Mills Vetoes Bill To Limit CMP’s Ability To Seize Private Land 

A bill that would limit Central Maine Power’s ability to seize land for its proposed 145-mile transmission project has failed following a veto by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

The House voted 79-64 to override the governor’s veto, well short of the two-thirds support needed to keep the bill alive.

The proposal would have changed state law that allows utilities to seize private land and bypass municipal governments for infrastructure projects.

Source: Maine Public

Legal pot faces final public hearing test in Maine

Maine’s tentative rules about legalized recreational marijuana are up for a key hearing that could represent one of the proposal’s final hurdles before approval.

The proposal is scheduled for a public hearing before the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs on Monday at 1:30 p.m. The proposal covers important subjects such as retail and licensure rules.

Source: AP

Judge says LePage exceeded authority by emptying prison

A judge has ordered the LePage administration to continue operating the now-empty Downeast Correctional Facility, handing at least a partial victory to Washington County officials upset with the prison’s sudden closure.

In a 12-page ruling, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy agreed with the county, union officials and Attorney General Janet Mills that LePage overstepped his constitutional authority when he emptied the Machiasport prison in a secret, pre-dawn operation on Feb. 9. Murphy ordered the Maine Department of Corrections “to operate DCF” in accordance with state law “until the Legislature acts to repeal (the law) or ceases to fund DCF.”

Source:Portland Press Herald

Isle au Haut plans to build its own energy grid  

Isle au Haut residents plan to install a sophisticated microgrid this spring that could eventually end their reliance on expensive power and heating fuel from the mainland.As on many of the other 14 Maine islands inhabited year-round, Isle au Haut residents pay at least double the amount a Portland or Bangor resident would for their electricity, kerosene and oil. Compounding matters, an aging undersea electric cable between Stonington and the island could fail any day, according to Jim Wilson, president of Isle au Haut Electric Power Co.

Source:  BDN Maine

Trump budget would kill funds for many programs in Maine

President Trump released a proposed budget for the next fiscal year Monday that if enacted would have serious consequences across Maine. The sweeping plan again proposes to eliminate the programs that provide heating oil to low-income Mainers, legal aid to indigent citizens, and grants to towns and cities to rehabilitate housing, infrastructure, and services. It also would stop federal funding for Maine Public’s television and radio outlets, the University of Maine’s Sea Grant research program, and the Wel

Source: Portland Press Herald

Town tax break allows Belfast shipyard’s $4 million expansion

A $4 million midcoast shipyard expansion cleared one of its final hurdles last week, as city officials put the rubber stamp on a credit enhancement agreement that could allow the business to service superyachts and build ferries.

For the past two years, Front Street Shipyard has been pushing to build Building 6, a 21,700-square-foot hangar-like structure that would allow the company to service and possibly build larger ships.

Source: BDN Maine