PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Independent Eliot Cutler is proposing a tax overhaul that he says would slash property taxes for many Mainers while raising the sales tax, either permanently or seasonally. Cutler, who's in a three-way race for governor with Republican incumbent Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud, says that property taxes place an increasingly disproportionate burden on vulnerable groups.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bill that would close a $32 million hole in the Maine budget next fiscal year and reduce waitlists for services in the state's Medicaid program is heading to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. In a 136-8 vote, the Democratic-led House approved the supplemental budget today. The Senate followed with a 35-0 vote.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bill that seeks to halt the establishment of virtual charter schools in Maine has failed final passage in the House of Representatives. The House voted 83-54 in favor of the bill today, falling short of the two-thirds support that emergency measures, or bills that take effect immediately, need for final passage. It faces a final Senate vote.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A state report says Maine is likely to suffer a shortage of health care professionals in the coming decades unless more students enroll in Maine medical schools and the industry recruits more workers from out of state. The state Department of Labor's Center for Workforce Research and Information report says the shortage will be especially severe in dentistry and psychology. The department issued the report this week.
NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) - A Vermont man charged with stabbing a stranger to death in the lobby of a New Hampshire hotel last year will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said Tuesday that the state agrees Rodney Hill of West Danville was insane in January of 2013, when he attacked 70-year-old Catherine Houghton of San Francisco at the Hampton Inn in Littleton.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Legislation that would protect New Hampshire doctors and other medical professionals from lawsuits if they report someone who is unfit to drive a car is running into a potential roadblock in the Senate. No one testified against the bill today at a Transportation Committee hearing, but committee members said they are concerned drivers could be inconvenienced if the reports are unfounded.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Dozens of advocacy groups from across the country have weighed in as the New Hampshire Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the constitutionality of a business tax credit program that benefits students at religious schools, among others. The Education Tax Credit Program was crafted by Republican lawmakers who overrode a 2012 veto by then-Governor John Lynch, a Democrat.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Employment Security office says the state's unemployment rate for March was 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in February. In March 2013, the seasonally adjusted rate for New Hampshire was 5.3 percent. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 6.7 percent, unchanged from the February rate, and a decrease of .08 percentage points from the March 2013 rate.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The National Weather Service is expanding the areas of Vermont under flood warning as heavy rain moves into the state. Early today, the Weather Service expanded the warnings it had already issued to include Addison County, and portions of Washington, Rutland and Lamoille counties. The combination of heavy rainfall and melting snow will produce flooding.
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) - Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield. The Rutland Herald reports that Hartford's swiftwater rescue team and Springfield rescue workers were on the scene. The man had been sitting on a small island in the middle of the river between the Springfield Health Center and Comtu Falls. Rescuers feared he might have had hypothermia.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont Senate committee is scheduled to take up a proposal to require statewide standards for police using electronic stun guns. Last month, a bill passed the House that would require the Criminal Justice Training Council, which oversees the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, to develop and implement the new standards.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Senate passed a bill that would require labels to identify genetically modified ingredients, starting in 2016. The vote today was 26 to 2. The Burlington Free Press reports that the bill still needs approval from the Vermont House. The house previously passed a slightly different version of a food labeling bill.
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