Sara Gideon

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, a Democrat, has introduced a bill that would create a universal paid family and medical leave program in Maine.

We speak with female legislators, both new and experienced, about the issues they will focus on. We’ll also talk about what it means that a record number of women will be serving in the Maine Legislature.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Using procedures that date back to the state’s very first legislature, Maine lawmakers took the oath of office and got down to business at the State House Wednesday.

Maine Public staff/file

Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau, a Republican from Winterport, delivered Thursday what he expects to be his last speech to this Senate.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Some are calling 2018 the year of the woman.

The sentiment is fueled by the backlash to President Donald Trump, whose inauguration prompted millions to take to the streets for the Women's March in Washington, D.C. and around the country. And it's been sustained by a #metoo movement that has disrupted the power dynamic in Hollywood, media, politics and the workplace. Now, a record number of women are running for elected office, and many are asking how all of this energy might affect the upcoming election in Maine.

Two top-ranking legislative leaders join us to discuss the work still left to be done and the prospects for compromise.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

When the second regular session of the legislature adjourned and lawmakers left the statehouse this week, both parties were blaming the other for unfinished business. 

The blame continued when Governor Paul LePage gave his latest weekly radio address with the title “Speaker Gideon Kills Good Legislation That Would Benefit the Maine People.”

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon has now released a statement responding to the governor's remarks.

Some low-income parents in Maine could soon get help paying for higher education costs. 

The $2.1 million bill became law Tuesday after receiving broad bipartisan support, although it went unsigned by Gov. Paul LePage.

As a result, parents in households earning 185 percent or less of the federal poverty level - or $46,000 a year for a family of four - could receive funds to pay for post-secondary education programs in specific fields, such as health care, technology and engineering.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Hosted by Mal Leary, our panel shares its analysis of Governor LePage's final State of the State address (which he delivered on the evening of February 13).

Guests: Senate President Michael Thibodeau R- Winterport

House Speaker Sara Gideon D-Freeport

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

House Speaker Sara Gideon is proposing that the Legislature bolster two job training programs in January. 

Gideon says the state must do more to train low-income Mainers to fill needed jobs.  She says two programs in particular are now underutilized, and should be expanded.

“What we tried to do in this bill is, actually, go after both of those challenges and address them together," Gideon says. "We want to lift people out of poverty and we want to get the workforce trained.”

Maine Legislative Update

Feb 6, 2017

Maine’s Senate president and the Speaker of the House return to Maine Calling to discuss the latest news out of the legislature, including Thursday’s request for a “solemn occasion” on ranked-choice voting, Maine’s opiate crisis, and other legislative priorities.    

Guests: Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo County)

House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport)

Legislative Preview

Jan 3, 2017

Maine's legislative leaders join us to discuss the 2017 legislative agenda. 


Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau

House Speaker Sara Gideon  

Mal Leary / Maine Public

AUGUSTA, Maine - Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives have nominated their leaders for the upcoming session.

They chose Rep. Sara Gideon, of Freeport, as speaker of the house, Erin Herbig, of Belfast, as majority leader, and Lewiston Rep. Jared Golden as assistant majority leader.

Gideon says it will be a difficult session. “It is always a difficult thing to keep 77 people moving in the same direction. It takes conversations, it takes an understanding of all the ramifications of things.”