Maine

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...

Politics In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

TX Lawmakers Approve Changes to Voter ID Law The TEXAS Legislature approved a bill ( SB 5 ) loosening the requirements of the voter ID law passed by the state in 2011, which the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year discriminated against...

Governors In Brief - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Hickenlooper Orders Oil & Gas Inspections In the aftermath of an explosion caused by a gas leak, COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ordered oil and gas companies statewide to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of...

Gone To The Dogs | 04-14-2017

There is clearly no issue on which Maine Gov. Paul LePage won’t weigh in. This week’s example involves a Husky mix named Dakota that twice in the last year has got out of her yard and attacked a neighbor’s dogs, killing one and injuring...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

Budgets in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

ID PASSES GROCERY TAX REPEAL: The IDAHO Legislature has passed legislation repealing the state’s tax on groceries, effective July 1, 2018. If signed by Gov. C.L. Butch Otter (R), IDAHO would join 37 other states without a grocery tax. (ASSOCIATED...

That Dog Won’t Hunt | 03-17-2017

Maine Rep. Jim Handy thought he was doing something good when he recently introduced a bill that would have required dogs to be safely secured in a seat belt when riding in a car. But as the Washington Post reports , the reaction from dog lovers ranged...

Health & Science - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

North Dakota Approves SB 2154 The NORTH DAKOTA Senate approves SB 2154 , which would suspend implementation of a voter-approved measure to allow the use of medicinal marijuana in the Flickertail State. The suspension would run through July 31, or until...

Governors In Brief - December 5 2016 | 12-02-2016

Gov. Kasich Urges Reduced Medical Licensing Boards OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) and lawmakers are working on a plan to consolidate the Buckeye State’s multiple medical licensing boards. Legislation currently under consideration in the General Assembly...

ME Will Be First State To Try Ranked Voting | 12-02-2016

Last month Maine voters approved Question 5 , making their state the first to adopt ranked-choice voting. Under that system, instead of voting for just one candidate, voters rank the candidates from first choice to last. If no candidate receives a majority...

Trump Coattails Carry Legislators But Not Ballot Measures | 11-11-2016

The white rural voters who helped propel Donald Trump to his stunning victory in the presidential race and enabled Republicans to keep their majorities in both houses of Congress on Nov. 8 may have helped some GOP candidates further down-ticket too, with...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

Governors In Brief - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

LePage Wants Local Schools to Fund Themselves Saying that schools spend too much money on superintendents, MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) said on his weekly radio show that he will push to have Pine Tree State school districts consolidate administrations...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

ME Lottery Hits Jackpot | 09-09-2016

Lottery sales have slumped in many states in recent years , but last fiscal year the Maine Lottery hit the jackpot, setting records for ticket sales, winner payouts, retailer commissions and contributions to the state’s General Fund. A $1.6 billion...

ME SOS Rejects Option For Removing Gov. LePage | 09-09-2016

With efforts to call a special session to consider impeaching Gov. Paul LePage (R) going nowhere, a handful of Maine lawmakers asked Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) to invoke a never-before-used constitutional clause to report to the state Supreme...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Dubious Advice Needed | 07-15-2016

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has had more than his share of confrontations with lawmakers during his time in office. Perhaps none has been greater than the kerfuffle last year over whether he had allowed 65 bills he intended to veto to instead become law without...

Maybe They Could Switch Jobs | 07-08-2016

The economy has improved a lot in recent years, but that doesn’t mean everything is just rosy for everyone. Take Maine Gov. Paul LePage, for instance. LePage is the lowest paid governor in the country, and the nickels just aren’t going as...

NE Govs Pledge to Ramp Up Battle Against Opioid Abuse | 06-10-2016

Citing an ongoing scourge of overdose deaths across the Northeast, all six New England state governors pledged last week to do more to combat the opioid abuse in their states and throughout the region. Gathered at a three-day symposium at Harvard...

Obamacare premium increases to vary widely across states in 2017 | 06-10-2016

Premium increases for the most popular category of health insurance plans under Obamacare will vary widely in 2017, based on analysis of proposed rate filings for eight states where complete data is available by Avalere Health. The average proposed rate...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Truth In Advertising | 05-05-2016

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is the hands down champ as the most disagreeable governor in the nation, a guy as likely to stomp on measures from his Republican colleagues as he is those from the Democrats he clearly hates. So it should come as no surprise that...

Health & Science - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration bans the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco to people under age 18 and requires companies to submit these products to it for regulatory review, provide it with a list of product ingredients...

Politics In Brief - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

ME Gov Vetoes Clean Election Fix MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill approved by the Legislature last month that would have pumped $500,000 into the state’s Clean Election Fund, enough to support the clean election candidates already running...

Partisan Shifts Possible In Several Statehouses | 04-15-2016

This year’s statehouse elections offer opportunities for both Democrats and Republicans to shift majority control of legislative chambers, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats are eyeing Republican...

Health & Science - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

PA Legislature Approves SB 3 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate and House each approve SB 3 , which would legalize medical marijuana use in the Keystone State. It moves to Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has said he will sign it into law (FOX43.COM [PHILADELPHIA]). ...

Politics In Brief - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

High Court Denies Challenge of CO Pot Laws The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear NEBRASKA and OKLAHOMA’s challenge of COLORADO's marijuana legalization laws. The 6-2 vote means COLORADO’s first-of-their-kind cannabis laws will...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Politics In Brief - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

Voter Video Recording Restriction Passed in ME The MAINE Legislature has passed a bill (SB 625) that if signed by Gov. Paul LePage (R) would prohibit the use of video cameras within 15 feet of voters at polling places. Voters raised concerns last November...

States Still Fighting Multi-Front War Against Opioid Abuse | 03-04-2016

When Joanne Peterson and a friend were involved in a car accident in 2014 that sent them to the emergency room, she was shocked when a doctor tried to prescribe them the pain medication oxycodone. Sold under a variety of brand names, oxycodone is an opioid...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

LePage Names Himself Education Commissioner | 02-12-2016

Days after sending lawmakers a State of the State letter in which he repeatedly railed against “socialist politicians,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he would forgo the state’s official nomination process for selecting a new education...

Governors In Brief - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

Ige Pledges a Cool Down HAWAII Gov. David Ige (D) used his State of the State speech last week to pledge to ensure that 1,000 public school classrooms received air conditioning units by the end of the year. He also vowed to launch an initiative to...

Governors In Brief - January 18 2016 | 01-15-2016

No Impeachment for LePage Democrats in the MAINE House rejected an effort last week to launch possible impeachment proceedings against Gov. Paul LePage (R). Lawmakers instead endorsed a resolution that extols the virtues of statesmanship and working...

Dems Mull LePage Impeachment | 01-08-2016

House Democrats in Maine say they will move forward this week with efforts to censure or even impeach Gov. Paul LePage (R) over allegations he has abused his power. Complaints against the governor include the recent finding of the Legislature’s...

Environment - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

The U.S. House of Representatives approves HR 1321, a bill that would ban the use of microbeads, small bits of plastic found in a variety of personal products like soap and toothpaste. At least eight states, including ILLINOIS, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT,...

Governors In Brief - December 14 2015 | 12-11-2015

Beshear Issues Pardons In his final act in office, outgoing KENTUCKY Gov. Steve Beshear (D) commuted six sentences and issued 201 pardons last week. Ten of the pardons or commutations were granted to women who had been victims of domestic violence...

Suicides Up Significantly In Many States | 12-04-2015

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of annual suicide deaths rose by more than 30 percent in eight states, according to analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Governing . The largest increase, 69.3 percent, was in Wyoming...

Health & Science - December 7 2015 | 12-04-2015

The MAINE Department of Health and Human Services announces it will seek a federal waiver that allows it to ban food stamp recipients from using their benefits to purchase candy and soda. Pine Tree State lawmakers considered and rejected legislation to...

LePage Renews War with ME Lawmakers | 10-02-2015

Citing ongoing conflict with lawmakers of both parties, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he will wait until at least January before seeking to fill dozens of vacancies on state boards and agencies. Angry that lawmakers had not acted on tax reform proposals...

Pre-election voting restricted in many states | 09-18-2015

In most states eligible voters can cast their votes before Election Day, either by going to the polls during designated early voting periods or by voting via absentee ballot. But 30 states have no early voting period, although 13 of those states allow...