Action Under the Dome for Monday, March 25

Monday, March 25, 2024
Jen Lancaster

It's Monday, March 25.

We're sending you good thoughts this chilly morning after that snowstorm. If you lost power, hopefully it's back in service. 

The Legislature will adjourn in about three weeks on April 17, and with a list of priority bills yet to be reported out of committee, the final countdown is on. 

Here's a quick summary of what this week is looking like:

  • Legislators continue to workshop three gun safety bills, and it's expected that these bills will be reported out of the Judiciary Committee soon. A fourth gun safety bill (LD 2237) that's designed to strengthen public safety was sent to the Special Appropriations Table. 
  • The tribal sovereignty bill (LD 2007), pared down to mostly cover criminal jurisdictions and recognize the Penobscot Nation's authority to regulate their drinking water, has not yet been reported out of committee. 

  • And lastly, the National Popular Vote bill (LD 1578) still needs to go through procedural votes for enactment in both the House and Senate, which could all happen this week.

Work sessions: 
The following bills have a work session scheduled for Wednesday, March 27 in the Judiciary Committee.

  • LD 2086 β€” Banning bump stocks: This bill's amendment bans the sale of bump stocks and other devices that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic guns to the rate of fire of machine guns. The bill does not include banning assault weapons. 
  • LD 2224 β€” Governor's gun reform bill: This bill is a top priority. It includes an expansion of background checks for gun sales, strengthens Maine's extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, and establishes an Injury and Violence Prevention Program at the Maine CDC. 
  • LD 2238 β€” 72 waiting period: Those who purchase a new firearm have to wait 72 hours before they can receive it.

Sitting on the Special Appropriations Table:
The following bills come with a price tag and require funding before they can be enacted. They go to the appropriations table where committee members will hopefully approve their funding.

  • LD 2001 β€” Strengthen Wabanaki & African American Studies: This bill has been reworked to include pieces from LD 1642. This bill will establish an advisory council, provide professional development opportunities, and include resources to educators so that they can develop appropriate curricula for Maine schools. 
  • LD 2237 β€” Strengthening public safety: This bill expands resources for those experiencing a mental health crisis and establishes an Office of Violence Prevention to promote effective means to reduce gun violence. 

Another win on the horizon:

  • LD 1948 β€” Racial impact statements and data governance: The League has supported and followed this bill from the beginning, and while we haven't reported on it here in Under the Dome, it's exciting that this bill is close to becoming law. So what does it do? Legislators need to know how a bill will impact historically disadvantaged racial populations. LD 1948 creates additional resources so that legislators have the data and information they need to make decisions on whether or not a bill will indirectly harm certain racial populations. 
Contact your legislator and thank them.
Let's keep up the pressure on the National Popular Vote.

National Popular Vote (NPV), LD 1578, passed its first round of votes with strong support in both the Maine House and Senate. It'll have another round of procedural votes in both chambers before it heads to the Governor's desk for her signature. If your legislator voted YES on NPV, email and thank them for their vote, and ask them to hold steadfast in the upcoming final round of votes. Not sure how your legislator voted? Check the rollcalls here: Senate | House.