Political news

WASHINGTON — Nearly 40 percent of all the spending on transportation infrastructure in Maine, including roads, bridges and airports, comes from the federal government.

In July Congress extended authorization for transportation programs, but it's scheduled to run out at the end of this month. And there may need to be yet another short-term fix.

Last summer, after the House stood in the way of a three-year spending bill, Congress passed a short-term measure to fund transportation programs through December. The Senate reluctantly went along.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap wants residents to familiarize themselves with the state's upcoming public referendums, including one about campaign finance laws.

Dunlap says the state is providing the Maine Citizens Guide to the Referendum Election on its website. The guide is prepared by Dunlap's office in collaboration with the attorney general's office, state treasurer and the Office of Fiscal and Program Review.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The ballot in 2016 could turn out to be one of the busiest ever if new gambling questions are approved by the secretary of state's office.

Two separate efforts are underway to begin the signature gathering process to establish a casino in York County and a racino, or slot machine parlor and harness racing track, somewhere in southern Maine.

Both efforts are designed to compete with a developing gaming industry in Massachusetts.

WASHINGTON - Maine 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, is proposing to strengthen pending legislation to reform the Export-Import Bank.

Poliquin, a Republican, says while the proposals now before Congress are a start, they don't go far enough.
"I've requested that additional reforms be included in his legislation including replacing senior management at the bank," he said.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage apparently violated the law by keeping secret until this week his creation of a special panel to review the Maine Human Rights Commission.

The Portland Press Herald reports that LePage created the panel through an April 21 executive order but failed to notify the Legislative Council and Legislative Reference Library.