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Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Maine voters approved the state's Medicaid expansion in 2017. In early 2019, it'll finally happen.

Why it matters: The successful ballot initiative in Maine inspired three more this year — all of them successful — and advocates are already looking ahead to the states where similar ballot questions could stand a good chance in 2020.

Details: Gov. Paul LePage has refused to implement the expansion, despite voters' approval and legal challenges to his recalcitrance.

  • The judge handling those challenges issued a procedural ruling yesterday that effectively renders the lawsuits moot and sets a Feb. 1 deadline to begin enrolling people in the program, the Portland Press Herald reports. Benefits will be retroactive to July.
  • Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills also takes office Jan. 2 and has said she would immediately implement the expansion.

The bottom line: Maine's Medicaid program will finally, actually expand within a month of LePage leaving office.

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to an official report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.