August 19, 2020 •

Maine Senate To Vote on Ethics Nominees

Maine Capitol Building

The Maine Senate will convene on Monday, August 24, to vote on three nominees for the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Campaign Practice. Under the Legislature’s joint rules, the Senate may convene independently for confirmation votes. Two of the nominees […]

The Maine Senate will convene on Monday, August 24, to vote on three nominees for the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Campaign Practice.

Under the Legislature’s joint rules, the Senate may convene independently for confirmation votes.

Two of the nominees were nominated by Gov. Mills in February and the third was nominated by the state’s Republican caucus.

The Senate was unable to vote on the nominations during the regular legislative session due to COVID-19 concerns.

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July 15, 2020 •

Maine Legislative Leaders Seek to Reconvene in August

Maine Capitol Building

Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon sent out a poll to Legislature members proposing a special legislative session. If the majority of lawmakers agree to the special session the Legislature would reconvene in August at the Augusta […]

Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon sent out a poll to Legislature members proposing a special legislative session.

If the majority of lawmakers agree to the special session the Legislature would reconvene in August at the Augusta Civic Center, following state health and safety guidelines.

Legislative leaders seek to address issues relating to the budget, economy, public school readiness, healthcare, and any bills carried over from the regular session.

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April 15, 2020 •

Maine Governor Postpones Primary Until July

Maine Capitol Building

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 due to in-person voting, Gov. Janet Mills issued Executive Order 39. Executive Order 39 postpones the primary from June 9 to Tuesday, July 14. The order also allows applications for absentee ballots to be […]

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 due to in-person voting, Gov. Janet Mills issued Executive Order 39.

Executive Order 39 postpones the primary from June 9 to Tuesday, July 14.

The order also allows applications for absentee ballots to be made in writing or in person up to and including the day of the election without specifying a reason.

The new application process permits voters to obtain and return the absentee ballot before the polls close on July 14.

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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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