Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

A prisoner at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Mills administration for withholding unemployment benefits from him and other prisoners in a work release program.

Maine’s top financial officials say state revenues are doing better than expected overall, but warn that the loss of revenue is still significant and will pose some serious policy questions for the Governor and the legislature.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Our panel of editorial page editors returns to discuss the news of the past month, including: controversy over re-opening Maine's economy; how Governor Mills and Maine CDC are handling the response to the epidemic; widespread job loss and unemployment fraud; what's happening with the U.S. Census; and more.

An effort to fill 1000 production and manufacturing jobs in Southern Maine continues amid a time of record unemployment —10.6 percent in the month of April.

Roughly 11,500 Mainers made their first-time claims for unemployment benefits from state and federal assistance programs last week.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public File

Hannaford is planning to hire more than 2,000 workers across New England and New York to keep up with increased demand caused by COVID-19.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Following months of record low unemployment, the country is now facing unprecedented jobless numbers. It's part of the economic fallout from COVID-19. It's been a rough year for college seniors who, until a couple of months ago, were on track to enter a swift job market.

Colby College in Waterville is taking the rather sizable task of finding each of its graduates a job. Maine Public's Jennifer Mitchell talked about this with Colby College President David Greene. 

A national staffing agency with an office in Scarborough is looking to hire 1,000 people to work on diagnostic test kit production as the state's jobless numbers from the pandemic continue to rise.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Memorial Day, the traditional start to the summer tourist season, is less than a month away, and pressure is mounting to get Vacationland back in business. The state is taking a cautious approach to reopening during the ongoing pandemic, and the tourism industry is responding with outrage and optimism.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Starting Friday, health care providers can resume routine procedures and appointments that they have had to put on hold as the state has tried to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Many providers say they will not reopen right away, and some, including dentists, say they still aren't allowed to provide treatment other than emergency care.

An organization of restaurant owners and workers wants the state to reopen their industry ahead of the Mill’s administration’s latest plan.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Images

The first wave of Maine business reopenings starts Friday, under the phased guidance measures Gov. Janet Mills started to issue this week. Some companies, particularly where social distancing is relatively easy, are raring to go. But professionals who work in closer quarters with customers are wary.

via Tammie Stone

More than 100,000 Mainers have filed for unemployment since March. That's just one of the many wide-ranging economic effects of COVID-19. The claims have overwhelmed the Department Of Labor in Maine. And while the state has been able to get benefits to more than 70,000 people so far, many are still waiting.

Self-employed and contract workers in Maine will be able to apply for unemployment starting Friday morning at 8 AM, as the state rolls out its anticipated Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.


More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout of the worldwide coronavirus crisis. As a new federal relief bill sets aside aid for small businesses, our panelists offer answers to Maine business owners and employees seeking support.