Action Under the Dome for Monday, May 13

Monday, May 13, 2024
Jen Lancaster
 

It's Monday, May 13.

Last week was the last busy week of the session. In a surprise plot twist, the Appropriations Committee met to discuss bills stuck in legislative limbo. The committee decided which bills would be voted off the table and possibly receive their funding. Bills that left the table โ€” hooray! โ€” were sent to the Senate for their final enactment vote.

Which brings us to last Friday, when legislators gathered one last time for Veto Day and to wrap up final business. Legislators were not able to capture a 2/3 majority to override any of the Governor's vetoes, including LD 2086, the bill that would have banned the sale of bump stocks.

So does that mean we're all done here? Well, not exactly. While the legislative session is wrapping up, we've also entered "pocket veto" territory. The Governor still has 10 days from when the final bills are enacted to sign or veto them, giving her a deadline of Wednesday, May 22 to take action on any bills enacted last Friday. She could choose to pocket veto any legislation passed late in the game.
Under The Dome: Legislative Session Wrap-Up
Hosted On Zoom

Tuesday, May 21
5:30 PM โ€“ 6:30 PM

Register Here
This webinar will recap action on our priority legislation in the 131st Legislature. We'll cover money in politics, National Popular Vote, racial justice, and gun safety reform. Tune in to hear the inside story of what happened under the dome: what progress Maine made, what fell short, and what's on the horizon for the next session. 
 
Welcome to our post-session report:
Itโ€™s been a long journey for activists, lobbyists, and legislators, with sessions that never wanted to quit. But weโ€™ve finally reached that point where we can report out what happened over the last two years. Thereโ€™s so much to celebrate, thanks to your activism and involvement. So thank you! 

Below youโ€™ll find a list of bills that were featured in Under the Dome this Legislature, but itโ€™s not a comprehensive list. We followed hundreds of bills. Stay tuned for a money in politics post-session report from Maine Citizens for Clean Elections.
Elections & Voting | These bills were signed into law ๐ŸŽ‰
  • LD 1578 โ€” National Popular Vote: Maine will officially join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. NPV goes into effect when states representing 270 electoral college votes sign on to the agreement. 
  • LD 1690 โ€” Ongoing Absentee Voting: Establishes ongoing absentee voting for all Mainers, where a voter can sign up to be automatically sent an absentee ballot for state and local elections. 
  • LD 1704 โ€” Prison Gerrymandering Reform: Prevents prison gerrymandering, the practice of counting incarcerated individuals as part of the district where they're detained (and not by their home address).
Racial Justice | These bills were signed into law ๐ŸŽ‰
  • LD 1155 โ€” Increasing Legislative Salaries: Increases the overall pay for legislators. This is one way to increase equity in the Legislature and encourage more people to run for office. 
  • LD 1620 โ€” Miโ€™kmaq Restoration Act: This historic legislation achieves parity for the Miโ€™kmaq Nation with the other Wabanaki tribes.
  • LD 1948 โ€” Racial impact statements and data governance: This bill 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. 
  • LD 1970 โ€” Maine Indian Child Welfare Act: Establishes procedures and standards for cases involving Wabanaki children that concern custody proceedings, foster care placements, termination of parental rights, and adoptions. 
  • LD 2007 โ€” Tribal sovereignty bill: This bill was pared down to mostly cover criminal jurisdictions and recognize the Penobscot Nation's authority to regulate their drinking water. 
Gun Safety Reform | These bills were signed into law ๐ŸŽ‰
  • LD 2224 โ€” Governor's gun reform bill: Expands background checks for gun sales, adjusts Maine's extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, and establishes an Injury and Violence Prevention Program. 
  • LD 2237 โ€” 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. 
  • LD 2238 โ€” 72 waiting period: Those who purchase a new firearm have to wait 72 hours before they can receive it. 
 
Heading to the Governor

This bill has been enacted, and now the Governor has 10 days to sign or veto it or it will become law without her signature.

  • LD 1966 โ€” Expanding Clean Elections: This bill would include Clean Elections for District Attorney races. We know that Clean Elections encourages more people to run for office and allows them to serve without being beholden to big donors or special interests.
 
Dead Bills | Bills we supported but were defeated ๐Ÿ˜ž
  • LD 577 โ€” Improving Local Election Information: This bill would have beefed up the website infrastructure for municipalities and counties and have them hosted through the Secretary of State's website.
  • LD 1412 โ€” Equal Rights Amendment: This bill would have brought the ERA to Maine. The federal ERA first passed in the 1970s by the U.S. Congress, but it was not ratified. 
  • LD 1590 โ€” Disclosure of Campaign Funding Sources: This bill would have established true source disclosure. True source disclosure helps the voter trace back the money to the source donor and/or corporation and not just a vague PAC name. 
  • LD 2001 โ€” Strengthen Wabanaki & African American Studies: This bill would have established an advisory council so that they can develop appropriate curricula for Maine schools. 
  • LD 2283 โ€” Extreme Risk Protection Order: This bill would have permitted family members to seek a court order to remove firearms if another family member is a risk to themselves or others. 
 
Dead and Stay Dead | Bills we did not support.
We won't recap all the titles and details of the bills we didn't support over the last two years, but every legislative session, bad bills pop up that we have to fight. Those include suppressive voter ID laws, bills to defund the Clean Elections program, threats against Ranked Choice Voting, any bill that would weaken the voting rights of Mainers, and more.