April 1, 2013

Marijuana group wins dinner with LePage

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

and Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

The screening isn't much of a nuisance for lawmakers or credentialed press. Their badges allow them to walk through a separate metal detector.

Nonetheless, Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, apparently isn't a fan of the screening area and has questioned whether it's worth the $250,000 it costs the state each year.

Katz brought the issue to the Legislative Council last week, but agreed to table it for now.

WEBSITE GETS 'D' GRADE

Legislative leaders weren't terribly happy when the Sunlight Foundation, a national transparency group, gave the Legislature's website a grade of "D."

It looks like the Legislature's administrative division is trying to do something about it.

According to Sunlight, the site already has a lot of information that should be accessible to the public. The trouble is, it's hard to find.

Scott Clark, director of the Legislature's Information Technology department, told legislative leaders that he disagreed with some of Sunlight's methodology, but overall acknowledged that the site wasn't user friendly.

The good news, according to Clark, is that the technology department is already trying to modernize the site by making it more intuitive and reducing the number of clicks and Web pages visits to find information.

That's good news for anyone who uses the site with any regularity.

Here's how some other New England states fared in the Sunlight ranking: Connecticut, A; New Hampshire, A; Massachusetts, F; Rhode Island, F.

RESOLUTIONS OPPOSE BUDGET

Cities and towns continue to send resolutions to the Legislature opposing provisions in Gov. Paul LePage's proposed two-year budget that they say would likely hit local taxpayers, including a $200 million suspension of municipal revenue sharing.

As of Friday, 48 municipalities have passed resolutions, according to the Maine People's Alliance, a liberal advocacy group, which said 39 more have similar resolutions in the works.

Many of the resolutions, according to published reports, ask the state to "raise revenue in an equitable fashion to avoid this regressive tax shift."

Many legislative Republicans, while saying they're not in favor of negating revenue sharing, say legislators will have to find concrete ways to stop the municipal aid cut.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

Twitter: @stevemistler

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

 

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