Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House

by Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact

Pierce Atwood LLP

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

Candidates for Governor Square Off in Primary Debates
Lively broadcast debates for the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor took place over the past two weeks. On April 4, the four Republican candidates spent an hour debating issues ranging from Medicaid expansion to abortion. The Republican primary candidates are: Ken Fredette, Garrett Mason, Mary Mayhew, and Shawn Moody. On April 10, the Democratic candidates took their turn, introducing themselves and describing their political and leadership experiences as they, too, addressed a myriad of pertinent issues. The Democratic primary candidates are: Adam Cote, Donna Dion, Mark Dion, Mark Eves, Janet Mills, Diane Russell, and Betsy Sweet. In both debates, time was limited as candidates sought to distinguish themselves in a crowded field. Meanwhile, lawmakers, candidates, and the public at large, are waiting to see whether or not Maine’s primary elections will be ranked choice.

Ranked-Choice Voting Saga Continues Before Maine’s Highest Court
The fight over ranked-choice voting in Maine continues to ramp up ahead of the June primary. Shortly after Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap informed the legislature that he had discovered a potential legal conflict regarding ranked-choice voting within Maine statute, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy issued an order that ranked-choice voting should be implemented in time for the June primary. While the ruling is a victory for supporters of ranked-choice voting, which was passed by the voters almost two years ago, the fight is not yet over. The Maine Senate voted last week, largely along party lines, to allow Senate President Michael Thibodeau to seek a judicial opinion to address the Senate’s legal concerns with the ranked-choice voting process. In her response, Justice Murphy recommended that the case go to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for expedited review. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court held oral arguments Thursday afternoon and is expected to issue a decision soon.

Appropriations Committee Votes to Advance Bill to Partially Fund Medicaid Expansion
On Wednesday, April 9, Democratic lawmakers submitted a bill that would provide partial funding of Medicaid expansion. While the bill would not cover the entire cost of Medicaid expansion, which is estimated by legislative staff at between $50 and $60 million annually, it would provide $10.4 million for two purposes. First, the bill would add 103 new positions to the Department of Health and Human Services to help process enrollees and administer the program. The bill also proposes to fund technology updates and testing for the Maine Integrated Health Management System, which pays MaineCare claims. While the bill will cover only a portion of the costs of Medicaid expansion, supporters believe it is a necessary first step. However, it still faces votes in the House and Senate and a potential governor’s veto.

Recreational Marijuana Poised to Be Implemented
Since November 2016, lawmakers have been debating the future of recreational marijuana in Maine. That’s when voters approved, by a narrow margin, a law to legalize recreational sales and use of marijuana in the state. The backlash was quick, and many municipalities have already passed laws banning recreational marijuana sales in their communities. When it came time to craft the legislation necessary to improve the citizen-initiated law and establish a regulatory system, the divide became even clearer. Over the course of the last year and a half, members of the Legislature serving on the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation have been working hard to craft a bill that would garner approval from the Legislature and be able to clear a gubernatorial veto. This week, the House and Senate voted to approve, by a wide margin, a bill that would implement the recreational sales law. Early voting indicates that the Legislature has enough support to override a potential Governor’s veto.

Statutory Adjournment Looms
The statutory adjournment date for the Second Regular Session is Wednesday, April 18, but the Legislature can vote to extend the session twice, by five legislative days each time. Rumors abound at the State House about when the Legislature will actually conclude their work sine die, but no one knows for sure. Leadership has to plan for the high likelihood of gubernatorial vetoes on bills recently or soon to be enacted. The Governor has ten days to act on legislation. Any adjournment plan, therefore, will have to account for the need for the Legislature to return after a ten-day recess in order to address outstanding vetoes. This scenario suggests that meeting the statutory adjournment date of April 18 is already out of reach.

Big Issues Remain
By now, most committees have concluded their work, though the Education Committee was still meeting on proficiency-based graduation requirements today. Other remaining issues include: tax conformity, which would bring portions of Maine’s tax law into alignment with the recently enacted federal tax law; a student debt reduction bill that would simplify and broaden Maine’s current Education Opportunity Tax Credit program; and a partial funding bill for Medicaid expansion, which faces a likely gubernatorial veto.

State offices are closed on Monday, April 16 for the Patriot’s Day holiday, so the Legislature will not be meeting.

Spotted Under the Dome!

Poland Springs at Maine State HouseAt the Maine State Chamber of Commerce Business Day at the State House, were Mark Laplante, Natural Resources Supervisor, Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager, and Pete DePasquale, Director of Government Affairs of Nestle Waters North America/Poland Spring.

 

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.
Custom Email Digest
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.