It has been just over a year since former University of Southern Maine president Selma Botman got a new job.
Her position as special assistant to the chancellor on global education was created for her two months after she got a vote of no confidence from more than half the USM faculty. Although that didn’t meet the two-thirds majority to be considered “the will of the faculty,” Botman relinquished the campus presidency at the end of June, 2012. Continue Reading →
From 1994 to mid-2011, Chellie Pingree’s total contributions to candidates running for national office were $2,950.
But from June 2011 to last November — a period of only 17 months — the Democratic congresswoman from Maine’s first district donated $105,600 to Democratic candidates to Congress and to the party committees that funnel donations to candidates.
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AUGUSTA – Over the past 50 years, Maine legislatures and governors have added millions of dollars in tax breaks for businesses without ever doing the detailed analysis to find out which are effective and which are wasteful.
But now that may be changing. Continue Reading →
Four years ago, when the University of Maine System was cutting programs to save money, officials were criticized for not, instead, making up the shortfall by taking money from System reserves. Continue Reading →
The Investigative Fund, a project of the Nation Institute, has included the Center's story on gun subsidies, "States have subsidized makers of assault rifles to tune of $19 million," on their list of six stories that constitute the "Best Investigative Reporting on US Guns You Might Have Missed." We're proud to join our investigative reporting colleagues at Mother Jones, The Tampa Bay Times, The Chicago Reporter and City Limits on the Nation Institute's list. You can see the entire list here. Continue Reading →
Last week, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting published a story headlined, "Risky business tax breaks cost state $100 million per year." At the time of publication, we had not yet received a response from the state chief budget officer, Sawin Millett, the commissioner of administration and finance. A response has since been sent to us, via email. Here is our question and his answer:
MCPIR question: Given the 2006 OPEGA study of 46 economic development programs (including related ”tax expenditure” data) rated some of those programs as “high risk,” why is the Governor continuing those programs?
Millett: Quite simply, three Committees of the Legislature reviewed the OPEGA report over the 2007-2008 biennium and took no action to modify or eliminate those programs – with the single exception you have referenced – thus those programs have remained in statute. It is my personal expectation, however, that there will likely be specific proposals advanced, and considerable discussion had, during the current Session as to whether all such programs should remain intact, going forward. Continue Reading →
While the state is considering cutting aid to schools and communities, it is also spending more than $100 million a year on tax breaks for businesses that an audit has criticized as risky investments.
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If you’re paid to regulate widgets for the state of Maine, then you shouldn’t be able to take a new job working for widget makers.
That’s what Ann Luther, board member of the League of Women Voters of Maine, told legislators on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee Wednesday in a hearing on a bill that would stop the so-called “revolving door.” The bill would make it unlawful for executive branch officials to leave their state job and go directly to work for an industry they regulated.
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A taxpayer-funded agency is about to foreclose on a restaurant and bar owned by former state Rep. John Martin and a partner – unless they come up with $232,000 by the end of March. Continue Reading →
Taxpayers across the country are subsidizing the manufacturers of assault rifles used in multiple mass killings, including the massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. last month. Continue Reading →