Good morning from Augusta. The federal government shutdown continues after the Senate failed on Thursday to move dueling plans from President Donald Trump and Democrats. Meanwhile, a first act of the brand new Maine Legislature may be to present some aid to workers.
Maine’s Republican senator stated ‘the end is in sight’ for the shutdown, however nothing is for certain right now. The partial government shutdown is in its 35th day on Friday and it’s already the longest one in U.S. historical past. Friday is supposed to be a payday for federal workers who’ve been working with out compensation in the course of the shutdown.
The actual motion aimed toward ending the shutdown is within the U.S. Senate, where Trump’s plan — which would offer $5.7 billion in border wall funding and enshrine new immigration restrictions — failed Thursday, alongside a Democratic plan to open authorities till Feb. eight with out wall funding.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, supported each of these proposals in an goal to reopen government. She was certainly one of six Republicans to help the Democratic bill, which acquired another vote than Trump’s proposal in the Republican-led chamber. Maine’s other senator, unbiased Angus King, backed solely the Democratic proposal.
On the Senate flooring, Collins stated she noticed the votes as a glimmer of hope. But there have been new roadblocks as properly on Thursday, when CNN reported the Republican president was drafting an emergency order and recognized $7 billion that might be reallocated for border security.
Collins blamed Republicans and Democrats for intransigence across the shutdown in a CNN appearance on Thursday, however she stated the presidential order probably hanging over Congress’ head “isn’t helpful.”
Leaders continue to speak, and Collins is among a gaggle of 16 senators — also together with King — negotiating among themselves, nevertheless it’s not clear what Trump will accept. Still, Collins stated “the end is in sight” on the shutdown and she or he was hopeful that a deal might be reached by the end of subsequent week.
Maine’s Democratic governor is backing a legislative leader’s plan to assure loans to the state’s federal workforce. Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, has proposed a invoice guaranteeing interest-free loans up to $5,000 for those that’ve been working without pay or furloughed in the shutdown.
The textual content of the bill hasn’t been released, however Jackson spokeswoman Christine Kirby stated the Finance Authority of Maine would administer the loans, which a federal worker would give you the option to access via an area financial institution or credit score union.
In a press release, Jackson stated the invoice would “provide some much-needed relief to federal workers living in Maine who are struggling to get by.” On Thursday, Gov. Janet Mills referred to as on legislators to help the bill “as soon as possible and send it to me to sign into law.”
The invoice will need two-thirds help in both chambers to take effect immediately and it might reach the floor for passage by next week, when there ought to be more readability round how much longer the shutdown will last.
No pictures, please
An emboldened Democratic majority within the House pushed by way of a rule change that Republicans say limits transparency. Regardless of Republican opposition, the Maine House of Representatives on Thursday voted 91-53 in favor of a proposal from Assistant House Majority Chief Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, that prohibits members from photographing or videoing colleagues during session debate.
Home Majority Chief Matt Moonen, D-Portland, stated the rule change isn’t about proscribing entry to the public — which has the choice to stream periods stay on-line — however about “maintaining decorum.”
“Technology certainly has an important role in our work,” Moonen stated, but its use within the chamber shouldn’t “distract us” from that position.
However Assistant House Minority Leader Trey Stewart, R-Presque Isle, stated he and his colleagues “don’t see a purpose for this rule,” especially when the Senate has no equal restriction.
“We feel it’s almost a solution in search of a problem,” he stated.
Golden named to small biz panel
Maine’s new congressman was named to his second committee on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, announced on Thursday that he had been named to the House Small Business Committee. Golden, 36, is a Marine veteran and former Maine legislative chief who additionally serves on the Home Armed Providers Committee.
He is beginning his first term after beating former Rep. Bruce Poliquin within the first upset of an incumbent within the district’s trendy period and after the first congressional race in U.S. history to be determined by ranked-choice voting.
At this time in A-town
As is nearly all the time the case on Fridays early in the legislative session, the State House docket is mild at this time. Just one panel, the Government Oversight Committee, is due to meet in the present day. They begin at 9 a.m. and are scheduled to talk about a brand new report on a tax rebate program for Maine businesses. Click on here to pay attention.
Committee motion accelerates subsequent week, when affirmation hearings on most of Mills’ Cupboard nominees are scheduled, together with the highest-profile picks by the new governor — Jeanne Lambrew for well being and human providers and Pender Makin for schooling on Thursday, then Michael Sauschuck for public safety on Friday. Right here’s their soundtrack.
Mills will converse in Bangor tonight. The governor’s workplace stated she’ll ship “brief remarks” at 7 p.m. annual awards dinner held by the Bangor Area Chamber of Commerce on the Cross Insurance coverage Middle.
— A longtime administrator for the Maine Medical Association will lead the governor’s efforts to combat opioid habit. On Thursday, Mills introduced that Gordon Smith will fill a new place to oversee what she hopes might be a extra coordinated response to the epidemic. In her inaugural tackle, the brand new Democratic governor stated her selection for the new place would “marshal the collective power and resources of state government” to stem the disaster. Maine has struggled to discover an efficient response to an opioid habit epidemic that has led to a spike in overdose deaths in recent times. In 2017, fentanyl and heroin drove Maine’s overdose demise complete to 417. Mills campaigned on a plan to battle the opioid crisis. Her predecessor, Republican Paul LePage, sparred typically with Democrats within the Legislature over how to allocate state assets between remedy, prevention and interdiction.
— One other associate of the president has been arrested. The Associated Press stories that Roger Stone, the self-defined political “dirty trickster” who performed a task in Trump’s presidential marketing campaign, was arrested Friday in Florida on costs of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements.
— Proponents of preserving working waterfront gained a key victory in Boothbay Harbor. A nonprofit group shaped to shield public entry to the water announced Thursday that it has signed a purchase-and-sale settlement to buy Cap’n Fish Motel on the east aspect of Boothbay Harbor. Developer Paul Coulombe had previously tried to buy the property as a part of his plan to add to his array of upscale properties designed to make the coastal town a destination for affluent vacationers.
— A Maine prisoner has been charged with killing another inmate last yr. Prosecutors announced Thursday that Zachary Titus is accused of murdering Dana Bartlett whereas the 2 have been cellmates at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren. Bartlett, 28, was reportedly scared of his cellmates, according to former inmates who spoke to the Bangor Daily News. They stated Bartlett requested a guard a number of occasions to move him to one other cell within the hours before he died. The guard allegedly refused to move him. Corrections officers, together with appearing Commissioner Randall Liberty, who was warden at the time of Bartlett’s dying, rebut these claims.
The subsequent time somebody tells you that knowledge don’t lie, level them to this research by QuoteWizard that ranks Maine drivers because the worst in america.
“Are you kidding me?” I texted while rushing up to ensure that my Honda Fit didn’t swerve on black ice.
No matter what knowledge points QuoteWizard needs to cherry-pick, Massachusetts drivers are far worse than drivers in Maine, the place I have navigated highways and byways with nary an dinged bumper for more than 40 years. Conversely, Massholes’ fame for dangerous driving is nicely deserved.
I discovered how to drive in Massachusetts. They taught us how to be jerks in driver’s ed. “When in doubt, use the middle finger instead of a turn signal,” is normal operating procedure. Placing Massachusetts 21 spots above Maine is a travesty.
However a good greater travesty is that Rhode Island drivers rank greater than each Maine and Massachusetts on the protected motorist listing. QuoteWizard deems them to be the ninth most secure drivers within the nation. I received sideswiped by a Rhode Island driver who tried to move me on the correct. In a hospital parking zone. And that wasn’t even my worst encounter with a Rhode Island driver.
My first thought was: It’s Rhode Island; there should have been a payoff. Stretching that thought additional, I figured that the roadway safety rating should have been inflated because insurance coverage firm knowledge don’t account for roadside “claims adjustments” that happen immediately after Pawtucket fender benders or transactions that happen underneath a damaged mild close to the end of a pier, which is the place I as soon as purchased a Toyota in Rhode Island.
To stop this news from propelling me right into a fit of street rage, I’m going to pull over and polish the buckle of my seat belt. Here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
Right now’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. Should you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click here to receive Maine’s leading publication on state politics by way of e mail on weekday mornings. Click right here to subscribe to the BDN.