Things You Need to Know Today: LePage Promoting Budget Proposal at Town-Hall Style in Biddeford
Here are the things you need to know today......
Health care advocates claim to have more than enough signatures to get a referendum to expand Medicaid coverage on the November ballot. Centralmaine.com reports the Mainers for Health Care campaign says the federal funding would cover tens of thousands of Mainers who can't afford health insurance but have been denied coverage through Medicaid.
From the Associated Press:
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says that Gov. Paul LePage's administration needs legislative approval to build a proposed privately run psychiatric residence on state-owned property. Legislative leaders have called for public review of the facility, which would house people found not criminally responsible for wrongdoings because of mental illness. The administration originally proposed to build the facility in Augusta, but LePage has told lawmakers it will now be built in Bangor to avoid the oversight of a group of legislative leaders.
Maine State Police and the Thomaston Police Department are awaiting word from the medical examiner's office on the identity of a decomposed body found off U.S. Route 1. Detectives say they have a promising lead on the man's identity but will await work by the medical examiner to establish a positive ID as well as a cause of death.
Federal energy regulators have signed off on a plan to build a natural gas compressor near Boston that will help push the fuel from Pennsylvania into Maine and Canada. The Boston Globe reports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled Wednesday the proposed station in Weymouth, Massachusetts, isn't expected to significantly affect the area's air quality. Mayor Robert Hedlund says the town plans to appeal.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage is promoting his final two-year budget proposal in a series of town-hall style meetings. The meeting Wednesday evening in Biddeford was the Republican governor's first town hall of the year. LePage says his $6.8 billion budget proposal protects the elderly and prevents economic harm from ballot initiatives that raised the minimum wage and imposed a 3 percent surtax on wealthy individuals' income.
President Donald Trump is expected on Thursday to sign a notice to Congress that he plans to start bilateral trade negotiations with most of the countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact. That's according to a White House official. On Monday, Trump moved to pull the U.S. out of the 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement, saying he wanted to negotiate with the countries individually.
President Donald Trump could sign as early as this week an executive action as ordering an investigation into claims of voter fraud. Trump on Wednesday said he believed that there was widespread voter fraud in November's election and that scores of people were on the voter rolls in multiple states or after they died. There is no evidence to support Trump's claims.
The Trump administration is ordering that any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. The communications director for President Donald Trump's transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, says the review also extends to content on the EPA's website. He says decision has yet been made about whether to strip mention of climate change from the site.
President Donald Trump wants to stop accepting Syrian refugees and will suspend the U.S. broader refugee program for 120 days. That's according to a draft executive order obtained by The Associated Press. The draft also shows the U.S. suspending visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days.
A federal judge in San Francisco is refusing to force Wal-Mart to pay $80 million in penalties in a lawsuit alleging that the retail giant failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage for things like layovers and vehicle inspections. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston says Wal-Mart acted in good faith when paying the drivers and had reason to believe its payment policy aligned with California law. A jury already has awarded the workers more than $54 million in back wages.