Groups Press For Maine Bill That Eases Or Eliminates Some Drug Laws

May 14, 2019
Rebecca Conley / Maine Public file

A coalition of groups is pushing to significantly overhaul Maine’s drug possession and trafficking laws, saying current criminal penalties are crowding jails and prisons while exacerbating the opioid crisis.

Maine inched closer Tuesday toward joining other states that want to elect presidents by popular vote.  The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 19-16 to join an interstate compact that overhauls the Electoral College system currently used to elect U.S. presidents.

Latest Effort To Add Equal Rights Amendment To Maine Constitution Falters

May 14, 2019
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republicans in the House of Representatives voted Tuesday to turn back a measure for the second time in just over two years that would have Maine follow more than 20 other states to pass a constitutional ban on sex-based discrimination.

Maine’s federally recognized Indian tribes are seeking to restore their ability to prosecute non-Indians in domestic violence and certain other crimes committed on tribal land.

Vermont Renames Columbus Day

May 13, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont has joined a handful of states in renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine bill designed to guarantee the right to practice alternative medicine has been amended after a nurses' group raised concerns it could create a class of unlicensed health care workers with broad practice rights.

Wilson Ring / Associated Press

DERBY LINE, Vt. — Hundreds of border agents from across the U.S. are being temporarily transferred south ahead of the busy summer tourism season, worrying those along the northern border who rely on cross-border commerce — including U.S. innkeepers, shop owners and restaurateurs who fear their Canadian customers could be caught in backups at border crossings.

BOSTON - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators are renewing an effort to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Ghost Army of World War II.

PORTLAND, Maine - The rules that could govern Maine's legal marijuana program will be up for a hearing this month that is certain to be well attended.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

More than 100 activists on both sides of the gun control debate were at the State House Friday to testify on nearly a dozen bills being considered this session by the legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The proposals range from requiring home gun safes to mandating trigger locks, as well as imposing background checks for private gun sales or exchanges.

The effort to replace Maine's presidential caucuses with a primary system next year could be in trouble, following a party line vote by the Legislature's Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. Democratic lawmakers voted to approve the bill, but Republicans opposed it.

Rebecca Conley

It’s Friday and time to catch up on all things politics with Maine’s Political Pulse. This week:

AUGUSTA, Maine - Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law bills requiring electric utilities to provide more information to their customers.

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Maine lawmakers are considering a measure that would ask voters to approve a $250 million bond issue to ease student debt.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives have sustained Gov. Janet Mills' first veto, flipping their previous support for a ban on the sale of gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol and killing the proposal altogether.