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Why the prison warden got fired
Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte told the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee on January 16 that, because of state personnel law, he couldn't publicly say — until severance negotiations are finished — why he had fired, six days earlier, Maine
| January 25, 2013
Gangs study killed
On February 9 the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, which had already informally decided against LD 1707, the bill that would have created severe penalties for people associated with criminal street gangs, killed a substitute proposal for a study
| February 17, 2012
Democrats celebrate victory in the face of defeat
Senator Dawn Hill, of Cape Neddick, the lead Democrat on the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, which fashioned the recently passed $6-billion state budget, explained to the Phoenix why she voted to reduce income and estate taxes on the rich whi
They cozy up to Republicans and the rich
| July 01, 2011
Corporate prison bill 'carried over'
Although LD 690, A BILL TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR "EXILED" PRISONERS TO RETURN TO MAINE , was killed May 6 by the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, political activist Ron Huber, who had pushed it, declared "victory in Augusta" on his Facebook page.
Inmate Exile Dept.
| May 13, 2011
Fixing Maine’s troubled prisons is not an impossible task. In fact, if the state treated adult inmates more along the lines of how it treats juvenile offenders, prison critics — including, surprisingly, the new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte — t
The new corrections commissioner wants Maine prisons to learn from the state’s juvenile-treatment model
| April 08, 2011
In the five years since the General Assembly approved Rhode Island's medical marijuana law, licensed smokers have operated in a sort of smoke-filled netherworld.
For five years, Rhode Island's medical marijuana movement has been a grassroots affair. For better or worse, it's about to go mainstream
| February 11, 2011
At a turning point
When Joseph Ponte was told that Maine's longtime corrections commissioner Martin Magnusson had once informed the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, after a dramatic hostage-taking, that there were "probably 300 inmates right now with a weapon in
LePage's nominee to head Corrections has the skills to fix Maine's broken prison system. Will the governor and lawmakers give Joseph Ponte the tools?
| February 11, 2011
In the midst of the new Republican majority's mania to reduce the size and cost of state government, I offer some advice and a warning.
On shrinking legislatures
| January 14, 2011
Seeking the State House
Candidates for the Maine Legislature aren't always brief in their answers. Read expanded responses at thephoenix.com/abouttown. Phoenix-endorsed candidates have asterisks next to their names.
Comparing candidates for the Maine Legislature
PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF
| October 29, 2010
Less of you
When the Legislature gets reformed, things get worse.
Reform is a bad idea
| August 20, 2010
The League of Young Voters is soliciting questions for Maine's gubernatorial candidates, to be asked at a forum on Wednesday, April 14th, from 7-9 pm,...
| April 05, 2010
21st century breakdown
The office of Maine's secretary of state has been around since we split from Massachusetts in 1820.
Ne'er has there been a sweeter gig than being secretary
| January 08, 2010
Missing in action
Good-government advocates often breathe a sigh of relief when the legislature quits Beacon Hill.
The legislature vacations while crisis looms
| December 11, 2009
Maine lawmakers push post-partisanship -- in DC
It will be no surprise that the Democrats and Republicans in the Maine Legislature can agree on one thing, and one thing only - that...
| January 13, 2009
Hey guv: stop slashing!
It seems as if there’s no light at the end of the state’s gloomy fiscal tunnel.
State budget cuts just make the recession worse
| December 31, 2008
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