Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House 6-7-13

by Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House is a weekly update that provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. If you would like more specific information regarding an item in this newsletter or related to government relations, please contact a member of our Government Relations Practice Group: John Delahanty, Andrea C. Maker or Avery Day.

This Week's Highlights

 

Governor LePage Veto Streak Continues

This week, the Legislature considered and sustained three of Governor LePage’s vetoes. On June 3rd, the House considered the Governor’s veto of LD 1201, a bill related to abusive work environments. This was voted in the House, where there was not the necessary two-thirds support for an override of the Governor’s veto, killing this bill. On June 6th, the Senate considered the Governor’s veto of LD 1366, a bill related to CPR instruction in schools. The House had earlier voted to override the Governor’s veto, but there were not sufficient votes for an override in the Senate, killing this bill. The next veto was also considered on June 6th in the Senate. This was a veto of LD 1025, a bill related to the Governor’s oversight of pay for certain employees of the Attorney General. Again, the Senate failed to muster the two-thirds vote necessary to override the Governor’s veto. Thus far in the 126th Legislature, none of the Governor’s vetoes have been overridden.

Governor LePage and Maine International Trade Center Announce Next Trade Mission

On May 31st, Governor LePage and the Maine International Trade Center announced that they would lead a trade mission in the fall of this year to Mexico and Columbia. This trade mission is open to Maine companies interested in attending the trip and establishing trade ties in this area. Maine Governors have traditionally partnered with the Maine International Trade Center to lead these delegations. Companies interested in participating can visit www.mitc.com.

Senator Goodall Appointed to Small Business Administration’s Regional Spot, Resigning from Senate

This week, it was announced that Senator Goodall will be appointed to be the Small Business Administration’s New England Regional Administrator. This position has been a political stepping stone in the past, with people such as U.S. Senator Susan Collins serving in this role. In light of his new position, Senator Goodall announced that he will be resigning his Senate seat at the end of the current legislative session. His resignation will trigger a special election to fill his Senate seat. Senator Goodall also serves as the Senate Majority Leader, meaning his resignation will also require Senate Democrats to elect a new Majority Leader. A special election will not be scheduled until Senator Goodall officially submits his resignation.

Legislative Redistricting Plan Sent to the Governor’s Desk

After every census, State House and Senate districts must be reapportioned in order to maintain roughly equivalent populations in each district. During this legislative session, Democratic and Republican members of a special apportionment commission met to hammer out new House and Senate districts. The commission unanimously agreed on the districts and their agreement, in the form of LD 1557, proceeded through the Legislature this week. This redistricting plan was enacted within two days of being introduced and it is now on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his review of this plan. This partisan process, which is of vital interest to those seeking elective office, does not always go as smoothly as it did this year and previous redistricting plans have ended up in court as a result.

Eliot Cutler a Candidate for Governor

This week, Eliot Cutler made an announcement that he is running for Governor in 2014. He explained that the formal announcement would come after Labor Day but acknowledged that he is a candidate. This announcement was not a surprise, as Cutler, a gubernatorial candidate in 2010, filed paperwork with the State’s Ethics and Elections Commission earlier this year to establish an exploratory committee. With Cutler in the race, this will almost certainly be a three-way (or more) contest.

Tax Reform Effort Killed in Committee

Late in the session, the bi-partisan “Gang of 11” unveiled a major tax reform effort that would touch on virtually every aspect of Maine’s tax code. This proposal was advanced in bill form as LD 1496, An Act to Modernize and Simplify the Tax Code. This bill has been considered in the Taxation Committee over the past few weeks, being modified in the process. The Taxation Committee held its final work session on this bill on May 5th. Ultimately, the Committee voted unanimously to report this bill out as “ought not to pass,” killing this bill. The tax reform discussion is almost certain to continue, as this is an issue regularly considered by the Legislature.

Repeal of Law Limiting Employer’s Right to Oversee Firearms at the Workplace Dies

On June 6th, the House voted to reject LD 265, An Act to Repeal the Restriction on Employers Regarding Firearms Kept in an Employee’s Vehicle. This vote followed the Senate’s vote to reject this bill last week, meaning this bill is now officially dead. LD 265 would have repealed a law enacted during the last Legislature that provides that an employer may not prohibit an employee with a concealed weapons permit from keeping a firearm in their locked vehicle while at work. The original law was passed over the strong opposition of a number of Maine employers, with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce as the lead opponent.

Appropriations Committee Comes to a Unanimous Agreement on Budget

At around 5:30 a.m. on June 7th, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee announced that it had come to a unanimous agreement on the $6.3 billion biennial budget for the State. The Committee has put in numerous long days and has worked late into the night throughout this week. In order to close the State’s budget gap, the Committee agreed to a .5 percent increase to the sales tax for two years and a 1 percent increase to the meals and lodging tax for two years. There are a number of elements to this agreement in addition to these tax increases, including partial restoration of revenue sharing and the adoption of a plan proposed by the Governor to change how teacher retirement is funded. The budget bill will be finalized in Committee and then proceed to the floors of the House and the Senate. It is unclear at this point what type of support this bill will receive in the House and Senate and from the Governor, but this remains must-pass legislation in order to keep the State funded and operating.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pierce Atwood LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact
more
less

Pierce Atwood LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.