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Maine.gov Press Releases



Official press releases from State of Maine agencies.



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Secretary Dunlap launches ranked-choice voter information resource center online

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:18:00 EDT

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has unveiled a new section of the department website offering several informational resources for voters who are seeking to educate themselves about ranked-choice voting.

On June 12, 2018, this method of voting will be used for the first time ever in a statewide election as voters cast their ballots in the Primary Election.

**Now available on the RCV Resources page http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/rcv.html are:**

  • Sample ballots for all ranked-choice voting races (Only races with three or more candidates will employ the ranked-choice voting process, which requires that one candidate receive a majority of the vote)

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • A printable PDF "RCV Fact Sheet" for voters to review and share with others in preparation for marking their ballot

  • An implementation plan showing the department's progress and preparation for ranked-choice voting

  • A timeline showing how the State of Maine came to use this voting method in the June 12, 2018 Primary Election

  • The draft rules that will govern the process of administering ranked-choice voting, along with the public comments on those rules


**Additional resources will soon be added to the RCV Resources page, including:**

  • The final version of the rules

  • An easy-to-understand animation explaining how to mark the ranked-choice ballot and how votes will be tabulated


Follow the Maine Department of the Secretary of State on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates regarding additional information and voter education outreach efforts prior to the June 12 Primary Election. To obtain an absentee ballot, visit your town office or use the Online Absentee Ballot Request service.



Secretary Dunlap issues decision in Linn candidate petition challenge

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:41:01 EDT

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, upon reviewing new evidence regarding the candidate petitions of U.S. Senate candidate Max Patrick Linn, has found that Linn has not met the threshold to be eligible for the June 12, 2018 Primary Election ballot.

Earlier today, Secretary Dunlap re-opened the hearing on a challenge to Linn's candidate petitions, per order of the Kennebec County Superior Court, to consider new evidence presented by the challenger, David Boyer and the Eric Brakey for Senate campaign, as well as any relevant evidence presented by the candidate.

After hearing all the evidence presented at the first hearing on Thursday, March 29, as well as the second hearing on Tuesday, April 24, Secretary Dunlap has invalidated 258 of Linn's original total of 2,248 petition signatures that were initially counted as valid, leaving the candidate with a total of 1,990 valid signatures, which is 10 fewer than the minimum required to qualify for the primary election ballot.

Due to the ballot printing schedule, the deadline for a candidate to have his or her name removed from the ballot was April 3. Thus, Linn's name will appear on the ballot, but voters will be provided with notice at the polls informing them that he is no longer a candidate.

This decision modifies Secretary Dunlap's previous decision of April 5, when Dunlap found the challenger had presented sufficient evidence to invalidate the signatures of 230 voters but concluded that the petition and consent form still met the legal requirements to allow Linn to appear on the ballot. The Brakey campaign appealed that decision to the Kennebec County Superior Court and subsequently filed a motion to take additional evidence relevant to the challenge. On Friday, April 20, Justice William R. Stokes granted the challenger's motion and ordered Secretary Dunlap to reopen the challenge hearing to consider new evidence.

Justice Stokes is expected to hear oral argument on Wednesday, April 25 at 11 a.m. regarding Secretary Dunlap's decision.



Governor LePage Announces Staff Changes

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 16:00:49 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 24, 2017 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has hired and promoted several staff members.

####Promotions

Madeline Malisa has been appointed Chief Legal Counsel, advising the Governor on a wide array of legal issues. She formerly served as Deputy Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor.

Micki Mullen has been appointed Senior Policy Advisor. She will advise the Governor on the policy areas of employment, workers' compensation, professional and financial licensing and oversight and economic development. Mullen has served most recently as Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions.

William Thompson has been appointed Senior Policy Advisor counseling Governor LePage on education-related legislation and regulation, housing matters, and matters relating the Finance Authority of Maine and the Maine Bond Bank. Thompson most recently served as a Policy Management Analyst in the Governor's Office of Policy and Management.

####New Hires

Jonathan Moynahan is the Deputy Director of Constituent Services in the Office of the Governor, providing assistance to Maine citizens in resolving constituent concerns.

He has worked extensively in the banking sector, including managing a portfolio of commercial accounts, developing contracts and business validation. Moynahan was previously a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, managed campaigns for the City Council of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served as an intern in the Indiana Legislature.

A 2013 graduate, Moynahan holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Southern Indiana. He is a resident of Eliot.

A complete list of staff members and their professional biographies and responsibilities is available on the Office of the Governor's website ( http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/administration/staff.shtml ).



Augusta CareerCenter Hosting Job Fair, Open House on April 30

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:21:26 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2018

Contact: Peter Diplock, Augusta CareerCenter Manager, 215-3580

Media Contact: Laura Hudson, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

AUGUSTA-The Augusta CareerCenter is showcasing its new location and hosting more than 30 employers at an open house and job fair on April 30 at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta. The open house runs 1 to 4 p.m., with the job fair from 2 to 4 p.m. An on-the-spot workshop that teaches job seekers how to get the most out of a job fair will be available during the job fair as well, presented by Dana Hamilton of Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP).

"Maine's hit historic numbers of jobs created in consecutive years in 2016 and 2017, wages have been rising since 2015, our unemployment rate has hit an all-time low, and over 11,000 job openings are regularly posted on Maine JobLink," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Maine employers are hiring. Set your sights on a better-paying job. Maine CareerCenters can help you search for a new or better job, find training, practice for those job interviews, improve your resume and prepare for the dozens of job fairs happening around the state. Visit mainecareercenter.gov to learn more."

Employers and job seekers are invited to tour the CareerCenter during the open house and learn about available no-cost resources through the Department of Labor. Employers interested in exhibiting at the job fair can contact Steve Roy, Steven.L.Roy@maine.gov. Limited space remains available. Participating employers must have at least one job posted at www.maine.gov/joblink.

**Participating employers to date include:**

- Assistance Plus - AngelZ Behavioral Health - Bank of America - Bonney Staffing - Care and Comfort - Community Health and Counseling Services - EMHS - ESM Inc. - Home Hope and Healing - Kennebec County Sheriff's Office - Living Innovations - LLP Transport - Maine Job Corps - Maine Staffing Group - Maine Vocational and Rehabilitation Associates - MaineGeneral Health - Maine-ly Eldercare - Maine Veterans Homes - Manpower - Modern Woodmen of America - Motivational Services - Mount St. Joseph Residence and Rehabilitation - Natural Resource Service Center - OnProcess Technology - People Ready - Pine State Trading Co. - Sheridan Corporation - Spurwink - TD Bank - T-Mobile - Uplift, Inc. - Verizon Wireless

All are seeking qualified employees to fill current positions. Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume, and be prepared to interview.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O'Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

The Augusta CareerCenter, located at 45 Commerce Drive with the Department of Labor, is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-end-



Secretary Dunlap schedules hearing to consider new evidence in Linn petition challenge

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:13:41 EDT

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will revisit the challenge to U.S. Senate candidate Max Patrick Linn's candidate petitions, per order of the Kennebec County Superior Court, re-opening the hearing to consider new evidence presented by the challenger as well as any relevant evidence presented by the candidate.

The challenge hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24 in Room 300 of the Cross State Office Building, Augusta.

The original challenge to Linn's petitions was filed on behalf of David Boyer and the Eric Brakey for Senate campaign Thursday, March 22, alleging that Linn should be disqualified from appearing on the June 12, 2018 Primary Election ballot.

Secretary Dunlap presided over the challenge hearing on Thursday, March 29, 2018 in Augusta. In his decision of April 5, Dunlap found the challenger had presented sufficient evidence to invalidate the signatures of 230 voters, but concluded that the petition and consent form still met the legal requirements to allow Linn to appear on the ballot.

The Brakey campaign appealed the decision to the Kennebec County Superior Court and subsequently filed a motion to take additional evidence relevant to the challenge. On Friday, April 20, Justice William R. Stokes granted the challenger's motion and ordered Secretary Dunlap to reopen the challenge hearing to consider new evidence.

Secretary Dunlap will issue an updated decision, which will be reported to the Court by Wednesday, April 25, along with any additions to the agency record. Justice Stokes is expected to hear oral argument on Wednesday at 11 a.m. and thereafter to issue a decision on the appeal.




BMV branches to close for training days

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:39:57 EDT

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is authorizing closure days this spring for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch offices, to allow for staff training.

BMV employees will be taking part in communication enrichment training, focusing on topics of improving self-awareness, such as generational differences, inherent biases and emotional intelligence.

"Communications is critical to our success as individuals and as a whole," said Deputy Secretary of BMV Patty Morneault. "My hopes are that employees will gain knowledge, skills and abilities to better understand individual behavior and become more aware of their own emotions, thus leading to increased customer satisfaction and relationship management." District branch office employees will train together, so all branches in the area will be closed on the designated training day:

  • Monday, April 30: All Southern District branches will be closed for training. This includes: Portland, Scarborough, Kennebunk and Springvale.

  • Tuesday, May 1: All Central District branches will be closed for training. This includes: Augusta, Topsham, Lewiston and Rumford.
  • Monday, May 21: All Northern District branches will be closed for training. This includes: Bangor, Ellsworth, Calais, Rockland and Caribou.


The BMV Main Office staff will also take part in the training, on May 2 and 8, but will remain open and continue to provide services on those days. The main office is located at 101 Hospital St., Augusta, and can be reached via telephone at 624-9000. Online services will also be available during these closure days, at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/ .



Dept. of Labor Offering No-Cost Wage and Hour Compliance Assistance Workshops

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:30:40 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2018

Media Contact: Tim Sardano, Maine Department of Labor, (207) 626-6232

Class registration or 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345)

AUGUSTA-The Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Standards is hosting its no-charge Wage and Hour Compliance Assistance course for employers throughout the spring. Visit the class registration page at http://www.safetyworksmaine.gov or call 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) to register.

This seminar covers wage and hour laws, including minimum wage, overtime, youth employment, severance pay, equal pay, leave requirements (family medical leave, family sick leave, and domestic violence), and break requirements, and also addresses commonly asked labor-related questions. Wage and Hour Compliance Assistance is designed for human resource or benefits professionals, accountants, business owners, managers, or payroll supervisors.

The class is available from 9 a.m. to Noon at the following dates and locations:

- April 25, SafetyWorks Training Institute, 45 Commerce Dr., Augusta - May 3, Lewiston CareerCenter, 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston - May 8, Port Resources, 280B Gannett Dr., South Portland - May 22, York County CareerCenter, 9 Bodwell Ct., Springvale - May 22, Rockland CareerCenter, 91 Camden Street, Ste. 201, Rockland - May 29, SafetyWorks Training Institute, 45 Commerce Dr., Augusta

The Bureau of Labor Standards is Maine's regulatory agency overseeing labor and employment law and workplace safety; it provides both consultation and enforcement services. The division promotes and achieves compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of Maine's workforce.

Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

-end-



Securities Administrator Reminds Investors to Approach Binary Options with Caution; Issues Cease and Desist Order Against Overseas Company

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:58:00 EDT

GARDINER - With online investment opportunities continuing to attract headlines, Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw today reminded investors to be cautious about investments involving binary options.A binary option is a type of all-or-nothing investment contract, similar to placing a bet. Like the flip of a coin, there are only two possible outcomes: heads you win or tails you lose. When an investor purchases a binary option contract, the investor predicts the value of an underlying asset (currency, stock, etc.) at a predetermined time or date in the future. If the investor correctly predicts the asset price at the end of the contract, which can be just a matter of minutes, the investor receives the payout agreed upon in the contract. If the investor is incorrect, the investor loses the entire amount invested in the binary option."Investors should use extreme caution when they receive any unsolicited online solicitations particularly those asking you to invest in binary options," said Administrator Shaw, "My Office has received multiple complaints over the last two years from investors who have lost many thousands of dollars after being enticed into investing in binary options contracts by unlicensed overseas companies." In the most recent complaint, one Maine investor was promised by Option Mint, an online unlicensed overseas company offering binary options trading, that the company would match her initial investment of $10,000 with a $10,000 bonus. She was soon solicited to invest additional money which she did after being told she could earn a $10,000 per month return. Ultimately, the investor found she was unable to withdraw funds and the Option Mint website then disappeared.Administrator Shaw announced the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order against Option Mint. The Order fines Option Mint and several related individuals $30,000.00 for violating Maine securities laws including engaging in unlicensed activity and fraud. It also orders restitution for the Maine victim of $20,000.00. Option Mint and the other respondents never answered the petition when it was filed in February 2018. "I know this Order provides little comfort to the investor who has lost a significant amount of her hard-earned money," said Administrator Shaw. "The likelihood we will ever be able to recover this money for the investor is slim. These companies only exist for short periods of time and then they vanish, along with investors' money," she added. "This should serve as a reminder to us all that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."The Administrator reminds investors to keep watch for these common red flags when considering making an investment:Unsolicited investment offers - emails or phone calls from an unknown person or firm directing you to a binary option website offering high returns;High-pressure sales tactics - threatening calls or emails from representatives of binary options websites;Personal information requests - claims from representatives of binary options websites that the government requires copies or photographs of your passport, driver's license, credit cards, etc.;Lack of management/firm information - websites that are vague on details about who manages or works at the company or where it is actually located;"Guaranteed" high investment returns - there is no such thing as guaranteed investment returns. Be wary of anyone who promises a high rate of return with little or no risk;Sounds too good to be true - if the investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for exaggerated claims about future success;Pressure to buy immediately - take time to research an investment opportunity before handing over your money. Watch out for pressure to act fast or "get in on the ground floor" of a new investment opportunity;Constant Turnover of Representatives - be skeptical if the names of the persons you[...]



Maine Unemployment Rate 2.7 Percent in March

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:09:01 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2018Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192 AUGUSTA - The unemployment rate in Maine was the lowest since the current methodology was implemented in 1976. The last time it could have been this low was 1957, when Dwight Eisenhower was President and Ed Muskie was Governor. The total number of unemployed people was the lowest since 1969, when the labor force was only 57 percent as large as it is today.**Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data****Household Survey Estimates -** The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate of 2.7 percent for March was down slightly from 2.9 percent for February and from 3.3 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 4,000 over the year to 19,100. Maine's unemployment rate has been below 4.0 percent for 28 consecutive months, the longest period on record.The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for March has been unchanged for six months; it is down from 4.7 percent one year ago. The New England average was 3.6 percent.March unemployment estimates for other states in the region were 2.6 percent in New Hampshire, 2.8 percent in Vermont, 3.5 percent in Massachusetts, 4.5 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.5 percent in Connecticut.The employment to population ratio estimate of 61.6 percent remained above the 60.4 percent U.S. average.**Payroll Survey Estimates -** The 627,000 preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for March was up 2,900 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 3,000 to 527,000; gains were primarily in the healthcare and social assistance and the professional and business services sectors. The number of jobs in government was little changed, down 100 to 100,000. Government comprised 15.9 percent of nonfarm jobs, the lowest share on record.**Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data**The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate estimate of 3.1 percent for March was down from 3.8 percent one year ago. Unemployment rates were the lowest on record for March in all counties. The lowest rate was 2.3 percent in Cumberland County and the highest was 4.6 percent in Washington County.The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland (2.4 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (2.8 percent) metro areas and matched the statewide average in the Bangor metro (3.1 percent).April workforce estimates will be released Friday, May 18 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html .Labor force and unemployment data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .Monthly workforce estimates are cooperatively produced and released by the Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.**NOTES**1. Preliminary labor force estimates, including rates (labor force participation, employment, and unemployment rates), and levels (labor force, employed, and unemployed) tend to move in a direction for several months and then reverse course. Those directional trends are largely driven by a smoothing procedure and may not indicate a change in underlying workforce conditions. Annual revisions (published in March each year) tend to moderate or eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of 2017 preliminary and revised unemployment rate estimates is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/blogs/2017_workforce_data_revisions.pdf.2. The 90 percent confidence interval for statewide unemployment rates in 2018 is 0.6 percentage points above or below the published estimate each month.3. To assess employment growth, we recommend looking at nonfarm jobs from the payroll survey rather than resident employment from the household survey. The payroll survey is[...]



Governor LePage Recognizes Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for Economic Impact

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:20:21 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 19, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today issued a statement calling attention to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard's (PNS) significant contribution to Maine's economy.

"Employing 3,679 Mainers with annual wages of almost $300 million, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has been a key contributor to our economic growth," stated Governor LePage. "The Shipyard's success includes growing their total workforce by close to 1,000 workers in the past four years, which has had a corresponding increase in payroll of $92 million. This money supports families and local businesses with a tremendous effect."

PNS had a total civilian payroll of $525 million in February of 2018, with another $43 million in payroll for Navy and Coast Guard personnel. Just under half of the shipyard's civilian employees are Maine residents.

The Shipyard annually purchases goods and services worth more than $100 million and pays another $78 million in contracted facility services including maintenance and utilities.

In comparison, PNS employed 8,700 civilians in 1987, falling to 3,648 in 1998. In 2014, there were 5,585 civilian employees with the 2018 total rising to 6,450.



Governor LePage Issues Statement on Speaker's Comment

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:09:42 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 19, 2018 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today after Speaker of the House Sara Gideon said he and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette are using "terrorism" to halt progress in the Legislative session.

"I understand the Legislature is suffering from a vacuum of leadership at the end of the session for the second year in a row. But Speaker Gideon should stop blaming others for her failure to lead. She should sit down and do the hard work on behalf of the Maine people. Instead of claiming Republicans are resorting to ‘terrorism,' she should be more concerned with helping our elderly neighbors stay in their homes and enacting tax conformity to give much-needed tax relief to our small businesses and hard-working Mainers."

He continued, "As a child, I was always told, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.'"



DHHS Warns of Individual Impersonating Child Protective Services Caseworker

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:53:27 EDT

AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently received notice of an individual allegedly impersonating a DHHS Child Protective Services (CPS) Caseworker. This was an isolated incident in Southern Maine.

It is important to remember that all DHHS employees are issued an identification card (ID) when they are hired and are instructed to keep their card on them during work hours. When out in the field, CPS staff are instructed to present their ID cards to families they are working with. Employees are not allowed to refuse to show their ID card when asked. These ID cards contain the following information:
  • The Maine DHHS logo;
  • A picture of the DHHS employee;
  • The name of the DHHS employee;
  • The title of the DHHS employee; and
  • A number to contact if the ID card is lost.

If you are visited by someone claiming to work for DHHS, you may always request to see their ID card. You may also contact the Department at 1-800-452-1999 to ensure their credentials are authentic.




Supreme Court decision confirms Secretary Dunlap's plan to implement ranked-choice voting

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:17:02 EDT

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap today acknowledged the decision of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, issued Tuesday evening, which confirms his department's ongoing efforts to move forward with implementation of ranked-choice voting."The June 12, 2018 primary election will be conducted by ranked-choice voting," said Secretary Dunlap. "That much is emphatically clear. The court's decision http://www.courts.maine.gov/opinions_orders/supreme/lawcourt/2018/18me052.pdf states more than once that ranked-choice voting is the law of the State of Maine. That means we go forward."The Maine Senate brought the legal action on April 3, raising multiple questions about Secretary Dunlap's authority to implement ranked-choice voting and whether it is, indeed, the law in effect for the primary election. At the core of the issue are conflicting state statutes that govern whether the primary election winners will be determined using a plurality of votes or the ranked-choice counting method, which assures a majority winner. The court declined to address the complaint in its entirety, but did find that the plurality provision in Maine law (21-A section 723) "has been implicitly repealed by the most recent provision of law" and therefore, the ranked-choice voting method is in effect for the June 12 primary. The Maine Superior Court issued a similar ruling http://www.courts.maine.gov/news_reference/high_profile/ranked-choice/CV-18-24-Order-on-Plaintiffs-Motion-for-Temp-Restraining-Order.pdf April 3, 2018."The people of the State of Maine owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Supreme Court and the Superior Court for their incredibly swift and thorough work to resolve these lawsuits and the legal questions around ranked-choice voting," said Secretary Dunlap.Secretary Dunlap's office is currently finalizing the rules that will govern the ranked-choice voting process and centralized tabulation. In the coming weeks, the rules will be shared on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State Upcoming Elections webpage, http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html along with a sample RCV ballot and educational materials for voters. An implementation schedule, timeline of ranked-choice voting in Maine, and the draft rules and comments are currently available online."We are where we thought we were going to be," said Secretary Dunlap, "and we are moving forward with all due dispatch."Secretary Dunlap is now reviewing the options to securely transport the ballots and memory devices in a timely manner to a central location for tabulation. The Maine State Police had originally been approached to collect these materials, but expressed concern that current Maine law only authorizes them to collect for a recount. Secretary Dunlap is investigating the possibility of using a professional courier service, which would be held to the same standards of security regarding ballots and tabulator memory sticks. The strict chain of custody would remain in place, with elections materials transported in tamper-proof, locked and sealed containers, as always."The integrity of the chain of custody is something we remain keenly focused on as we go forward," said Secretary Dunlap.Implementation of ranked-choice voting is estimated to cost an additional $80,000 on top of typical expenses for the primary elections, plus an estimated $30,000 to $139,000 in ballot transportation costs for centralized tabulation.[...]



United States Supreme Court denies certiorari in March v. Mills matter - Attorney General Janet T. Mills announces victory for women and Planned Parenthood clinics in wake of today's Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:41:08 EDT

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills applauded the United States Supreme Court's decision today to let stand the ruling of the federal appeals court in March v. Mills in which the Office of the Attorney General successfully defended Maine's law protecting women seeking health care at clinics from loud and disturbing protests intended to interfere with the provision of health care. The Supreme Court this morning denied the petition for certiorari filed by the Thomas More Law Center.

In a major victory for women and for Planned Parenthood clinics, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unanimous decision last August, concluded that Maine's law did not infringe on protesters' right of free speech, that the law was facially neutral, that the law reflected a significant state interest in protecting those seeking health care, and that protesters had less disruptive means of communicating their concerns in a legitimate fashion.

Attorney General Mills stated, "No one should have to endure a gauntlet of taunting and harassment loud enough to be heard inside a clinic, in order to secure their right to health care, including reproductive care, in Maine or elsewhere. I am delighted that the court has upheld this amendment to Maine's Civil Rights Act presented by the Attorney General's Office in 1995 and carefully crafted to gain the support of both pro-choice and pro-life interests."

The law makes it a violation of the Civil Rights Act for any individual, having been warned by a law enforcement officer, to intentionally make noise that can be heard within a building and with the intent to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of health services within the building.

Attorney General Mills thanked Assistant Attorneys General Christopher Taub and Leanne Robbin for their successful advocacy in this groundbreaking case.

###



Surgeon Reprimanded and Fined

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:03:00 EDT

AUGUSTA, ME - On April 9, 2018, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (Board), Office of Attorney General, and Ihor Zakaluzny, MD entered into a consent agreement that resolved a complaint against Dr. Zakaluzny's medical license. The consent agreement included a reprimand and $1,000 civil penalty. Dr. Zakaluzney currently works in Louisiana.

The consent agreement was based upon unprofessional conduct by Dr. Zakaluzny. The Board received a report from another physician regarding conduct by Dr. Zakaluzny at a hospital in 2016, including that Dr. Zakaluzny urinated outside an office building within sight of an examination room and was seen by a patient. Dr. Zakaluzny provided an explanation of the circumstances that led to his conduct, and accepted full responsibility for his "momentary lapse of judgement."

All Board disciplinary actions are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Federation of State Medical Boards Action Data Bank. These reports are regularly reviewed by every state licensing board in the country.

The Board is made up of 6 physicians, 3 public members, and a physician assistant appointed by the Governor. Disciplinary actions taken by the Board are available to the public either by telephone at (207) 287-3601, or on the Board's website at www.maine.gov/md.

The Board of Licensure in Medicine is the State of Maine agency charged to protect the health and welfare of the public by verifying the qualifications of physicians to practice, and disciplining physicians for unprofessional conduct and incompetence. Any citizen can request an investigation of a physician or physician assistant by contacting the Board office by telephone at (207) 287-3608, by letter, or by visiting the Board's web site.