Jill Goldthwait

  • State of Maine: The great chickadee debate

    In the pile of bills being considered by Maine legislators, there are some esoteric ones. A bill about cusk. A bill about spat. A bill about auricular acupuncture. Then there are the bills about Maine stuff, the designated symbols that allegedly reflect our state identity. They are proposed by ardent historians, horticulturalists, geologists and sometimes

  • State of Maine: Budget battles begin

    Snow, rain, freeze. Snow, rain, freeze. Basketball. That about sums up this part of the Maine winter. We are all doing the old person shuffle on the streets and sidewalks, and the actual old persons? Staying at home like the survivors they are. The legislature? Not staying home. Neither rain, nor snow… Well, sometimes snow,

  • State of Maine: LePage can’t stay away

    Scene: Maine House of Representatives. Close shot of Governor Janet Mills at the podium. Action. Governor Mills begins her “State of the Budget” address. “In this budget there are no tax increases. There are no gimmicks. There are no negative balances. This budget is pro-growth. It is pro-jobs. It is pro-people.” A voice from offstage:

  • State of Maine: Budget proposal draws fire

    It was a workmanlike beginning to the 129th Legislature. Bills were drafted, printed and assigned to committees. Hearings were scheduled. The House and Senate met now and again, processing mostly routine matters. Athletes, retirees and the city of Auburn were congratulated. A bill to “Exclude Antique Tractors from the Laws Governing Motor Vehicle Racing” was

  • State of Maine: Time for open primaries

    Election reform and election security are very much a part of the conversation in Augusta this winter. There is a bill that would allow a candidate’s nickname to appear on the ballot (LD 517) and one that seeks to clarify residency requirements for legislative candidates (LD 95). There are bills seeking to compel a wider

  • State of Maine: Legislators have work cut out

    Those distant rumbles are the sounds of the Statehouse coming to life for the 129th Legislature. The happy little feet of new legislators are trying out the marble stairways, pattering down the tunnel to the State Office Building, and echoing across the rotunda. Legislators have their seat assignments, they have their committee assignments, and bills

  • State of Maine: Kay Rand’s legacy

    This month marks the end of a remarkable political partnership between U.S. Senator Angus King and Kay Rand, the woman who managed his campaigns and his offices since he first ran for governor of Maine in 1993. A long-shot independent candidate for governor, King won a 5-way race in 1994 with just over 35 percent

  • State of Maine: The Maine that used to be

    Governor Janet Mills was inaugurated on Jan. 2, making her election official. Her “welcome home” theme might speak to Mainers living in exile, but what does “welcome home” convey to those Mainers who haven’t been away? We’ve all been “away” in one sense. The soundtrack of our public life has been full of discord. The