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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Politics
5:26 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

LePage Administration Seeks to Move MMA Lawsuit to Federal Court

Gov. Paul LePage is asking that a lawsuit filed by the Maine Municipal Association and the cities of Portland and Westbrook over general assistance payments to undocumented immigrants be moved from state to federal court. LePage says it’s against federal law and it must stop.

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Politics
4:59 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Senate Looking at Medicare Billing Policies

The Senate Aging Committee Wednesday heard testimony from a panel upset at Medicare policies concerning  how patients are classified for certain services. At issue is what is called observation stays instead of actual hospital admissions. Bob Armstrong, vice president of elder care services at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston told the panel that can lead to billing problems when that patient is then sent to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility.

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Politics
4:34 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

State Surplus Tops $49 Million

Maine has ended the 2014 budget year with a surplus of $49.1 million, with about half that from higher than expected individual income tax revenue.

Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen said the state surplus is made up of revenues above estimates of just over $39 million with the rest coming from unspent balances in accounts scattered across state government. He said it is good news and shows the state’s nonpartisan revenue projection process is working.

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Politics
12:34 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

King Says Climate Change has Budget Implications

A panel of experts told senators Tuesday that climate change will have real budget implications for governments and individuals if carbon emissions are allowed to continue to grow. U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine agreed, but said the problem must be addressed globally.

"The big question here is, what is the rest of the world going to do?" King said. "I have a hard time telling people in Maine they are going to pay $6 for a gallon for gas if China and India do nothing."

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Fixing the VA
5:27 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Reforming the VA: Maine Delegation Wants Agreement on Fix Before Recess

Congressional negotiations on a bill to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and address the myriad of problems in the agency, are at an impasse with the co-chairs of the conference committee blaming each other for delays.  Meanwhile, Maine’s delegation is saying Congress should stay at work until the bill is passed.

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Education Aid
1:55 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Maine School Funding Commission Starts Work

A state commission to study ways to implement recommendations on improving the way the state pays for elementary and secondary education held its first meeting today.

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Food stamp changes
6:06 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

LePage Administration to Require Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients to Work

Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he wants able-bodied food stamp recipients in Maine to work, volunteer or enter a job training program in order to receive benefits. The state has chosen not to seek an extension of a waiver in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, that runs out Oct. 1.

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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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