Political news

Proposed rules that could cause adults with disabilities to lose critical support services will be subject to legislative review and approval as the result of action taken by several lawmakers.

In a 9-4 vote, the Health and Human Services Committee decided to review the Department of Health and Human Services’ Supporting Individual Success initiative.

Democrats were critical of the administration’s plan to change how it assesses the level of support services for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities and autism.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bill that would make it harder to use video cameras to intimidate voters is winning bipartisan support from Maine lawmakers.

The Legislature's Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Friday voted 11-0 to endorse the bill, which would establish a 15-foot minimum distance between video recorders and voters at the polls. It would also require video recorders to be at least 15 feet away from people collecting signatures.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Sen. Angus King says he's concerned about an independent commission's proposal that active duty and National Guard strength be reduced.

King says if the number of combat brigades are reduced, it would take a long time to replace them if they are needed in the future.

"We're not going to have the ability to respond to a threat if we are talking a minimum of 18 months to two years," he told fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "That's the risk we are taking."

So-called straw purchases of guns by drug traffickers would be targeted under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

She says too often, criminals are trading drugs for guns, including in Maine, according to federal officials.

“Law enforcement’s investigation revealed that they had gotten the firearms by trading for narcotics in Bangor, Maine,” she says.

Collins says right now there is no federal law that makes straw purchasing a crime. The only offense that can be used against the straw purchasers is lying on a federal form.

PORTLAND, Maine - An attorney for House Speaker Mark Eves says that Gov. Paul LePage is using state funding to enforce political loyalty and that the practice threatens Maine's public-party democracy.

Attorney David Webbert, in a brief filed in U.S. District Court, says that LePage's claim that he has a right to withhold funding from a charter school represents a "radical'' legal theory that, if left unchecked by the courts, would concentrate too much power in the governor's hands.