This legislative session has been a whirlwind, and if you've gotten lost in all the details, we don't blame you. That's why we'll email you a post-session report that recaps our most vital bills (so far) in the 131st Legislature. Keep your 👀 eyes open for this report.
Want to know how democracy-friendly your legislators are? We'll also publish our 2023 Legislative Scorecard in August. The scorecard ranks your legislators on how they voted on our priority bills. Want to receive a copy to your mailbox? Let's make sure that you're on our mailing list — email Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org today to confirm.
Here are your weekly updates 👇
Here is what still remains before the Legislature can conclude:
- There is still a handful of bills awaiting legislative action.
- Bills that have been awaiting final enactment on the special appropriations table (bills that require funding) were either voted off the table last week or still remain there. Bills that were voted off the table without change will go to a Senate vote for final disposition. Those that were modified during this process will have to be voted on again in both chambers. Bills stuck in limbo (not voted off the table) when the session ends will be carried over into 2024.
- The Governor has been processing the bills: she has 10 days from when bills are enacted to sign or veto them, or they become law without her signature. Signed bills are posted on the Governor's website here.
- "Veto Day" is on the horizon but hasn't been scheduled yet. On this day legislators can try to override any last-minute vetoes and take care of final business.
On the Governor's Desk:
It's passed in the House and Senate and awaits the Governor's action. The Governor may choose to sign the bills into law, allow them to be enacted without her signature, or veto them.
- LD 1610 — Protect Maine's Elections: This bill will stop foreign government spending in Maine elections. We support this one and hope it becomes law. The deadline for gubernatorial action is tomorrow, July 18.
Awaiting Final Action in the Senate:
These bills have been placed on the special appropriations table because they require funding. The bills have passed in the House and Senate, and enactment is pending. It's possible for bills to die on the table, but we remain hopeful that these bills might get their funding.
- LD 577 — Improving Local Election Information: This bill would provide state support through the office of the Secretary of State for towns to disseminate local election information online. We support it, but it did not survive the special appropriations process. It awaits a final vote in the Senate. But there's good news: any bills not voted off the table will carry over into 2024. We'll push for funding then.
- LD 1155 — Increasing Legislative Salaries: It's exciting that this bill survived the special appropriations table. It'll increase the overall pay for legislators, and as we wrote in our State of Democracy report, this is a matter of equity, diversity, and opportunity: "Legislative service pays poorly; many younger people in their critical earning years cannot afford to serve without putting a drag on their current or future financial security—unless they have independent resources or a high-earning spouse/partner. It’s hard for young people to serve. It’s harder for women: The wealth gap between men and women and the high cost of a political career make it harder for women to pursue a political career, as does the extra burden of child care. The barriers are even higher for women of color."