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.
Governor’s Veto of Tanning Bill Sustained by Senate
Governor LePage’s second veto of the 126th Legislature was sustained this week in the Senate. Last week, the Governor vetoed LD 272, An Act to Reduce Youth Cancer Risk. This bill would have prohibited individuals under the age of 18 from using tanning facilities. Support for this bill was divided along party lines when it proceeded through the Legislature. The Governor vetoed the bill and on April 9th the Senate voted to sustain this veto on a party line vote, killing this bill.
Gun Control Proposals Heard in Committee
This week, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a series of hearings on over twenty separate proposals to either regulate guns or modify Maine’s concealed weapons permit program. One of these bills, LD 265, was of particular interest to the business community. This bill, An Act to Repeal the Restriction on Employers Regarding Firearms Kept in an Employee’s Vehicle, would repeal a law enacted during the last Legislature. Under this new law 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 companies. At this week’s hearing, the bill to repeal this recently enacted law was supported by a number of employers and trade associations representing businesses in Maine. A work session on this bill has not yet been scheduled.
Next Week a Light Week in Augusta
Next week, the House and the Senate are not scheduled to be in session. Legislative Committees, however, are authorized to meet. Some Committees will not meet at all next week, while others will meet multiple days. Much of next week’s meeting schedule depends on where Committees are with their workload. Legislative leaders have instructed Committees to vote on all of their bills by Friday, May 17th. At this point in the session, over 1400 bills have been referred to sixteen standing committees and one joint select committee.