Political news

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Some students at Cheverus High School in Portland have gotten a lesson in current immigration issues: They made a trip to the southern border region with teacher Haley Malm. "It's definitely asking kids to come out of their comfort zone," Malm says. "And, it's not your typical fun summer camp."  One of the students Malm recruited was Danielle Whyte, who had just completed her freshman year at Cheverus.  Whyte spoke about the experience with Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Several members of the U.S. Congress have resigned over allegations of sexual harassment, prompting legislation aimed at creating a more transparent and accountable process. The House and Senate have each passed their own versions of the bill, and will have to come to an agreement on a final measure.

The Maine Legislature will return next week to vote on a funding source for Medicaid expansion after a veto by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage vetoed the bill Monday and noted it was the seventh time he'd used his veto power to thwart an expansion of Medicaid to 70,000 people. He described those vetoes as being "among the most important acts of my governorship."

Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion via referendum. But the referendum had no funding source and LePage accused lawmakers of resorting to gimmicks.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press/file

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday that she would not support a Supreme Court nominee who would overturn the court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage is making good on a promise to veto any spending bills passed by this special session of the legislature. On Monday LePage vetoed more than 20 bills, and he says any spending bills passed by the legislature will be meet the same fate.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Under the Medicaid expansion law that voters approved last November, Mainers who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level could be eligible for MaineCare, the state's name for its Medicaid program, starting Monday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine's voter-approved Medicaid expansion is scheduled to begin today - but it remains blocked by Gov. Paul LePage.  LePage has vowed to veto a bill funding the state's share of the cost and refused to file paperwork needed to tap into federal funding.

Fred Bever

Well more than 1,000 people crowded the steps of Portland's City Hall - and the street in front of it -  Saturday afternoon to protest President trump's immigration policies, including family separations at the borders.

The state will end its budget year this weekend with a revenue surplus of at least $78 million, and the final number could be significantly higher.

Finance Commissioner Alec Porteous says Maine’s economy continues to show strength with May revenues more than $7 million above projections.

“I think I would attribute it to strong economic growth,” he says. “At this point, these lines have been so consistent now for months on end.”

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she hopes President Trump's second U.S. Supreme Court nominee won't be looking to overturn what she called “settled law.”

"I want judges who recognize that their job is not to overturn long settled issues," Collins said.

But Collins also said she won't be applying an ideological litmus test when considering whether to support the president's pick for the high court.

"It is possible ... for a judge to have personal views that are at odds with how he or she rules in a case. And that is as it should be," she said.

Tiffany Bond

Tiffany Bond is running a very different kind of campaign for Congress in the Second District.

An independent candidate, Bond says she won’t be airing any broadcast ads and is not accepting campaign contributions. Instead, she urges supporters to contribute money to a local charity along with a note in support of her candidacy.

“I’m happy to do a lot of things that don’t cost money, that don’t require me to raise money and be beholden to somebody else,” Bond says.

Tiffany Bond is a family lawyer and considers herself middle class.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has introduced a bill that would shrink the "border zone" within which border agents can stop drivers and others and question them on their immigration status.

Under current rules, agents have broad authority to stop cars and search private land, under the auspices of patrolling the border, so long as they are within 100 miles of a land or water border.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine’s two senators could play key roles in the confirmation of the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has announced his retirement.

China Tariffs Could Put US Shark Fin Business In Jeopardy

Jun 29, 2018
Kin Cheung / Associated Press/file

PORTLAND, Maine - A new set of Chinese tariffs on U.S. seafood including products made from shark fins could jeopardize what remains of the American fin business.
China announced the tariffs in mid-June that are expected to apply to exported American goods such as lobster and salmon. They also will apply to whole or cut shark fins, as well as shark fin products that are canned or preserved.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a $675 billion defense spending bill that Republican Senator Susan Collins says is good news for Maine.

“The navy must sustain an aggressive lead growth rate for large surface combatants in fiscal year 2020 and beyond in order to project strength,” says Collins.

The bill would spend $20 billion more than the current budget calls for, and Collins says it includes money for three Burke Class destroyers that could be built at Bath Iron Works.