Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

by Pierce Atwood LLP

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House.

Still No Budget as Statutory Adjournment Date Nears

As the legislative session ticks toward the statutory adjournment date of June 17, lawmakers still have not been presented a budget from the Appropriations Committee. Members of the budget writing panel continue to work behind closed doors and, as of Thursday afternoon, no public session had been announced. Negotiations over competing tax reform plans appear to be the sticking point. Competing plans have been pitched by the Governor, Democrat Leadership and some Republican members of the Appropriations Committee. Each proposal seeks to lower the tax burden on Mainers, but there are wide variations on how to achieve a lower tax burden among the plans.  The current budget expires on June 30.

Passamaquoddy, Penobscot Tribes Withdraw from Maine Legislature

On Tuesday the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes announced they were withdrawing their delegates to the Maine Legislature citing growing concerns about their perception of state government’s lack of respect for tribal sovereignty.  Issues over tribal fishing rights, judicial jurisdiction, and environmental standards have been points of contention between the tribes and state government in recent years. The Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians are each allotted one seat in the House of Representatives. Those representatives may present bills and sit on policy committees, but may not vote. Both tribes said they would look internally for guidance about the future of tribal-state relations.

Jobless Rate Hits 8 Year Low

The Department of Labor released unemployment figures for April this week. The latest statistics show Maine’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in April, the lowest level in nearly eight years. Cumberland County had the lowest unemployment rate in April at 3.7 percent.  Washington County had the highest rate of unemployment at 8.0 percent.

Governor Proposes Public Defender’s Office to Supplement

The Judiciary Committee has received a proposal from the Governor to create a public defender system in Maine to augment the existing process of contracting with private attorneys to provide indigent persons representation in criminal matters.  Maine has long relied on paying individual lawyers on a case-by-case basis.  The Judiciary Committee is requesting to carry over this bill until the second session to allow the necessary time to work on the bill.

Hearing on Timber Harvest Bill that is Holding Up Conservation Bonds

Wednesday the Energy, Utilities and Technology committee heard testimony on Governor LePage’s timber harvest bill. The emergency measure would increase timber harvesting on state owned land and the fees would help pay for home heating programs for those with economic needs.  The governor has vowed to withhold approximately $11.4 million in voter approved bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future program unless the Legislature enacts his timber harvest legislation. The bonds would fund 30 conservation projects around the state that were overwhelmingly approved by Maine voters and vetted by Lands for Maine’s Future, the independent state agency that funds the acquisition of land for preservation. 

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

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.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

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.


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.