Money in Politics & Ethics Testimony

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Maine Citizens for Clean Elections

For any bills relating to the Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) and other campaign finance reform, we testify with our sister organization Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. Since 1995, MCCE has fought for, strengthened, and defended Clean Elections. We work to ensure that Maine’s campaign finance laws, elections, and government serve the public interest, both in principle and in practice. Learn more here.

KEY:

= top priority bill

2023-2024 TESTIMONY

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Require Campaign Finance Reports for State and County Candidates Other than Governor to Be Filed on the 42nd Day Before Any Election

Summary: Changes the law to have reports due for any election instead of just a general election.

Our position: Supports

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Divided Report

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Provide for the Ethical Election of Constitutional Officers by Restricting Certain Campaign Contributions

Summary: Constitutional officers may only make campaign contributions to candidates within the district they are eligible to vote in.

Our position: Neither for nor against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Political Action Committees Relating to Union, Business and Nonprofit Organizations

Summary:

Update: This bill repealed our corporate contribution ban from 2021 but required the Ethics Commission to develop similar legislation and submit a report by Feb. 2024. The new year is here, and the Ethics Commission will present their new bill in a legislative meeting on Friday, January 12 in VLA. We'll watchdog the process, and we’ll work to ensure that a corporate contribution ban 2.0 passes in the Legislature.

Bill reverses the inability of PACs, ballot question committees, and party committees, to contribute funds they have received from a profit or nonprofit business entity to candidates or leadership PACs. This hollows out a bill that MCCE worked to pass in the 130th Session, LD 1417, which bans corporate contributions.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee. RIP.

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Prohibit Government Contracting Organizations from Influencing Elections

Summary: Requires that every state contract over $500,000 must prohibit the contracting party from contributing to candidates, PACs, political party, or political tax-exempt organizations for the duration of the contract, plus two years.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House: Dies

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title:An Act to Require Disclosure for Communications Paid for Using Maine Clean Election Act Funding

Summary:MCEA candidate disclaimers. Bill requires a disclaimer on communications that the communication was authorized by the candidate and funded by Maine Clean Election Act public funds.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title:An Act to Prohibit Persons Who Donate to a Governor's Transition Committee and Inaugural Committee from Registering as Lobbyists

Summary:Prohibits a person who was part of Governor's transition or inauguration committees to register or engage in lobbyist activity.

Our position: Neither For Nor Against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee. RIP.

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Make Changes to the Distribution Amounts to Certain Maine Clean Election Act Candidates in Contested Elections

Summary: Bill lowers revenue to MCEA candidates for contested from $15,000 to $8,200 for state House and $60,000 to $32,000 for state Senate elections.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Limit the Requirements Regarding Leadership Political Action Committees and to Promote Clean Election Transparency

Summary: Bill provides that PACs that address principles, instead of candidates, are not required to form a leadership PAC and requires MCEA candidates to file a report to the Ethics commission listing all qualifying contribution and identifying information on each person who made a qualifying contribution.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Increase Transparency in Municipal Ballot Referenda Expenditures

Summary: Requires ballot question committees in towns with 15,000 or less residents, spending more than $5,000, to comply with same rules as larger municipalities.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House: Dies

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Fund Adult Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder Services by Eliminating Certain Tax Funding from the Maine Clean Election Fund

Summary:Eliminates $3,000,000 state funding for Clean Elections and instead use the funds to eliminate the waiting list for services for adults with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Require Disclosure of Campaign Funding Sources

Summary:Requires notification to $10,000+ donors to PACS, party and ballot question committees that funds may influence a Maine campaign. Bill also includes new reporting requirements and penalties, including sources of contributions and information on top 3 contributors.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Sent to the ballot during the November 2023 election. This referendum was approved by Maine voters.

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution

Summary:This bill will stop foreign government spending in Maine elections. It also calls on Maine's congressional delegation to work for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that allows unrestricted spending by corporations on political campaigns.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Improve Disclosure of Lobbyist Activities

Summary:Requires lobbyists to file reports to Ethics Commission: 1) within 48 hours of entering into a lobbying agreement, 2) every Friday report on legislative activity, 3) every Friday state agency activity

Our position: Neither for nor against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Eliminate Private Contributions to the Maine Clean Election Fund

Summary:Eliminates all private funding of Maine Clean Election Fund including, seed money, qualifying contributions, tax checkoff program, and voluntary contributions.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Clarify Required Political Committees 24-hour Reports

Summary:This bill amends the 24-hour reporting requirements by: 1. Eliminating that requirement for political action committees in the State, state party committees and municipal, district and county party committees; and 2. Changing from $1,000 to $5,000 the amount of expenditures required to be reported by ballot question committees in the State. The bill also increases to $25,000 the aggregate amount that a party committee, a ballot question committee, a leadership political action committee, a separate segregated fund committee, a caucus political action committee and any other political action committee can contribute to a candidate in support of the candidacy of one person.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Allow Candidates for County Office to Participate in the Maine Clean Election Act

Summary:Expands clean elections to include candidates running for District Attorney offices.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: JOINT RESOLUTION MAKING SEPARATE APPLICATIONS TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES CALLING CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS TO CONSIDER REPRESENTATIONAL INTEGRITY AND PROPOSE AMENDMENTS ESTABLISHING TERM LIMITS FOR CONGRESS AND ADDRESSING CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

Summary:This is a joint resolution that could trigger two Article V Conventions to amend the U.S. Constitution, where one seeks to establish term limits for Congress and the other addresses money in politics and overturns the disastrous Citizens United decision. Since 1991, the League has opposed term limits. We 100% stick up for meaningful campaign finance reform, but an Article V convention isn’t a good way to fix Citizens United. Overall, we opposed SP 705 in our testimony, with strong concerns that the conventions may not be fair and representative of the people; they could make their own rules and set their own agendas.

Our position: Oppose