Action Under the Dome For Monday, May 8

Monday, May 8, 2023
Jen Lancaster

The session would normally wrap up in mid-June, but there’s really a lot left to do, and the pressure is on to hear each bill in committee and get it passed to the House and Senate chambers for a floor vote. Not every bill will make the cut, which is normal, and some will be carried over into the second half of the session in 2024. A number of bills haven't even been printed yet, including Tribal Sovereignty and County Clean Elections, so it's looking like our work is cut out for us in 2024. 

Here are your weekly updates 👇


Under the Dome

Work sessions in the VLA // Wed, May 10 // 10:00 AM

  • LD 1416Raising the number of signatures for ballot initiatives: This proposed constitutional amendment would dramatically increase the number of signatures required for a ballot initiative, making it much harder for initiatives to qualify. We oppose this one.

Work sessions in the VLA // Fri, May 12 // 11:15 AM

  • LD 34Photo ID: This bill would require voters to show photo ID at the polls. We oppose this bill. A similar bill, LD 1365, also has its public hearing and work session scheduled for Friday, May 12. We oppose this one, too. We're crossing our fingers that both of these bills die in committee.
  • LD 1610Protect Maine's Elections: 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. We support this bill. 

Additional updates: 

  • 😡😡 LD 726Repealing Our Corporate Contribution Ban: This bill has had a few iterations, but in its current form, it's poised to repeal a bill that we worked to pass in the previous session, LD 1417. We fought to pass LD 1417 because we strongly believe that Mainers deserve representatives that listen to them, not corporate special interests. Corporations often use political contributions to tip the playing field in their favor. That's not fair, and our corporate contribution ban was written to address this issue. Repealing our bill not only makes little sense, it dismantles the work of the previous Legislature that passed it. We've included this bill here because last week the VLA committee took a committee vote to repeal the corporate contribution ban (LD 726). It was a moment that stunned us. We're disappointed in the committee members that voted for this bad bill, including Craig Hickman, Laura Supica, and Morgan Reilly. If these are your legislators, we ask that you reach out to them and express your disappointment. Let’s not go backwards; let’s move forward! In the meantime, we're fighting in Augusta to preserve our new law.
  • 🪦 LD 1038Repealing Ranked Choice Voting: We're happy to report that this bill was killed in both chambers with a bipartisan vote. It's great news!
  • 🎉 LD 1690Ongoing Absentee Voting: This bill would establish ongoing absentee voting, where a voter can sign up to be automatically sent an absentee ballot for eligible elections, for all Mainers. It was officially passed out of the VLA committee!


Ann M. Luther Award for Excellence in Volunteerism: Call for Submissions!

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