Things You Need to Know: State Works Maybe Paid for July 3rd Once Budget is Passed
Here are the things you need to know today......
The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes in Western Maine on Saturday. WGME reports there was some damage and one minor injury.
43 Republican Senators in Washington signed a letter urging the administration to support funding for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). WGME reports President Trump has cutting the program saying it is not necessary and is full of fraud.
Governor LePage has announced he will administratively close most state offices for today. According to Maine.gov this means once the budget issues is sorted out and if it is retroactive to July 1st, workers will be paid for July 3rd. State offices are closed for the 4th of July.
A state budget was worked out last night to be voted on by the Maine House and Senate today and does include some things objectionable to Governor LePage. CentralMaine.com reports LePage has said he would wait a full 10 days to act on any budget that includes a tax increase.
From the Associated Press:
Waterville is planning to install a $900,000 river-walk project and will start accepting bids in August from interested contractors. The Waterville Morning Sentinel reports the project includes a new children's play area, an amphitheater, a gazebo and a 900-foot long boardwalk with railings at Head of Falls. City Manager Michael Roy says the city hopes to hire a contractor in September to do the work, some of which can be done this fall.
A wetter-than-normal spring in the Northeast is behind a bumper crop of mosquitoes as Americans begin grilling and enjoying outdoor activities. The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University reports it was the fourth-wettest spring on record from West Virginia to Maine. That's raising concerns about a corresponding spike in mosquito-borne illnesses.
Federal fishing regulators are planning a host of changes to the quota limits of several important New England fish, including cod. Regulators have enacted a series of cutbacks to the cod quota in key fishing areas in recent years as cod stocks have dwindled. This year, regulators want to trim the Georges Bank cod quota by 13 percent and keep the Gulf of Maine quota the same.
A legislative panel negotiating the Maine state budget has voted to keep an increase of the lodging tax but delay implementation by a month. The increase from 9 percent to 10.5 percent was originally proposed to go into effect in October but would go into effect in November following Sunday night's vote. Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said he won't support a budget with a tax increase.
A small sailboat built by high school students in Kennebunk has traveled across the Atlantic, washing ashore in Scotland. The Portland Press Herald reports that the blue and white sail is a bit tattered but the solar panel, camera and sensors appear to be undamaged.
President Donald Trump is keeping up his attacks on news organizations, sending a Twitter message Sunday saying "the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE." At the same time, the president characterized the hostility between the White House and some news entities as a contest between news people and his constituents.
President Donald Trump is pushing for passage of a Republican Senate health care bill. The administration also is floating a repeal-only option if Republicans can't reach agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell largely dismissed the suggestion of a "repeal-only measure. Trump's top legislative aide, Marc Short, says the president has been making calls and insists lawmakers are "getting close" to passing a bill that repeals and replaces former President Barack Obama's health care law.
Arab nations have extended a deadline in the Qatar crisis by 48 hours, following a request by Kuwait's emir. A joint statement issued early Monday on behalf of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates says Qatar is expected to respond to their demands on Monday.
Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, say firearms seized from a vehicle in which rapper Finese 2Tymes was riding will be sent to a crime lab to determine whether the weapons were used in a shooting outside his concert early Sunday. Twenty-eight people were injured. The rapper, whose real name is Ricky Hampton, was arrested on unrelated assault charges while outside an Alabama club just 24 hours after the shooting.
The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken with the leaders of China and Japan and reaffirmed their shared commitments to dealing with North Korea. In separate statements, the White House says Trump spoke Sunday night with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH'-bay) and President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) of China.