March 18, 2020 •

Maine Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Maine Capitol Building

The Maine Legislature adjourned sine die on March 17 due to concerns with COVID-19. Before adjournment, lawmakers were able to pass a supplemental budget with provisions in response to the coronavirus. During the shortened legislative session, lawmakers also passed Legislative […]

The Maine Legislature adjourned sine die on March 17 due to concerns with COVID-19.

Before adjournment, lawmakers were able to pass a supplemental budget with provisions in response to the coronavirus.

During the shortened legislative session, lawmakers also passed Legislative Document 1867.

Legislative Document 1867 amends lobbyist reporting requirements and an expands sexual harassment training.

A registered lobbyist is required to file monthly reports beginning the month they register through the lobbying year.

However, after the legislative session is concluded, if the lobbyist anticipates no further lobbying for a client, the lobbyist may file a request for a non-session waiver with their final monthly report for the session.

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March 17, 2020 •

Maine Legislature Announces Suspension of Legislative Session

Maine Capitol Building

Due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19, the Maine Legislature will suspend the legislative session on Tuesday, March 17. Lawmakers will meet to consider bills relating to the supplemental budget and legislation regarding coronavirus response before adjourning. Currently, the scheduled suspension […]

Due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19, the Maine Legislature will suspend the legislative session on Tuesday, March 17.

Lawmakers will meet to consider bills relating to the supplemental budget and legislation regarding coronavirus response before adjourning.

Currently, the scheduled suspension is indefinite and no timeframe to reconvene lawmakers has been announced.

Until March 30, the State House will only be open to legislators, staff, and members of the press.

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March 17, 2020 •

Maine Governor Signs Bill Clarifying Lobbyist Reporting Requirements

Maine Governor Janet Mills

On March 12, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document 1867 clarifying lobbyist reporting and registration requirements. The bill requires lobbyists to file a separate report for expenditures totaling over $300 in a calendar month. Expenditures include those made […]

On March 12, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document 1867 clarifying lobbyist reporting and registration requirements.

The bill requires lobbyists to file a separate report for expenditures totaling over $300 in a calendar month.

Expenditures include those made to or on behalf of covered officials by the lobbyist, lobbyist associate or lobbying firm without reimbursement from an employer.

Legislative Document 1867 also defines a lobbying firm as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company or unincorporated association that employs or contracts with more than one lobbyist or lobbyist associate.

Additionally, the firm receives or is entitled to receive compensation for engaging in lobbying either directly or through its employees.

The bill also expands the annual harassment training to include lobbyist associates.

Legislative Document 1867 is effective December 1, 2020.

 

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February 12, 2020 •

Maine Bill Expands Restrictions on Contributions from Lobbyists

Maine Capitol Building

Legislative Document 54, sponsored by Senator Justin Chenette, became law without Gov. Janet Mill’s signature. The bill extended the current law prohibiting the governor, members of the Legislature, constitutional officers, and their staff from soliciting and accepting contributions from a […]

Legislative Document 54, sponsored by Senator Justin Chenette, became law without Gov. Janet Mill’s signature.

The bill extended the current law prohibiting the governor, members of the Legislature, constitutional officers, and their staff from soliciting and accepting contributions from a lobbyist or lobbyist associate to all year-round.

Unless the lobbyist or lobbyist associate is eligible to vote on the day of the election in a district where the candidate will appear on the ballot, the lobbyist and lobbyist associate may not contribute to the governor or member of the Legislature when not in legislative session or to a gubernatorial or legislative candidate at any time during the year.

An intentional violation of the prohibition results in a civil penalty up to $1,000 for each violation and the return of the contribution in violation to the contributor.

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January 16, 2020 •

Ethics Commission Proposes Stricter Grassroots Lobbying Regulations

Maine Capitol Building

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation. The current threshold to trigger a report […]

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation.

The current threshold to trigger a report is $15,000, and even then only if the group first employs a traditional lobbyist.

The commission’s proposal is partly a response to the environmental organization Stop the Corridor, which ran advertisements last year opposing a proposed transmission line while lawmakers were considering bills pertaining to the project.

Ethics Commission proposals go to the state Legislature, which decides if it will craft them into legislation.

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November 5, 2019 •

Maine Harassment Prevention Training Times Available

Maine Capitol Building

The annual lobbyist harassment prevention training in Maine for 2020 is now available. December training will be held in State House Room 127 Taxation in Augusta. Training in January, February, and March will be held at the State House Complex. […]

The annual lobbyist harassment prevention training in Maine for 2020 is now available.

December training will be held in State House Room 127 Taxation in Augusta.

Training in January, February, and March will be held at the State House Complex.

The locations for the training will be emailed the week prior to the event.

Free registration is available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harassment-prevention-training-for-lobbyists-tickets-63813406617.

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August 27, 2019 •

Maine Adjourns Special Session After Passing $105 Million Transportation Bond

Maine Governor Janet Mills

Maine lawmakers voted to pass Gov. Janet Mills’ proposed $105 million bond to fund transportation efforts during the one-day special legislative session on Monday, August 26. The transportation bond to upgrade roads, bridges, ports, rail and air transportation, and to […]

Maine lawmakers voted to pass Gov. Janet Mills’ proposed $105 million bond to fund transportation efforts during the one-day special legislative session on Monday, August 26.

The transportation bond to upgrade roads, bridges, ports, rail and air transportation, and to repair culverts and restore a commercial fishing wharf will now head to the ballot for voters on November 5.

The three proposed bonds for land conservation projects; infrastructure and economic development; and environment and energy projects all failed to reach the two-thirds vote needed to pass.

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August 26, 2019 •

Mills Hopes to See Four Bond Bills Passed in Maine Special Session

Maine Capitol Building

Maine Gov. Janet Mills issued a proclamation calling for a special legislative session to be held on Monday, August 26. The session will be used to consider bond proposals in transportation; infrastructure and economic development; environmental protection; and land conservation […]

Maine Gov. Janet Mills issued a proclamation calling for a special legislative session to be held on Monday, August 26.

The session will be used to consider bond proposals in transportation; infrastructure and economic development; environmental protection; and land conservation totaling $163 million.

The transportation proposal provides $105 million to upgrade roads, bridges, ports, rail and air transportation, and to repair culverts and restore a commercial fishing wharf.

The infrastructure and economic development proposal provides $23 million to be divided among education centers, the National Guard, and high-speed internet access in rural Maine.

The environmental protection proposal provides $15 million to be divided among the Department of Environmental Protection, the improvement of municipal wastewater infrastructures, and the Heating Fuels Efficiency and Weatherization Fund to provide low-interest loans for energy efficiency projects, including heat pumps for residential homeowners.

The land conservation proposal provides $20 million for the Land for Maine’s Future program to be dispersed over two years to preserve farmland, working waterfronts, and other natural resources.

Proposals passed during the special session will appear on the ballot on November 5.

Bonds need a two-thirds vote in each chamber to pass.

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August 20, 2019 •

Maine Gov. Mills Calls Special Session

Maine Governor Janet Mills

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has called a special session to begin on Monday, August 26. Mills hopes the Legislature will pass four bond bills totaling $163 million to raise funds for a variety of infrastructure projects. The Legislature rejected a […]

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has called a special session to begin on Monday, August 26.

Mills hopes the Legislature will pass four bond bills totaling $163 million to raise funds for a variety of infrastructure projects.

The Legislature rejected a more ambitious bond proposal backed by Mills before its June adjournment.

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July 22, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – July 22, 2019

Four more states making campaign finance and lobbying changes. Check out which states are passing legislation in this week’s NYCU Video Digest!

Four more states making campaign finance and lobbying changes. Check out which states are passing legislation in this week’s NYCU Video Digest!

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July 9, 2019 •

Maine Gov. Holds Bill Banning Lobbyist Contributions Year-Round

Maine Governor Janet Mills

Gov. Janet Mills announced her plan to hold, until next legislative session, a lobbying bill that would limit the influence of lobbyists by expanding the prohibition on accepting political contributions. Current law prohibits a lobbyist, lobbyist associate or employer from […]

Gov. Janet Mills announced her plan to hold, until next legislative session, a lobbying bill that would limit the influence of lobbyists by expanding the prohibition on accepting political contributions.

Current law prohibits a lobbyist, lobbyist associate or employer from contributing to the governor, members of the Legislature, constitutional officers, or their staff or agents while the Legislature is convened in session.

Legislative Document 54 would extend the application of that prohibition year-round, regardless of whether the Legislature is in session.

Gov. Mills will review the bill at the start of the 2020 legislative session. 

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June 24, 2019 •

Maine Passes Clean Election Act, Adjourns

Maine Capitol Building

The 129th Legislature adjourned sine die just after 6:45 a.m. on June 20 after six months in session. During the session, Gov. Janet Mills signed amendments to the Maine Clean Election Act, clarifying disclosure requirements for political communications. Legislative Document […]

The 129th Legislature adjourned sine die just after 6:45 a.m. on June 20 after six months in session.

During the session, Gov. Janet Mills signed amendments to the Maine Clean Election Act, clarifying disclosure requirements for political communications.

Legislative Document 1721 provides automated, pre-recorded telephone calls and scripted live telephone communications that name a clearly identified candidate must clearly state the name of the person who made or financed the expenditure for the communication and whether the communication was authorized by a candidate.

Disclosure must be made during the 28 days, including election day, before a primary election or the 35 days, including election day, before a special election or between Labor Day and the date of a general election.

The bill further provides whenever a person makes an expenditure exceeding $500 expressly advocating through prerecorded automated telephone calls or scripted live telephone calls for or against an initiative or referendum appearing on a ballot, the telephone calls must clearly state only the name of the person who made or financed the expenditure for the communication.

The amendments will take effect on September 19, 2019.

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May 6, 2019 •

Maine Passes Lobbying, Campaign Finance Bills

Maine Capitol Building

Gov. Janet Mills recently signed two lobbying bills and one campaign finance bill into law. Legislative Document 76 bans future lawmakers from any paid lobbying within their first year out of office beginning with the 130th Legislature. Legislative Document 825 […]

Gov. Janet Mills recently signed two lobbying bills and one campaign finance bill into law.

Legislative Document 76 bans future lawmakers from any paid lobbying within their first year out of office beginning with the 130th Legislature.

Legislative Document 825 expands the scope of harassment prevention training required for legislators, legislative staff, and lobbyists to include racial harassment.

The bill will take effect 90 days after adjournment of the legislative session.

Legislative Document 780 reduces from $850 to $500 the maximum allowable contribution individuals, corporations, PACs, and labor unions may make to candidates for municipal office.

The bill will take effect on January 1, 2020.

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April 4, 2019 •

Maine Sets Special Election to Fill House District 45

A special election will take place on June 11 to fill a vacancy in House District 45. Rep. Dale Denno, who was re-elected for a second term in November, has resigned for health reasons. The elected candidate will serve the […]

A special election will take place on June 11 to fill a vacancy in House District 45.

Rep. Dale Denno, who was re-elected for a second term in November, has resigned for health reasons.

The elected candidate will serve the remainder of Denno’s term, which would have ended in December 2020.

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