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Legislative Update from May 15th, 2023

The following legislative update is mainly historical. And it only scratches the surface of What’s Really Going On Up There. To get the full effect, you really must go to the CCRC website and slog through the Legislative watch list.

You'll also see below a separate document providing an update on bills pertaining to housing. There are a few new ones and you really should pay attention to them. Plus get an update on those bills following up last year’s LD 2003 and the senior property tax stabilization law.

On Wednesday, May 17, at 9:00, there are public hearings on two bills pertaining to elections

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

LD 1917 - Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Implement Ranked-choice Voting for Governor, State Senator and State Representative

Criminal Justice & Public Safety

Work Sessions May 17 at 1:00 on firearms bills – LDs

22 – Class D crime to transfer firearm to prohibited person

60 – 72 hr wait period

624 – prohibit government from maintaining records of firearms owners

1451 – Prohibit state and local enforcement of federal firearms laws

1561 – restore rights to possess firearms by persons previously convicted of certain offenses

Education and Cultural Affairs

LDs Majority ONTP

51 and 1098– restore religious and philosophical exemptions

338 – Allow Education funding to follow the student

869 – prohibit mandate for schoolchildren for a Covid 19 vaccine or vaccine under an emergency use authorization

1148 – Prohibit covid 19 mandates for public school students

1209 – reinstate exemptions for private schools and virtual public charter schools

Majority OTP - LD 394 – Rule 117 – role of school counselors and social workers

Health and Human Services

Majority ONTP bills regarding welfare payments

117 – prohibit cash withdrawals from EBT

668 – must be citizen to receive GA benefits

778 – able-bodied must work or school or volunteer 20 hrs per week in order to get SNAP or GA for more than 3 months

1448 – Reduce TANF benefits commensurate with recipients salary

Majority OTP

199 – noncitizen residents ineligible for federal Medicaid program get MaineCAre

945 – Removing asset limits for TANF eligibility

1040 – MaineCAre covers gender-affirming care

Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services

Coming up:

LD 590 – resolution for constitutional amendment to establish a right to health care – Work Session May 17 at 10:00

LD 902 – Repeal MaineCAre expansion – Work Session May 15, 1:00

Majority OTP LDs

935 – remove barriers to abortion coverage in private insurance – no deductible, co-pays,

1478 – fund family planning ($3.39MM/yr)

Housing – see separate document on LDs pertaining to housing

Housing Bills
Download DOCX • 17KB


Coming up- Work Session May 17 at 1:00

LD 535 – gender affirming medical care w/o parents consent age 16-18

LD 1735 – safeguard gender-affirming health care – makes Maine a sanctuary state for children to come and get gender affirming health care

Majority ONTP LD’s pertaining to abortion

494 – conform state funding to federal Hyde amendment

771 – protect right to withdraw consent for an abortion

1197 – prevent coerced abortions

1249 – prohibit prescribing abortion drugs through telehealth

1614 – require ultrasounds (note: Republican offered an amendment to require medical providers to OFFER an ultrasound – still killed)

1809 – prohibit health care w/o parental consent

Majority OTP LDs

1343 – state preempts field of abortion regulation

Labor and Housing

For bills pertaining to housing, see separate status report

LD’s Majority ONTP

245 – show up for scheduled interview or lose unemployment benefits

301 – exempt employers from providing paid leave for certain part time employees

571 – ease rules to allow 16 & 17 yo to enter the workforce

1636 – workers don’t have to pay union dues or fees if they don’t join the Union

LD’s Majority OTP

1376 – increase minimum wage ($15/hr, then $1 increase every year)

State and Local Government

LD’s Majority ONTP

514 – state auditor to report on taxpayer money funding nonprofits

521 – prevent political patronage by state legislators – can’t work for agency or nonprofit which receives state fund for 4 years

801 – require towns to obtain one housing unit for every 1,000 residents for persons experiencing homelessness

Taxation - For bills relating to property taxes, see separate status report

Housing Bills
Download DOCX • 17KB

Veterans and Legal Affairs

Public Hearings May 17, 9:00

LD 1578- prohibit enactment of national popular vote – (but LD 1578, to adopt interstate compact to elect president by popular vote not scheduled yet)

LD 1917 – Resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constitution to Implement ranked choice voting for governor, state senator and state representative.

LDs majority ONTP

34 – show ID to vote

237 – require voter to update registration every 4 years

694 – lower number of signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify

750 – allow candidate to state the office that they are seeking and the party at the polls – committee passed this bill but the House and Senate killed it

768 – Allow political parties to opt out of RCV for primary elections

769 – reduce enrollment requirement for minor political parties to qualify for status

770 – limits ballot harvesting to 2 per day per 3rd person

790 – require disclosure “paid by public funds” on communications from clean elections candidates

1032 – resolution for amendment that only citizens can vote in local elections

1038 – repeal ranked choice voting

1320 – allow unenrolled voters to sign petitions for party candidates

1365 – require photo ID to vote

1416 – resolution for amendment to increase the percentage of votes cast in last Governor election required to submit a state referendum question from 10% to 25%

1500 – video monitoring of ballot drop boxes and remove party designation from absentee ballot return envelopes

1698 – eliminate private donations to Maine Clean Election Fund – eliminates seed money and qualifying contributions

LDs Majority OTP (with amendments)

1653 – persons under guardianship for mental illness can vote

1690 – voter can get status as ongoing absentee voter, and thereafter automatically receive an absentee ballot for each ensuing election

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