Maine News

Maine News

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Maine Governor Janet Mills today touted a $187 million investment in public education as a central feature of her supplemental budget proposal.

The governor’s plan would bring the state’s next two-year budget to $8.8 billion and build on a baseline budget that Democrats in the Legislature passed in March.

Mills says the local education funding is long overdue because it brings the state’s share to 55%, a threshold mandated by voters 17 years ago but never achieved in subsequent state budgets.

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would make permanent several election-related changes put forward in 2020 in response to the pandemic and implement additional reforms as part of an effort to improve access to voting in the state.

LD 1575, sponsored by Rep. Jay McCreight (D-Harpswell), would institute a series of changes to state election law. One proposed reform would make the Friday before Election Day open for in-person absentee voting, a shift that was put in place for the 2020 election.

Another proposed change would allow the use of multiple ballot dropboxes in a municipality. LD 1575 would also direct the Secretary of State’s Office to develop rules to ensure dropboxes are secure.

Good-Government Groups: Bill Could Help Reduce Corporate Influence in Elections
Public News Service, Lily Bohlke April 27, 2021 (Short)

Good-government groups in Maine support a bill which would ban corporate contributions from going directly to state legislators or their campaign committees, a rule that’s already in place in 22 other states and at the federal level in elections for Congress and for president.

John Brautigam, legal counsel and senior policy advisor for the League of Women Voters of Maine and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, pointed out corporations are profit-driven, and sometimes use campaign contributions to curry favor with legislators and influence the policy agenda.

“We believe that it’s important to ensure that the political process and our democracy are reserved to the voters, to the public, where they can have their say, not to be drowned out by money from corporate interests,” Brautigam contended.

MAINE, USA — There will be no budget deadlock or government shutdown in June. Democrats in the legislature passed an $8.3 billion biennial budget without Republican support.

Phil Harriman recalls that when he served in the Maine Senate, a majority budget passed under then-governor Angus King created unintended consequences for years.

Harriman says Democrats “are going to regret having done this” because it will harm chances of getting bipartisan support for other measures. He believes “Republicans would have come to a two-thirds budget” because they would not want to be responsible for a government shutdown.

Betsy Sweet believes Republicans in Augusta forced the issue by dragging their feet on the recent supplemental budget. (video)

Maine Gov. Janet Mills begins fundraising for reelection campaign
News Center Maine, Gabrielle ManninoMarch 29, 2021 (Short)

In her first fundraising email, Mills’ campaign outlines the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and looks towards a brighter future in Maine

Maine’s gubernatorial election may be more than a year-and-a-half away, but Gov. Janet Mills’ reelection campaign is underway.

While not an official campaign launch, Mills sent her first campaign fundraising email over the weekend and on Monday.

Titled “Maine’s perseverance,” Mills’ campaign email outlines the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and looks towards a brighter future in Maine.

‘Don’t write us off’: How the left can win again in rural Maine
Maine Beacon, Evan PoppMarch 22, 2021 (Short)

When Richard Evans was campaigning in 2020 for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives in deep-red Piscataquis County, he called up a voter who had some questions for him.

Evans, a Black doctor and a Democrat running in an overwhelmingly white county, started the conversation by telling the man that he would answer his questions honestly, even if the responses weren’t what the man wanted to hear. The two had a wide ranging discussion, touching on health care, jobs, education and family life.

“At the end of the conversation, he said, ‘I am a lifelong Republican, I have never voted for a Democrat in my life. But because you were upfront and honest with me, that meant a lot,’” Evans said, adding that the man committed to getting friends and family to vote for the Democrat as well.

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