Bangor Daily News reviews some of the new laws now in force in Maine.
Beginning Saturday, lighting up at any “outdoor eating areas” at bars and restaurants in Maine is against the law.
But if you want to take home some of that pub’s tasty summer ale or Octoberfest brew, you’re in luck. As of Sept. 12, brewpubs can sell half-gallon jugs of beer — commonly known as “growlers” — from behind the bar.
Just don’t text message your friend about your purchase on the drive home. If you do, and a police officer notices you speeding or swerving, you could be one of the first Mainers slapped with a ticket and a fine under the state’s new “distracted driving” law.
Those are just three of the hundreds of new laws that take effect on Saturday, which is the 90th day after the Legislature adjourned.
The Portland Press Herald had sued the school to get notes from a meeting concerning job performance.
The Portland School Committee will not be forced to release notes from a private meeting last summer, thanks to a unanimous ruling Thursday by Maine’s highest court in favor of the committee and against the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.In a case that tested Maine’s right-to-know statute, the state Supreme Judicial Court found that the School Committee was within the law to hold the private meeting with school officials.
Committee members at the July 25 meeting grilled Superintendent Mary Jo O’Connor and Finance Director Richard Paulson about their job performance, relative to an unexpected $2.5 million budget deficit. Both officials later resigned.
Members said the meeting was private because they limited the discussion to job performance. Under state law, such talks are allowed to be held privately if they have the potential of damaging an employee’s professional reputation.
The newspaper sued the School Committee, claiming that the meeting went beyond a simple review of job performance by getting into budget issues and thus should have been conducted in public.
In an earlier ruling, Superior Court Justice Roland Cole agreed in part and ordered some notes taken during the meeting to be released to the newspaper. The School Committee appealed the ruling, and the notes were not released pending the higher court’s decision.
The high court’s seven justices sided unanimously with the School Committee.
The suit challenged the EPA’s regulation that permitted mercury emissions, much of it from midwest coal plants.
Maine and more than a dozen other states, along with environmental and public health groups, have won a federal lawsuit aimed at cutting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act in 2005 by setting rules that allow plants to discharge toxic mercury and avoid strict controls. The EPA’s “Clean Air Mercury Rule” would have created a cap-and-trade program to reduce overall nationwide emissions 70 percent by 2018.