Mal Leary

Managing Editor and Director of the Maine Capitol Connection

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads the Maine Capitol Connection project and serves as the Managing Editor and Director of the initiative.

Mal Leary has been a journalist throughout his life, working in both Washington D.C. and in Maine as both a reporter and editor. He has won numerous awards for his reporting, both in broadcast and in print and currently reports on state government issues in Maine on radio throughout the state and in several state newspapers. He owned and operated Capitol News Service, which was located in the State House complex.

Mal has been a long time member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. He is the SPJ Sunshine Chair in Maine and is currently the president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a director of NFOIC. Mal is married with three grown children, several grandchildren and lives in Augusta, within sight of the Capitol dome.

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Unemployment
5:52 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Extending Unemployment Benefits: Maine Delegation on Board

Even though Maine’s official unemployment rate is the lowest since the recession, there are still thousands of Mainers who are out of work. Many are so-called "discouraged" workers who are not reflected in the 5.5 percent unemployment rate. In fact, the rate would jump to 6.6 percent if they were factored in.

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Across the Aisle
4:28 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Across the Aisle: Special Session on Maine Nursing Homes?

It's Thursday and time once again for "Across the Aisle," our weekly foray into Maine Politics, with analysts Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state legislator; Dick Woodbury, an economist and tax policy consultant to the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, and former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, who is CEO of Burgess Advertising and Marketing in Portland. They spoke with MPBN's Mal Leary.

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Defense budget
1:05 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Panel Approves Defense Spending Measure

The Defense subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved a budget for defense spending, starting Oct. 1.

The measure has several provisions that benefit Maine, including full funding for the destroyers built at Bath Iron Works. 

"The continued disputes in the South China sea, the Chinese buildup of its fleet and the instability that we see in so many parts of the world call for maintaining a strong and capable surface fleet," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who serves on the panel.

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Space payloads
12:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

King Worried About Reliance on Russian Rocket Motors

With the end of the space shuttle program, the United States no longer has its own capability to put very heavy payloads into space. The U.S. is relying on a Russian rocket motor - and that was the topic of a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Angus King asked Air Force Gen. William Shelton, commander of the Air Force Space Command, whether Russia has tried to use its rocket motors as leverage.

"Even after Ukraine, Crimea, the various unpleasantness, no threats?”  King asked.

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Job training
4:12 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Congress Approves Job Training Bill Expected to Give Maine a Boost

Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed new job training legislation by wide margins, in a rare show of bipartisan-ship in Congress.  President Obama has said he will sign the measure that re-authorizes the 1998 Workforce Investment Act. Maine officials are ready to implement the changes aimed at focusing the funds on jobs that are going unfilled.

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Maine
8:14 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

LePage Skips Governors Meetings

Most of the nation’s governors are gathering in Nashville, Tennessee for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association, and New England Governors are meeting in New Hampshire this weekend.

Economic development, workforce training and health care are among the topics of discussion at the National Governors meeting. But Maine Gov. Paul LePage says it’s a waste of time - all talk and nothing gets accomplished.

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Gas taxes
4:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Maine Delegation at Odds on Replenishing Highway Trust Fund

Filling up at the gas pump.
Credit Brendan Loy

Next month, the federal highway trust fund will fall so low that it will no longer provide funding for new highway and bridge projects. In Maine, that means about a 30 percent cut in federal funds. Some in Congress want an immediate gas tax increase. But Maine’s congressional delegation is divided on the issue.

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Health software
3:33 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

King Touts Bill to Cut Red Tape on Low-Risk Health Technology

Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King told a conference on medical technology in Washington that legislation he is co-sponsoring will reduce the federal regulatory burden imposed on new health technology. by the federal Food and Drug Administration based on outdated laws.

King says the goal of the measure is simple: to lighten the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulatory requirements for so-called low-risk software - "the kinds of things you might have on your iPhone to keep track of how many steps you take, or your pulse, those kinds of things," King says.

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Child hunger
6:09 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ending Child Hunger in Maine: New Task Force Gets to Work

Tens of thousands of Maine school children are not getting the food they need to thrive and grow. This is despite several federally-funded programs, and local efforts, aimed at keeping them fed and healthy. A new state task force has started working to figure out how to maximize existing programs and develop a plan to fill any gaps.

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Jobs report
2:37 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Pingree: Growth in Jobs Still Leaving Some Mainers Behind

The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, the strongest five-month showing since the late 1990s tech boom.

While that's good news, Maine 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, says there are still a lot of Mainers that have been looking for work for a long time.

"In spite of the good numbers, I meet people every day who say I am looking, I am looking in my field, I am looking for a job that makes ends meet, and I just can't find it," Pingree says.

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