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State to reconsider hiding oil train data

A state committee is asking lawmakers to overhaul a 2015 law that restricted the release of information about transports of crude oil through Maine.

The state committee charged with promoting transparency in government is asking lawmakers to overhaul a 2015 law that made secret information about the transportation of crude oil and other hazardous materials by railroad through Maine.

The legislature’s Right-to-Know Advisory Committee voted Wednesday to send a letter to the Judiciary Committee recommending that it reconsider the controversial law in order to ensure that the government is not keeping railroad data secret unnecessarily. Continue Reading →

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Portland primary election challenges lead to proposed changes in campaign law

Rep. Diane Russell, at right, sits with her attorney, Kate Knox, during a meeting Wednesday of the Maine Ethics Commission. Russell was fined $500 for failing to disclose an in-kind donation of an email list that she made to her campaign.

The Maine Ethics Commission has fined losing Senate candidate Rep. Diane Russell $500 for failing to disclose her contribution to her Senate campaign of a valuable email list, closing the books on a series of ethics complaints generated by the recent Portland Democratic Senate primary. But the complaints — two against Russell and one against primary winner Rep. Ben Chipman — may end up having a broader effect on Maine campaign-finance law and how elections are run. Continue Reading →

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