Maine News Update
A large explosion occurred at Verso Paper mill. Fire Marshalls office is looking into the cause of the explosion. There were no injuries or casualties at the mill that employed hundreds of people and is an integral part of the forest products industry in Maine.
Investigators try to pinpoint cause of Jay mill explosion
A Kennebec County Superior Court Judge rejected an appeal by Central Maine Power that challenged the validity if signatures for a citizen petition on a law aimed at defeating the NECEC transmission line project.
Judge Sides with CMP Corridor Opponents Allowing Anti-powerline Referendum on Ballot
CMP announced more than $300 million in awarded contracts to Cianbro to build and upgrade transmission and provide land clearing for The New England Energy Connect (NECEC) project.
NECEC Awards Contract for Transmission Corridor Project
Maine Legislative News
Governor Mills postponed the scheduled June 2020 election to July 14th 2020
During the last few weeks, the Mills Administration held several private meetings with state lawmakers, meeting separately by party affiliation. The Legislature expanded Freedom of Access powers before adjourning last month allowing for remote meeting participation. However, public participation is still required and media companies are raising concerns.
Mills administration held secret meetings on pandemic with state lawmakers
Maine COVID-19 News
As of April 20th, Maine has 875 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 35 deaths. Maine has had 414 full recoveries.
April 17 morning update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine
The Governor extended Maine’s state of civil emergency through May 15, 2020. She has issued several Executive Orders found here.
In response to concerns about paying rent, making mortgage payments and facing foreclosure or eviction, the Governor issued an Executive Order to delay eviction and foreclosure. Maine Housing Authority created a rent relief program and is working with banks and credit unions around the state to help keep people in their homes.
Governor Mills Signs Order Preventing Evictions Amid Coronavirus
Maine has been experiencing logistical problems delaying access to claim unemployment benefits. The Governor announced that most unemployment benefits should be distributed to claimants in the coming week. The additional benefits are expected to arrive as well.
Maine Labor Officials Making Changes to Help People Claim Unemployment Benefits
Maine businesses has received $1.5 billion in federal Paycheck Protection Program with nearly 8,500 Maine small businesses applying for the forgivable payroll loan to help avoid job losses. However, numerous applications are still pending as the funds have been depleted.
Maine small businesses to receive $1.5 billion in paycheck protection funds
State Legislators disagree about when the State should reopen, and the pace of opening. Like most everywhere else, Maine is wrestling with waiting too long and facing further economic collapse, and opening too quickly and spreading the virus.
When can Maine reopen? The answer’s complicated
Governor Mills released a statement on the White House’s guidelines to reopening the economy. She reminded that the Governors are in charge of reopening their states’ economies. Maine will pursue a phased-in reopening tailored to different economic and health needs around the state.
Janet Mills Offers Response to White House 3-phase Plan to Reopen Economy