Good morning from Augusta. The federal authorities shutdown continues after the Senate failed on Thursday to cross dueling plans from President Donald Trump and Democrats. In the meantime, a primary act of the new Maine Legislature may be to provide 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. history. Friday is meant to be a payday for federal workers who’ve been working with out compensation in the course of the shutdown.
The actual action 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. 8 without wall funding.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, supported each of those proposals in an goal to reopen government. She was one in every of six Republicans to help the Democratic invoice, which received another vote than Trump’s proposal in the Republican-led chamber. Maine’s other senator, unbiased Angus King, backed only 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 identified $7 billion that might be reallocated for border security.
Collins blamed Republicans and Democrats for intransigence around the shutdown in a CNN appearance on Thursday, but 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 negotiating amongst themselves, however it’s not clear what Trump will settle for. Nonetheless, Collins stated “the end is in sight” on the shutdown and she or he was hopeful that a deal could possibly be reached by the end of next week.
Maine’s Democratic governor is backing a legislative leader’s plan to guarantee 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 text of the bill hasn’t been released, but Jackson spokeswoman Christine Kirby stated the Finance Authority of Maine would administer the loans, which a federal employee would have the ability to entry by means of an area bank or credit union.
In a press release, Jackson stated the bill 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 bill will need two-thirds help in both chambers to take effect instantly and it might attain the ground for passage by subsequent week, when there must be extra readability round how much longer the shutdown will final.
No pictures, please
An emboldened Democratic majority in the Home pushed by means of a rule change that Republicans say limits transparency. Regardless of Republican opposition, the Maine Home of Representatives on Thursday voted 91-53 in favor of a proposal from Assistant Home Majority Chief Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, that prohibits members from photographing or videoing colleagues throughout session debate.
Home Majority Leader Matt Moonen, D-Portland, stated the rule change isn’t about proscribing entry to the general public — which has the option to stream periods stay online — however about “maintaining decorum.”
“Technology certainly has an important role in our work,” Moonen stated, but its use in the chamber shouldn’t “distract us” from that position.
But Assistant Home Minority Chief Trey Stewart, R-Presque Isle, stated he and his colleagues “don’t see a purpose for this rule,” especially when the Senate has no equivalent 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 Home Small Enterprise Committee. Golden, 36, is a Marine veteran and former Maine legislative leader who also serves on the Home Armed Providers Committee.
He is starting his first term after beating former Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the first upset of an incumbent in the district’s trendy period and after the first congressional race in U.S. history to be determined by ranked-choice voting.
At present in A-town
As is nearly all the time the case on Fridays early in the legislative session, the State Home docket is mild at this time. Only one panel, the Authorities Oversight Committee, is due to meet immediately. They start at 9 a.m. and are scheduled to talk about a brand new report on a tax rebate program for Maine companies. Click on right here to pay attention.
Committee action accelerates subsequent week, when confirmation hearings on most of Mills’ Cupboard nominees are scheduled, including the highest-profile picks by the brand new governor — Jeanne Lambrew for well being and human providers and Pender Makin for schooling on Thursday, then Michael Sauschuck for public security on Friday. Here’s their soundtrack.
Mills will converse in Bangor tonight. The governor’s office stated she’ll deliver “brief remarks” at 7 p.m. annual awards dinner held by the Bangor Area Chamber of Commerce on the Cross Insurance Middle.
— A longtime administrator for the Maine Medical Association will lead the governor’s efforts to fight 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 handle, the new Democratic governor stated her selection for the brand new position would “marshal the collective power and resources of state government” to stem the crisis. 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 in the Legislature over how to allocate state assets between remedy, prevention and interdiction.
— Another associate of the president has been arrested. The Associated Press stories that Roger Stone, the self-defined political “dirty trickster” who played a task in Trump’s presidential 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 access to the water introduced Thursday that it has signed a purchase-and-sale settlement to purchase Cap’n Fish Motel on the east aspect of Boothbay Harbor. Developer Paul Coulombe had previously tried to purchase the property as part of his plan to add to his array of upscale properties designed to make the coastal city a vacation spot for prosperous vacationers.
— A Maine prisoner has been charged with killing another inmate final 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 asked a guard a number of occasions to transfer him to one other cell within the hours before he died. The guard allegedly refused to transfer him. Corrections officials, including appearing Commissioner Randall Liberty, who was warden on the time of Bartlett’s demise, rebut those 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 the USA.
“Are you kidding me?” I texted while rushing up to make sure that my Honda Fit didn’t swerve on black ice.
No matter what knowledge factors QuoteWizard needs to cherry-pick, Massachusetts drivers are far worse than drivers in Maine, the place I’ve navigated highways and byways with nary an dinged bumper for greater than 40 years. Conversely, Massholes’ popularity for dangerous driving is properly 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 commonplace operating procedure. Placing Massachusetts 21 spots above Maine is a travesty.
However a fair greater travesty is that Rhode Island drivers rank larger than each Maine and Massachusetts on the protected motorist listing. QuoteWizard deems them to be the ninth most secure drivers within the nation. I obtained 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 firm knowledge don’t account for roadside “claims adjustments” that take place immediately after Pawtucket fender benders or transactions that occur underneath a broken mild near the end of a pier, which is the place I as soon as bought a Toyota in Rhode Island.
To stop this information from propelling me right into a match of street rage, I’m going to pull over and polish the buckle of my seat belt. Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
At this time’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Long. In case you’re studying this on the BDN’s website or have been forwarded it, click right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e mail on weekday mornings. Click right here to subscribe to the BDN.