Category Archives: Government

How we pieced together a lobbying puzzle

AUGUSTA, MAINE -- 02/02/16 -- Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, (from left), Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, lobbyist Chris Jackson and Rep. Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, haunt the halls of the State House on Tuesday. Jackson represents 21 different clients, including J.D. Irving subsidiary Aroostook Resources, Inc., which spent over $100,000 on six lobbyists in 2015. Maine is poised to take a step forward for transparency in Augusta by updating the website where the public can access campaign finance and monthly lobbying disclosures. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Maine’s working to update how it presents campaign finance and lobbying reports, an acknowledgment that moving government transparency online is a long and ongoing process. I took a closer look at ways of presenting that information in a story today, finding a different perspective on the lawmaking process in 2015. It’s an important part. The disclosed amount paid to communicate […]

Pike’s peak: Toll data signals better Maine tourism season

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz.

If you’ve felt the Maine Turnpike is more crowded than last year, it’s not just you. Traffic through the first two weekends of busiest August was up about 1.6 percent and passenger traffic (cars, motorcycles and buses with fewer than 13 passengers) was up more than 5 percent from January-July. The latest figures are one sign that Maine’s tourism season […]

Maine gets ranked 42nd in fiscal health


Analysis by a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has placed Maine 42nd in the state for fiscal health, due largely to its poor ranking for short-term insolvency. The overall ranking is based on 2013 audited financial reports for the states, assessing their ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations. Maine ranked 50th for cash-on-hand based on […]

Maine exports to China, Japan have declined over past two years

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A trade delegation from Maine will head to China and Japan later this year, hoping to bolster trade where it has been on the decline in recent years. The drop in 2014 was due mostly to declines in paper-related exports, like wood pulp. That’s appeared to turn around so far in the first two months of 2015 […]

Maine government purchasing power slips

Total state tax collections remained near the highest levels since the recession in the third quarter of last year, but the Pew Charitable Trusts found Maine was among 30 states where state taxes receipts remained below pre-recession levels. The analysis aims to show how the recovery has panned out for state coffers, showing that, collectively, states have 2.5 cents more on every dollar […]

If you want to make money on state construction projects, install elevators

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As the governor on Monday announced about $470 million in capital projects, the Department of Labor on Tuesday issued its wage requirements for certain jobs. The prevailing wage figures from the DOL are assessed for each individual state contract worth more than $50,000. They vary by the location of the project, but the statewide averages reflected below give a sense of how […]

Whereas Maine and New Brunswick have signed an agreement to promote their mutual interests

The text of the three-page agreement signed in Woodstock, New Brunswick, by Gov. Paul LePage and New Brunswick Premier David Alward came my way this morning, laying out in more detail the terms of the pact that the state’s top international trade official said “is a starting point in terms of negotiations and prioritizing for the future.” Here’s what […]