 500-plus vetoes he has accumulated during his eight years in office. As expected, the governor’s vetoes included legislation that would have funded voter-approved...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

Health & Science - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA House Approves HB 4664 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4664 , a bill that would ban the use of so-called conversion therapy, a controversial practice aimed at changing the sexual orientation and gender identity of minors. It moves to the Senate...

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

State Legislative Chambers Vulnerable to Democratic Wave Election | 06-15-2018

In a normal wave election - which is typical of the first midterm election of a new president - the party out of power picks up six to eight state legislative chambers. A normal wave in November could give Democrats control of both chambers in Arizona...

Trump and Women Continue to Figure Prominently in State Primaries | 06-15-2018

Last Tuesday, primary elections were held in four states - Maine, Nevada South Carolina and Virginia - and a special election was held in Wisconsin. Support for President Trump continued to be a key factor in GOP primaries. Corey Stewart eked out...

Politics in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING GETS INAUGURAL STATE-LEVEL RUN IN ME: In last Tuesday’s primary election, MAINE became the first state to use ranked-choice voting, already employed in about a dozen cities, including Minneapolis and San Francisco. Although...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Judge Orders ME Medicaid Expansion | 06-08-2018

A Superior Court judge has ordered Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) to take the necessary steps to implement voter-approved expansion of Medicaid in the Pine Tree State. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy gave LePage until June 11 to file an expansion plan...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

States Return to Reinsurance to Stabilize ACA Marketplaces | 05-11-2018

Soaring premiums and declining insurer participation in the health insurance marketplaces states set up in accordance with the Affordable Care Act have been among the most common complaints about the federal healthcare law. To address those issues states...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Governors In Brief - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

AZ GOV SIGNS OFF ON TEACHER PAY RAISE ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed budget legislation last week that will hike the pay of Grand Canyon State teachers by 20 percent over the next three years. The wage increase came after dozens of the state’s...

Health & Science - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

DE Governor Signs HB 302 DELAWARE Gov. John Carney (D) signs Substitute 1 for HB 302 , a bill that allows police to temporarily seize firearms from someone whom a mental health professional deems a danger to themselves or others. The measure takes...

Governors in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

BROWN REACHES DEAL ON CA NATIONAL GUARD USE...OR DOES HE? After a week of jousting with the Trump administration, it is still unclear if CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will order the deployment of the California National Guard to the state’s...

Total Recall | 04-13-2018

As noted in this space before, there is a reckoning afoot for politicos spewing hateful nonsense on social media. The latest comes from Maine, where a local mayor is facing recall after cracking on a school shooting survivor. As the Bangor Daily News...

Governors in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

WALKER SIGNS OFF ON CLOSURE OF WI YOUTH PRISON : After years of accusations of ongoing abuse and neglect of its inhabitants, the lone WISCONSIN prison complex for teen offenders is now set to shut its doors for good. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed bipartisan...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Dumb As A Rock | 03-16-2018

Dumb As A Rock : Whatever your position on guns, it would seem to be really dumb to verbally attack shooting victims or survivors. Sadly, from Sandy Hook to Parkland there is a plethora of examples of current and wannabe pols who have chosen to do just...

‘Dreamers’ Concentrated Mainly in Western States | 02-16-2018

As of March 2017, California and Texas had the largest populations of individuals participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, together accounting for about 40 percent of the nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” nationwide...

Large Number of Potential Female Candidates for Statewide Office in 2018 | 02-02-2018

Over 165 women in 39 states will likely run for statewide political office this year, more than twice the number that actually filed to run in 2016, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute...

New Year, Same Jerk | 01-12-2018

Few elected officials seem to revel in being obnoxious quite like Maine Gov. Paul LePage. During his two terms in office LePage has yet to meet a policy proposal, public vote or maybe even the time of day he can’t get downright testy over. And lest...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

Business - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

ME House Veto HB 1139 The MAINE House upholds Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of HB 1139 , which would have established a regulatory and taxation system for marijuana. LePage said there was still too much uncertainty that federal marijuana policy...

LePage Defies Voters On ME Medicaid Expansion | 11-10-2017

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he will not accept a voter-approved ballot measure to expand Medicaid to cover approximately 80,000 more residents unless lawmakers find a way to pay for it without raising taxes or drawing on state reserves. Pine...