Maine News Headline Animator

Maine News

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Portland Press Herald
State is pursuing Real ID solution
Today is the deadline for giving Homeland Security a plan for complying with the costly law -- or else.

BILL NEMITZID crisis: Kiss your trip good-bye
Come May 12, Mainers could look more suspicious to the federal government.

Slots measure gets early House OK
State House: Gov. Baldacci vows to veto a plan to allow the machines during Penobscot bingo games.

Bill to fund rail extension on track
State House: Lawmakers back a plan to use car rental taxes for upgrades north of Portland.

Gov. Baxter School faces $500,000 budget cut
The state's center for deaf and hard of hearing students may combine or not fill administrative jobs.

Baldacci backs plan to increase cigarette tax to help Dirigo
State House: As the session wraps up, schools, state benefits and county jails also are on the agenda.

State budget may not be pretty, but should work
Legislators have filled a $190 million hole without raising taxes or spending reserves.

Uniform way to count dropouts shows Maine schools doing worse
Counting all results by one standard reveals weaknesses that have been overlooked.

Bangor Daily News
Baldacci seeks deal on Real ID

AUGUSTA, Maine - The governor of the first state to rebuke the federal government over plans to tighten driver's license rules promised Tuesday to work with the Department of Homeland Security to meet federal demands so residents won't be singled out for an extra going-over at airports and federal buildings.

Study reveals challenges to boat builders

Work force recruitment and the high cost of insurance and coastal property are among the major challenges facing the boat-building industry in Maine, according to a study released Tuesday.

House passes Penobscot Nation's slots bill

AUGUSTA, Maine - The House passed a bill Tuesday that would allow the Penobscot Indian Nation to operate slot machines at its Indian Island high-stakes beano facility.

Survey: Students tired of credit card ads

Students at the University of Maine and other colleges across the country are tired of dodging constant solicitations from credit card companies, according to a recent study from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Former tribal officials plead not guilty

BANGOR, Maine - A former Passamaquoddy tribal governor and the tribe's ex-business manager pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a 30-count indictment charging that they misappropriated more than $1.7 million in federal and tribal funds and lied about it to investigators and tribal members.

After the budget

By passing a budget with a mix of cuts and cost savings, and without substantial tax increases or withdrawals from the state's Rainy Day fund, lawmakers filled a $190 million gap between state revenues and spending. Eliminating that gap must remain a top priority.

Editorial: Race and beyond

Barack Obama was at his eloquent best in his speech about race. After hesitating for several days, he faced squarely the controversial remarks by his former pastor denouncing the United States as racist, murderous and corrupt.

John Buell: Current tax system unfair to working class
Many American citizens are concerned about the growing disparities in wealth and income. Even middle-class Americans feel extraordinarily insecure.

Kennebec Journal
Governor vows to avoid showdown over Real ID
Maine will do what needs to be done to to avoid a Real ID showdown that could disrupt the lives of residents who travel or do business in federal buildings, Gov. John Baldacci said Tuesday.

STATEHOUSE BALDACCI BACKS CIGARETTE TAX HIKE Increase would fund Dirigo and is one of several unresolved issues
AUGUSTA -- Gov. John Baldacci said Tuesday he will support an increase in the cigarette tax to help pay for the Dirigo Health program.


AUGUSTA -- The Maine House on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that allows municipal employees to administer Epi-pens and asthma inhalers to children.

Panel on noncombat Guard deaths wants better screenings, reviews
AUGUSTA -- A commission working to prevent noncombat deaths among members of the Maine National Guard released a preliminary report Tuesday that recommends state and federal changes in military policy.

AUGUSTA -- Crews cut tree limbs and shrubs Tuesday in the first phase of a facelift for Memorial Park -- the small, green space off Memorial Circle.

Budget's fixed, but what about the next one?
The Senate chamber was packed Monday night as lawmakers edged toward a final vote on a plan to plug an almost $200 million hole in the state budget. After weeks of marathon negotiations, lawmakers were facing a midnight deadline for a budget that would make painful cuts to social services, eliminate state jobs and reduce spending on schools. Spectators crowded into the gallery perched above the senators' seats -- and had to be reminded not to lean over the railing or risk falling. Below on the Senate floor, the mood was tense as the debate over the supplemental budget drew to an acrimonious, partisan close.

Sun Journal
Lawmakers balance budget, but programs have to be cut
AUGUSTA - Maine lawmakers settled on a budget late Monday night that makes about $130 million in cuts in state spending. The budget bill relied on increased revenue from the sale of unclaimed securities by the state treasurer and fee increases to make up the rest of the $190 million projected shortfall needed to keep the state in the black.

30 rally outside Plum Creek offices to protest development
FAIRFIELD (AP) - A group of about 30 demonstrators gathered outside the regional offices of Plum Creek, which is proposing a large development around Moosehead Lake.

As Real ID response readied, Baldacci remains conciliatory
AUGUSTA (AP) - The governor of the first state to rebuke the federal government over plans to tighten driver's license rules promised Tuesday to work with the Department of Homeland Security to meet federal demands so residents won't be singled out for an extra going-over at airports and federal buildings.

Bill to bar billing for medical errors
AUGUSTA (AP) - A bill to help Mainers who are billed for medical errors faces additional legislative votes after clearing its first hurdle in the House.

A reality check on licensing
With every person arrested trying to exploit Maine law to get a driver's license, the state's "not our job" rationale for not considering immigration status in granting licenses grows hollow.

Slot Machine Supporters Optimistic Following House Vote
A gambling bill that has been waiting in the wings for nearly a year has won initial approval in the Maine House. The vote of 101-42 should encourage members of the Penobscot Indian Nation to press on with their efforts to install a slot machine operation on Indian Island near Old Town. The vote margin -- equal to two-thirds of the House -- is important because it's the minumum support the tribe will need to overturn a promised veto by Governor John Baldacci. AJ Higgins reports.

Civil Assistance Plan Could Bring Canadian Troops to Maine
The sight of Canadian troops operating on the ground in Maine - or any U.S. state - could become a reality following the signing of an international military agreement. Tom Porter reports.