July 9, 2019 •

Maine Gov. Signs Bill Limiting Lobbyist Contributions

Maine Governor Janet Mills

Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation on July 3 to 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, […]

Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation on July 3 to 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 extends application of that prohibition year-round, regardless of whether the Legislature is in session.

The bill will take effect on September 19, 2019.

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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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March 4, 2019 •

Maine Bill to Reduce Municipal Candidate Contributions Advances

The Maine Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted 8-1 in support of Sen. Ben Chipman’s proposal to reduce from $850 to $500 the maximum contribution to candidates seeking municipal office. Legislative Document 780 faces additional votes in the House […]

The Maine Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted 8-1 in support of Sen. Ben Chipman’s proposal to reduce from $850 to $500 the maximum contribution to candidates seeking municipal office.

Legislative Document 780 faces additional votes in the House and Senate.

If enacted, the bill would take effect January 1, 2020.

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February 21, 2019 •

Maine Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Political Advocacy in Public Schools

Rep. Larry Lockman introduced a bill in the Legislature that aims to prohibit public school teachers in the state from engaging in political advocacy in the classroom. The proposed legislation establishes a code of ethics for professional conduct that prohibits […]

Rep. Larry Lockman introduced a bill in the Legislature that aims to prohibit public school teachers in the state from engaging in political advocacy in the classroom.

The proposed legislation establishes a code of ethics for professional conduct that prohibits teachers from acting in their role as publicly employed educators to endorse or oppose elected officials and candidates and from introducing any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course.

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February 11, 2019 •

Maine Announces Special Election to fill House Seat

A special election will take place on April 2 to fill a vacancy in House District 52. Rep. Jennifer DeChant vacated the office to work at telecommunications and media company Charter Communications. DeChant had served in House District 52 since […]

A special election will take place on April 2 to fill a vacancy in House District 52.

Rep. Jennifer DeChant vacated the office to work at telecommunications and media company Charter Communications.

DeChant had served in House District 52 since 2012.

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January 8, 2019 •

Special Election for House District 124 Announced

Gov. Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matthew Dunlap announced a special election to be held on March 12 for House District 124. Rep. Aaron Frey vacated the office to serve as attorney general. House District 124 includes portions of […]

Gov. Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matthew Dunlap announced a special election to be held on March 12 for House District 124.

Rep. Aaron Frey vacated the office to serve as attorney general.

House District 124 includes portions of Bangor and Orono.

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November 9, 2018 •

Democrat Janet Mills Becomes Maine’s First Woman Governor

Maine has elected state Attorney General Janet Mills as governor, making her the first woman to hold the state’s highest office. Mills is taking over for Republican Paul LePage, who is known for being combative. In addition to making racist […]

Maine has elected state Attorney General Janet Mills as governor, making her the first woman to hold the state’s highest office. Mills is taking over for Republican Paul LePage, who is known for being combative.

In addition to making racist remarks, he led efforts to block Medicaid expansion in Maine, even after voters approved the move in a ballot initiative. In fact, LaPage sued Mills after she refused to represent him in several federal cases.

Mills, who was the first woman elected as a district attorney in New England, was also the first female attorney general of Maine.

Her main priorities for the state include increasing access to Medicaid by funding the efforts with the $35 million she secured from a tobacco settlement, providing broadband access in rural areas and addressing the opioid crisis.

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September 14, 2018 •

Maine Special Session Adjourns

The Maine Legislature adjourned without day on September 13, 2018. The special session, called to finish business from the regular session regarding Medicaid expansion and minimum wage increases, began on June 19. During the final day, Gov. Paul LePage threatened […]

The Maine Legislature adjourned without day on September 13, 2018.

The special session, called to finish business from the regular session regarding Medicaid expansion and minimum wage increases, began on June 19.

During the final day, Gov. Paul LePage threatened to call the Legislature into another special session if they did not pass a bill aimed at protecting elderly Mainers from foreclosure.

In turn, legislators passed a version of the bill on Thursday evening.

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August 20, 2018 •

Maine State Representative Resigns

Rep. Dillon Bates resigned today after being accused of manipulating students into sexual relationships while he was a teacher. After learning of the investigation by the Portland Police Department, Speaker Sara Gideon called for his immediate resignation. Bates denies the […]

Rep. Dillon Bates resigned today after being accused of manipulating students into sexual relationships while he was a teacher.

After learning of the investigation by the Portland Police Department, Speaker Sara Gideon called for his immediate resignation.

Bates denies the allegations and said he resigned because there are few hours of work left as a legislator this year, and he wants to spend this time clearing his name.

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August 6, 2018 •

Maine Lobbyists Required to Have Harassment Training

Due to the passage of Legislative Document 1842, lobbyists will be required to complete an in-person harassment training. The training must be taken at the beginning of every regular session. Additionally, lobbyists must include the date the training was completed […]

Due to the passage of Legislative Document 1842, lobbyists will be required to complete an in-person harassment training.

The training must be taken at the beginning of every regular session.

Additionally, lobbyists must include the date the training was completed on their lobbyist registration form.

The bill will become effective at the adjournment of the special session.

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June 28, 2018 •

Maine to Introduce Separate Campaign Finance Reporting System

The Maine Ethics Commission will be rolling out a new campaign finance reporting system for candidates, party committees, political action committees, and ballot question committees. The lobbyist reporting system will remain the same. However, for those individuals who use the […]

The Maine Ethics Commission will be rolling out a new campaign finance reporting system for candidates, party committees, political action committees, and ballot question committees.

The lobbyist reporting system will remain the same. However, for those individuals who use the same login credentials to access both the campaign finance system and lobbyist system, the login will remain the same, but the reporting systems will be separate.

As a result of the upgrade, both the lobbyist reporting system and campaign finance system will be inaccessible starting at 6:00 p.m. June 28 until the morning of July 2.

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June 19, 2018 •

Special Session Called for Maine

The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the Maine Legislature called a special session for June 19 and expected to last multiple days. Legislators want to finish business from the regular session regarding Medicaid expansion and […]

The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the Maine Legislature called a special session for June 19 and expected to last multiple days.

Legislators want to finish business from the regular session regarding Medicaid expansion and minimum wage increases.

Lobbyists who have filed non-session waivers and plan on lobbying during the special session must file a monthly activity report, next due on July 15, 2018.

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