State leaders can continue to hire immediate family members for state government jobs.

The Maine House rejected Tuesday, May 17 a bill that would have prohibited the governor, legislature, and constitutional officers such as the secretary of state from hiring immediate family members. The Senate followed suit on Wednesday, May 18.

The bill, LD 840, defined family members as children, parents, in-laws, spouses or domestic partners.

The House voted 85-63 to kill the bill. A majority of the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee had opposed the bill.

Voting to kill the bill were Midcoast Republican Reps. Dana Dow of Waldoboro, Wes Richardson of Warren, Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea, and Jonathan McKane of Newcastle.

Supporting the bill were Democratic Reps. Edward Mazurek of Rockland, Chuck Kruger of Thomaston, Joan Welsh of Rockport, Andrew O’Brien of Lincolnville, and Walter Kumiega III of Deer Isle.

Mazurek said he heard from a number of constituents who asked how the governor could have hired his daughter for a job that paid $41,000 when she had no experience.

Kruger said voting for the bill allowed him to give voice to many dozens of people who took the time to express to him in many hundreds of emails, phone calls, and shouts across the parking lot at Hannaford, the anger and frustration at the “antics of this governor.”

Welsh said in her 30 years of nonprofit leadership, every personnel policy for her organizations included policies against hiring and supervising immediate family members.

“It’s common practice in organizations and large businesses and should be a policy in our government,” Welsh said.

Kumiega said it was pretty much a common sense thing.

“We have many laws against nepotism on the books. I see no reason to exempt a few officials from them,” said Kumiega, who represents Vinalhaven and North Haven.

The Senate voted 22-13 on May 18 to also kill the bill. All three Midcoast Republican state senators — Sens. Christopher Rector of Thomaston, A. David Trahan of Waldoboro, and Michael Thibodeau of Winterport — voted to kill the legislation.