Maine

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...

Majority of Ballot Measures Win Passage | 11-10-2017

Voters in seven states considered a total of 22 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 7. Texas voters weighed seven of those measures, the highest number of the seven states. All seven measures passed, which isn’t too unusual in the Lone Star State...

Governors in Brief - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

LEPAGE SIGNS REVISED ME FOOD SOVEREIGNTY LAW : MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed legislation last week that allows anyone living in or visiting one of 22 designated Pine Tree State communities to make a face-to-face purchase at a farmer’s or...

Another Slow Year for Ballot Measures | 11-03-2017

On Nov. 7 voters in 7 states will consider a total of 22 statewide ballot measures, bringing the count for the year - with measures on the ballot last month in two states - to 27. That continues a downward trend in the number of measures on the ballot...

LePage Duels With ME Sheriffs Over Immigration | 10-20-2017

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) met with the Pine Tree State’s 16 county sheriffs last week in an effort to reach a compromise over his order for them to hold suspects for federal immigration officials. In September LePage sent all of the sheriffs a...

Late State Budgets on Rise | 09-15-2017

Over the past few years, late state budgets have become increasingly common. In 2013 five states had to call special sessions to pass their FY 2014 budgets, although all five managed to do so before the 2014 fiscal year actually began. But 11 states started...

Governors In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

HOGAN PROPOSES MD SENTENCING LEGISLATION Responding to what he called “out of control” violent crime in Baltimore, MARYLAND , Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he plans to introduce a major package of anti-crime legislation when lawmakers reconvene...

Governors In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

LEPAGE GETS RIGHT-TO-WORK AGREEMENT IN ME MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) reached an agreement with the Pine Tree State’s largest public employee union that, if endorsed by members, would eliminate mandatory union fees for workers in jobs represented...

Politics In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

UT OKAYS PETITION DRIVE FOR MEDICAL POT INITIATIVE UTAH election officials have given the go-ahead for backers of a proposed medical marijuana initiative to begin gathering signatures to qualify the measure for the 2018 ballot. The Utah Patients Coalition...

More States Now Protect Against ‘Balance Billing’ | 08-11-2017

As of January of this year, 21 states had enacted legislation or regulations providing at least some direct consumer protection from balance billing, the practice among out-of-network healthcare providers of billing patients when the patients’ insurance...

States Attend To Issue Of Medical ‘Balance Billing’ | 08-11-2017

The practice among out-of-network healthcare providers of billing patients when the patients’ insurance carriers don’t cover the full cost of the providers’ services - known as “balance billing” - isn’t the healthcare...

Health & Science - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Maine Overrides A Veto of SB 391 The MAINE House and Senate override a veto by Gov. Paul LePage (R) of SB 391 , which will raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD).

Potpourri - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Potpourri In the U.S. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholds a lower court’s ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have the legal power to strip gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region of their protection under...

Energy - July 17 2017 | 07-14-2017

Washington Signs SB 5939a WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signs SB 5939a , a bill that extends until 2030 state tax incentives to Evergreen State consumers who install solar energy units on their homes. The incentive rates decrease each year after purchase...

Bevin Seeks KY Medicaid Changes | 07-07-2017

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has asked the Trump administration for a Medicaid waiver that would allow the Bluegrass State to require able-bodied adults without dependents to work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for coverage. The request is...

Budgets Late In Many States | 07-07-2017

Ten states started the 2018 fiscal year on July 1 without a budget in place, according to the Tax Foundation. A partial government shutdown in one of those states, Maine, ended on the 4th of July when Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed a budget compromise eliminating...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Business - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Oregon Approves SB 828 The OREGON House approves SB 828 , which would require employers in the retail, food service and hospitality industries and with at least 500 workers worldwide to provide workers with an estimated schedule seven days before the...

Health & Science - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Nevada Approves AB 374 The NEVADA Senate approves AB 374 , which would make the Silver State the first to allow anyone to buy into Medicaid, the public program that covers low-income Americans. It is now with Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) for consideration...