The House reversed course June 1 and agreed to support a bill that would prohibit seasonal entertainment venues from being required to have sprinkler systems.

This followed a Senate vote in support of LD 123 titled “An act to assist seasonal entertainment facilities with public safety requirements.”

The bill prohibits the requirement of sprinkler systems in commercial places of assembly that open for no more than 50 days per calendar year. Commercial places of assembly include bars with live entertainment, dance halls, nightclubs, assembly halls with festival seating and restaurants.

A majority of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee had recommended approval of the bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville.

The House initially voted May 23 to reject the bill 75-67. The Senate then voted 19-16 on May 26 to approve the bill.

All Midcoast Republican state senators — Sens. Christopher Rector of Thomaston, A. David Trahan of Waldoboro, Michael Thibodeau of Winterport, as well as Kennebec County Sens.Thomas Martin, Roger Katz and Earle McCormick  — voted for the bill.

On June 1, the House agreed to recede and concur with the Senate on a 74-69 vote.

On the June 1 vote, local House members were divided along party lines with Republicans backing the legislation and Democrats opposed. Voting for the bill were Reps. Wes Richardson of Warren, Dana Dow of Waldoboro and Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea. In addition, Rep. Patrick Flood, R-Winthrop and Rep. Karen Foster, R-Augusta also voted in favor of the bill. Voting against LD 123 were Reps. Edward Mazurek of Rockland, Chuck Kruger of Thomaston, Joan Welsh of Rockport, and Walter Kumiega III of Deer Isle. Democratic Augusta Reps. Anna Blodgett and Maeghan Maloney also voted against the bill. Rep. Andrew O’Brien was absent from the June 1 House vote.

Rep. Dow was the only local House member to change his vote from the May 23 vote to the June 1 vote. Dow originally voted against the bill.