Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House 8-2-13

by Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact

Augusta, ME

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House is a regular 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

Bond Package on November Ballot Unlikely

Throughout the year, various predictions have been made regarding the potential for a new bond package to be sent to Maine voters. Initially, there was some indication that the Legislature would approve a bond package during the First Regular Session. As the session began to wind down, there was a sense that the Appropriations Committee would meet over the summer and early fall to assemble a bond package and that package would be approved during a special legislative session this year. Now, the conversation has changed again. It appears that there is not sufficient support for a special legislative session this fall, meaning a bond package cannot be approved and sent to the voters until June of 2014 at the earliest.

Just as the timing of a bond package is a bit uncertain, so too are the contents of a bond package. During initial discussions regarding a bond proposal, the Governor and both sides of the aisle in the Legislature seemed to agree on bonding for transportation projects. The devil, however, is always in the details, as there is some disagreement as to the size of the package, the type of projects that should be funded, and whether or not borrowing should be used to fund projects that are not transportation-related. More details are likely to emerge this month, as the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet on August 13th.

Early Cloture Date Set Going into Second Regular Session of 126th Legislature

On July 25th, the ten members of legislative leadership met to, among other things, determine the deadline for submitting requests for new legislation to be considered during the 126th Legislature’s Second Regular Session, which will convene on January 8, 2014. This deadline for the submission of legislation is called “cloture.” Legislative leaders established a very early cloture date this year – Friday, September 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM.

Those interested in having legislation submitted on their behalf for consideration during next year’s legislative session have a short window to get their proposals in order. Before this deadline, a legislator must be identified to sponsor the proposed legislation and sufficient information that enables the Revisor of Statutes to draft the bill must be submitted to the Revisor’s Office. Given 2014 is a “short session,” a proposal submitted before cloture must then be approved by six of the ten members of legislative leadership before the bill can be introduced next year. Bills approved through this process, along with carry over legislation, agency bills and Governor’s bills, will constitute the Legislature’s work for next year’s session.

Governor’s Office of Policy and Management Begins the Process of Trimming State Spending

Part F of the State’s biennial budget grants the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management a great degree of power in order to find over $33 million in savings during the current biennium and to identify up to 100 State positions for possible elimination. Under Part F, this Office is charged with finding $11.25 million in savings during the current fiscal year to be achieved administratively (that is, through powers already granted to the Executive Branch and not through changes in law). Additionally, the Office is charged with finding $22.5 million in savings during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014. This second round of savings can be the result of changes in State law. The Office is tasked with reporting its savings recommendations and the list of position eliminations to the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee by the end of September 2013. From there, the Legislature must either act to adopt equivalent savings or the Governor is given the authority to achieve these savings through his curtailment powers. Some in the media have called this Maine’s own version of “sequestration.” In any event, this process is moving quickly, as the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management has fewer than two months to produce its report.

Candidates for Senate Special Election Selected

Upon adjournment of the First Regular Session, Senator Seth Goodall (Democrat) resigned his Senate seat due to his appointment as Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration. A special election will be held on August 27th to fill the vacant Senate District 19 seat (Sagadahoc County and the Town of Dresden in Lincoln County). Since the Secretary of State announced the election date, parties have caucused to select their candidate for this seat. Those on the ballot are Democrat Eloise Vitelli, Republican Paula Benoit and Green-Independent Daniel Stromgren.

Both Democrats and Republicans view this as an important election and hope to use a victory in this election as an indicator that momentum favors them heading into the 2014 election year. Regardless of the outcome of this race, Democrats will still hold a majority in the Senate. If party control of this seat changes hands, however, Democrats will maintain the Senate majority by one vote.

Maine Republican Party Elects New Leadership

On July 20th, former President of the Maine Senate Rick Bennett was elected as Chair of the Maine Republican Party and former state Representative Susan Morissette was elected Vice-Chair of the Party. They were selected to fill vacancies in Party leadership following the resignation of the former Chair and Vice-Chair. Many in the media have opined that the first task for the newly elected Party leaders is to unify the various factions within the Maine Republican Party that have been at odds with each other since the 2012 Maine Republican Convention.

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.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!