130th The Maine Legislature is officially here. We do not know exactly how it will go in the current Covid-19 world we live in, but they have not scheduled any House or Senate meetings, which in past years would have likely begun on January 6th. Committees are scheduling online meetings, slowly. It is a great time for you to contact your House and Senate Representatives to congratulate them and thank them for being willing to serve. Doing this may make it easier down the road when you decide to contact them with an issue. (click here to find your legislator).
We are looking at the 1,600 plus titles proposed and will add to this page over time with regular updates. Please check back often!
Sponsor: Rep. Lois Reckitt
(part S. Portland, District 31)
The 130th Maine Legislature has returned and has apparently filed over 1,600 Legislative Proposals. This one jumps out as it seems to be the return of legislation that troubled us in the past 2 year cycle. This bill (and all currently proposed) is an LR or Legislative Request. It has no body or language but is simply a title. When the language is filled in it will become an LD or Legislative Document (used throughout the legislative process until completion). We will update this when the language is made available.
We do not have the language of the proposed legislation other than the title. Note, the title says this is a constitutional amendment, which means it needs a higher vote to pass in the House and Senate and that if it passes, the question would go out Maine Citizens in a future election. A success in all this would change the Maine Constitution.
In the past few years we have seen many proposed bills be coordinated across states in very organized efforts. This was one. The ERA movement (Women’s Rights) of the 1970’s arguably concluded at a certain time in the past in defeat but there are those who believe it is still open and being contested. We believe this bill is not about women’s rights. This bill is concerning because in other states it has been used to lock into state constitutions abortion rights and gender rights. LR 620 is a title and has no body yet. The sponsor is the same from a past try on this effort and so we are watching this one carefully. Please check back here regularly for this and additional bills we monitor.
Sponsor: MaryAnne Kinney (Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike,Troy and Unity; District 99)
This LR was proposed among the +1,600 pieces of legislation for the new session. There is no written text or summary of the bill available yet other than the title.
This idea presented as it was believed that Maine jails and prisons charged their inmates the highest fees for phone calls in the nation. There also was an appearance of institutions benefiting from the higher charges. This concept was created to bring Maine back to, perhaps the middle.
Certainly, people sentenced should follow through to regain their place in society. However, it would not be appropriate to add higher fees to services they rely on. Especially given how important it would seem to encourage outside contact and relationships to a rehabilitation effort. The sponsor and people behind this effort are researching the situation and will hopefully come back with legislation we can fully endorse.
Sponsor: Rep. Kathy Javner (Chester and many other towns– District 88)
We are waiting on the language for this one, CCL Maine is clearly on board.