A 2012 deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars to expand wind energy projects across the Northeast was dealt a blow Tuesday by the Maine supreme court, which ruled that a state agency’s approval of the complex deal was invalid. The transaction included prominent wind developer First Wind, Maine utility companies Bangor Hydro and Maine Public […]
Put an addition on your house, and the town assessor will come around, increase the value of your house and your property taxes will go up. Get a TIF, and you, too, have to pay taxes on that new warehouse or factory – but the taxes don’t help pay for the schools, plowing and cops.
"Today, all we are asking -- and expecting -- is for the adults to have a conversation about the hungry children at their school, in their community. Today, we are asking schools who already offer summer programming like a rec program, to consider whether a summer food program is right for them." WHO SAID IT
Maine state Senate President Justin Alfond in a speech on the floor of the Senate on Feb. 11
"This bill presents an irresponsible unfunded mandate." WHO SAID IT
Gov. Paul LePage in his Jan. Continue Reading →
"... the Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) program demonstrates the importance of competitive tax policy for new and growing companies leading to the creation and/or retention of nearly 10,000 jobs that could have landed in other states ..." WHO SAID IT
The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in a press release, Feb. 2, 2014. BACKGROUND
The statement from DECD refers to a section of the just-released “Comprehensive Evaluation of Maine’s Economic Development Incentive Programs.” Such programs have been in the news in recent years because critics say they cost the state millions of dollars each year while there is scant evidence of their cost-effectiveness. Continue Reading →
As the Maine legislature debates reducing some of its $500 million annual tax breaks for businesses to fill a budget hole, a national group has ranked Maine near the bottom for making it easy for the public to find out how that money is spent. Continue Reading →
Since the Supreme Court loosened rules on political spending in 2010, the Republican Party, boosted by corporate and billionaire backers, has been painted as the biggest beneficiary. But in New Hampshire and a handful of other states in 2012, including Maine, Democrats flipped the script. Continue Reading →
On July 16, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting publisher and senior editor John Christie interviewed Gov. Paul LePage in the Blaine House dining room. LePage’s wife Ann was present for part of the interview as was press aide Peter Steele. What follows are verbatim outtakes from that 90-minute interview. Continue Reading →
Three years ago, Maine voters made a little-known mayor from a small central Maine city the 74th governor of the state.
And nothing’s been the same since.
Paul LePage came into office insulting the president of the United States and hasn’t slowed down to this day.
The Waterville mayor and Marden’s general manager walked onto the political stage as a long shot in the 2010 Republican primary. But he emerged ahead of better-known names such as Les Otten and Peter Mills with his brand of fist-pounding promises to straighten out the state’s books, be “business-friendly,” cut taxes and reduce welfare.
In the 657 days he has been in office, LePage has been on page one nearly as often as the weather forecast. Usually, he’s out there with blunt – some say crude – remarks, threats and demands.
But there’s a lot more to the LePage story than his self-described “big mouth.” There’s also his record on substantive issues, from the pension debt to the income tax, from business regulation to the environment, domestic violence to education.
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting presents an in-depth study of the governor: “The Book on Paul LePage: The ‘biggest, baddest person around’ crashes Augusta’s ‘nicey-nice’ club.” Continue Reading →
The sole purpose of the board that regulates pharmacists in Maine is to “protect the public health and welfare,” according to state law. But in thirteen cases over the last decade the board has jeopardized the public’s health by allowing people with a history of substance abuse and theft to hold a license to dispense drugs at pharmacies across the state. Continue Reading →