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Legislative Update from June 12th, 2023

The Legislature is winding down and is expected to finish its business by the end of the month. There is a flurry of amendment reviews.


CARRIED OVER:

Out of the 400+ bills being tracked on the CCRC website, 76 of them are being carried over to next January (although committees could be working on them beforehand. ) Here are just a few of the 76: (for more information, go to the live google doc here.)

LD 1274 – An Act to Increase Land Access for Historically Disadvantaged Populations – establishes the Black Farmer Restoration Program and the Farm Conservation Corps. Sen Hickman of Kennebec, several d’s. Requires the Dept of Agriculture to purchase from “willing sellers” land at market value and convey grants of the purchased land to eligible individuals at no cost, not to exceed 100 acres. Eligible is defined as a resident who was born in Maine, is at least 21, has previously identified as Black or African American, and has one parent of African ancestry.

LD 853 – Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Establish a Right to Housing

LD 1672 - An Act to Establish an Affordable Housing Permitting Process. Rep Gere of Kennebunkport, Co-sponsored by Sen Pouliot of Kennebec and Rep Arata of New Gloucester - establishes the Affordable Housing Development Review Board which is authorized to preempt any municipal or local ordinances and issue permits for the development of workforce and affordable housing - allows developer to by-pass local boards.

LD 1864 - An Act to Increase Maine’s Housing Supply by Prohibiting Certain Zoning Requirements in Areas where Public Sewer and Water Infrastructure Are Available and in Designated Growth Areas. Rep Boyle of Gorham. Town shall allow a dwelling unit on a lot with a min size of 5,000 sq ft and may not require more than 2 parking spaces for every 3 dwelling units. If area is a designated growth area but not connected to municipal sewer and water, municipality shall allow a dwelling unit on a lot of 20,000 sq ft and may not require more than 2 parking spaces for every 3 dwelling units.

LD 780 – Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Protect Personal Reproductive Autonomy –

LD 738 – An Act to establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave System

LD 1710 - An Act to Establish the Maine Rental Assistance and Guarantee Program and Amend the Laws Regarding Tenants and the Municipal General Assistance Program - Rep Golek of Harpswell - Big bill - appropriates $75.5MM each year, ongoing, amends Maine Human Rights Act to include tenants who participate in rental assistance program, requires owners of 10 rental units to ensure that at least 10% of units be “affordable” , increases maximum levels of assistance, requires municipalities to provide “culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services” when administering a general assistance program.

LD 1940 - An Act to Promote Consistent Policies within Growth Management Programs in Order to Increase Food Security and Economic Resiliency in Local Communities

LD 996 – An Act to Allow a Municipality to Establish a Local Option Sales Tax

LD 1027 – An Act to Prohibit Local Sales Taxes

LD 1578 – An Act to Adopt an Interstate Compact to Elect the President of the United States by Popular Vote – Rep Bell of Yarmouth, bunch of D’s plus Sen. Pouliot of Kennebec. Also provides that if no presidential slate receives a majority of the initial votes cast, use ranked-choice voting.

LD 1959 - An Act Regarding Open Primary Elections and Ranked-Choice Voting. Sen Baldacci of Penobscot - This bill provides for open primary elections for the elections for United States Senator, United States Representative to Congress, Governor, State Senator and State Representative. All of the candidates for those offices, including candidates enrolled in a party and unenrolled candidates, must appear on the same open primary ballot. All qualified voters, regardless of enrollment status, are eligible to vote in open primary elections. The votes are tabulated using ranked-choice voting.

LD 1991 - An Act Regarding Gubernatorial Primary Elections - Rep Supica (by request). 13 page bill. Open primary for all Gubernatorial candidates, all voters, regardless of enrollment status can vote, and votes tabulated by ranked-choice voting. The top two candidates appear on the ballot for the general election.

PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE

LD 512 – An Act to Promote Student Enrollment and Degree Completion in Univ of Me system by providing tuition waivers to eligible students – Tipping of Penobscot - 50% tuition waiver for any student grad from class of 2023, 2024, 2025 – this applies to residents – student must have to live in the state at the time of enrollment. Another 50% waiver for students who have lived in Maine for 5 years and are 30 credit hours from a degree.. Amendment provides that UMaine system shall award tuition waivers for any citizen or non-citizen student who is eligible for a Pell grant and must maintain a 2.0 average - award amount is difference between the Pell grant and the full tuition and fees. Fiscal note is $6.7MM

LD 1478 – An Act to Improve Women’s Health and Economic Security by Funding Family Planning Services – Sen Pierce of Cumberland and bunch of D’s - $3.39MM per year. Placed on the special appropriations table 6/8.

SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

LD 394 - Resolve, Regarding the Legislative Review of Chapter 117 - Rule Regarding the Duties of School Counselors and School Social Workers, a Major Substantive Rule of the DOE - Representative Brennan of Portland for the DOE. This chapter contains a lot of provisions, one of which would allow social workers to diagnose and treat children and provide gender transition treatment, like chest binders.

LD 256 – An Act to Add Electric Bicycles to the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program – Sen Daughtry –amendment limits recipients to low and moderate income people who use bikes as their principal means of commuting –

LD 443 – An Act to Prohibit Marriage of any Person Under 18- amendment changed 18 to 17

DEAD

LD 618 – An Act to Eliminate CRT, Social and Emotional Learning and DEI from School Curricula

LD 1196 – An Act to Require Public Schools to Allow Parents and Guardians to Opt Out their Children with respect to Portions of the Curriculum.

LD 1199 – An Act to Provide Transparency in Public School Curricula

LD 1518 – An Act Regarding the Rights of Parents to Withdraw their children from Public School Classes or Activities that Include Certain Controversial Viewpoints

LD 1643 - An Act Regarding Instructional Materials, Surveys, Analysis, Evaluations and Events at Public Schools

LD 590 – Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Establish a Right to Health Care

LD 665 – An Act to Extend the Date by Which Compliance (to LD 2003 – Public Law 2021, chapt 672) ) is required –

LD 1663 - An Act to Add Political Affiliation as a Protected Class to the Maine Human Rights Act

LD 1636 - An ACt to Ensure the Right to Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union

LD 1707 - An Act to Allow Workers to Work without Having to Pay Labor Organization SErvice Fees

LD 768 – An Act to Authorize State Political Parties to Opt out of Ranked-Choice voting for Primary Elections

LD 1032 – Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Specify the Qualifications of Electors (this would have allowed only citizens to vote in state, county or municipal or other local elections).

LD 1038 – An Act to Reinstate Plurality Voting by Repealing the Ranked Choice Voting Laws

LD 1502 – An Act to Provide Consistency of Process for Maine’s Electoral Votes by Prohibiting Enactment of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

DYING

LD 214 – An Act to Amend the Laws Regarding Zoning and Land Use Restrictions to Limit Certain Requirements to Municipalities with a Population of More than 10,000 – pushes implementation date of LD 2003 to October 1, 2023 and requires that some of its provisions apply only to town w/ more than 10,000 population.. May 5 - Divided. 9 ONTP (incl Pouliot)


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