Steve Mistler

Chief Political Correspondent and State House Bureau Chief

Steve has been a journalist for nearly two decades, specializing in the coverage of politics and state government. His work has been recognized by the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association for investigative projects and accountability journalism. He was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his coverage of municipal government for The Forecaster in Falmouth and, later, for his coverage of state government for the Sun Journal in Lewiston.

Steve became the state house bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in 2012. After four years with Maine’s largest daily newspaper, Steve made the leap to radio journalism, joining Maine Public in May 2016.

Steve is married with one child and has two crazy dogs. His family lives in Brunswick.

Ways to Connect

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine Legislature is considering more than a dozen bills that would limit the duration and scope of the governor’s emergency powers.

Legislative Democrats’ decision to pass a “back to basics” $8.3 billion two-year budget with or without minority Republican support next week has prompted an outcry among GOP lawmakers, who have described the move as a “sham,” “heavy handed” and a break with precedent that will “silence” their constituents.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Next week, Democrats plan to pass a two-year budget of more than $8 billion, using their party’s majority in the state Legislature. Republicans say that would break with precedent, and that they still don’t know exactly what they’re being asked to vote on next week.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

Democratic Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau is calling for a sweeping overhaul of Maine’s unemployment system, citing its failures during the pandemic.

Corey Templeton / Flickr/Creative Commons

Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau wants to form a 15-member commission to study housing shortages for low- and middle-income residents.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The political, legal and legislative efforts to thwart Central Maine Power’s $1 billion transmission corridor continued apace this week as state lawmakers considered a slate of bills that could sideline a key financial beneficiary and a Superior Court judge ruled that the state didn’t follow the law when it leased public lands for the project.


Central Maine Power's controversial transmission project is again the target of another referendum that could scuttle the project, and the issue of foreign influence in the campaign has also surfaced once again.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The pandemic has shined a bright light on Maine government, both on its successes and failures.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine Legislature moved closer Thursday to approving a proposal that would allow legislative committees to request racial impact statements on certain bills. 

The American Rescue Plan passed by Democrats in Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday is expected to deliver billions of dollars in aid to Maine in two slugs of funding that the state can use through 2024.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with a MaineCare ride contractor to provide free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday announced that school staff and child care providers will now be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, a significant change to the age-based inoculation scheme that she rolled out just five days earlier.

Maine could receive $1.6 billion from the massive coronavirus relief bill Democrats are steering through Congress, an infusion of funds that would be split between the state and the local governments within its borders.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

The kerfuffle between the Maine Republican Party and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins over her vote to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection largely resembled the backlash experienced by the six other Republicans who joined her.

AP Photos

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting last month’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.