Local legislators file wide range of proposed laws

By Stephen Betts | Jan 14, 2019

Augusta — Midcoast legislators have filed a wide range of legislation covering issues from health care and gun background checks to getting rid of annual motor vehicle inspections.

Many of the bills are in concept only, with the wording to be worked out after legislators consult with staff who help write and review the legislation. In addition, many legislators also combine their proposals with ones submitted by other legislators, which will reduce the total number of bills to be considered.

The full list of titles of proposed legislation is listed here. Once the bills are printed, hearings will be scheduled before the appropriate committees.

State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, has submitted 50 proposed bills, but stressed that some are similar to ones submitted by other legislators and he will likely become a cosponsor on their bills.

Newly elected state Rep. William Pluecker, an independent from Warren, has submitted 12 pieces of proposed legislation.

Rep.Pinny Beebe-Center, D-Rockland, has submitted 11 bills.

Rep. Jeffrey Evagenlos, an independent from Friendship, has submitted 12 bills.

State Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, has submitted seven bills.

New Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, has offered three pieces of legislation,

Another new legislator, Rep. Ann Matlack, D-St. George, has submitted two bills.

And first-term Rep. Genevieve McDonald, D-Stonington, whose district includes Vinalhaven and North Haven, has submitted four bills.

Miramant has submitted draft legislation to expand Medicaid, but acknowledged that this is being done already by new Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. Miramant has also submitted bills to increase revenue-sharing to municipalities and to have state education aid increase to 55 percent, as enacted by voters many years ago.

He has also submitted a bill to allow regional service centers such as Rockland to impose a 1 percent sales tax in addition to the state's sales tax.

The Democratic state senator is also proposing a bill to eliminate the state's motor vehicle inspection program for individual vehicles. Commercial vehicles, including school buses, would still be required to be inspected.

Another Miramant bill would require background checks for private firearm sales. Another would allow judges to restrict access to firearms for certain "high-risk" individuals.

Miramant has also submitted a bill to send a referendum to voters to amend the state Constitution to allow ranked-choice voting in state general elections.

And another Miramant bill would create a commission to establish a state bank.

Beebe-Center

Beebe-Center also submitted a bill to restore municipal revenue-sharing and to allow municipalities to impose either a seasonal or year-round sales tax.

The Rockland Democrat has also submitted a bill to review and revise the state's school funding formula. The Rockland-area school district has called for a formula that takes into account median household incomes in determining how to distribute state aid.

Beebe-Center has also submitted bills to increase the bottle redemption deposit to 25 cents, study housing options for people with mental illness, to require public utilities to be more responsive to the public, such as when municipalities want to remove poles, and to protect the Community Partners Protecting Children program.

Matlack

Matlack submitted a bill to help provide meals to home-bound residents.

She also submitted a bill to clarify the transfer of ownership of the Gilford Butler School to the town of South Thomaston.

Doudera

Doudera has submitted bills that would require the safe storage of loaded firearms, revise the calculation of tolls established by the Maine State Ferry Service, and a bill to improve the manufacture of plastic bottles and caps.

The ferry service bill would increase state funding for operating costs from 50 percent to 75 percent.

She said the bottle bill would require that plastic bottles be tethered to the caps to reduce littering and would also set recycling standards for plastic bottles.

She has also submitted a bill to require home visits by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to be videotaped. Another would eliminate the service provider tax on private nursing care.

Pluecker

Pluecker has submitted bills for Medicaid expansion, and to restore revenue-sharing to municipalities.

Pluecker has also submitted bills to require ingredients be listed at retail food stores, and to increase the reimbursement rate for ambulance services that respond to Maine Department of Corrections facilities. He said the food ingredient bill was brought to him by a constituent in Union whose son has food allergies. This is a bill requiring ingredients to be available to customers when they go to stores such as bakeries or ice cream shops.

The Warren representative, a farmer, has also submitted several bills on farming, including restoring the pesticide notification registry.

Evangelos

Evangelos has submitted bills to expand Medicaid, restore state revenue-sharing to municipalities, and for the state to meet its 55 percent education funding obligation statewide.

The Friendship independent has also submitted bills to require an independent board to review police shootings. He said that in reviews by the state, not one police officer has been found to have committed wrongdoing. The proposal could create a panel of five -- two from law enforcement, two from the defense attorney field, and one possibly from the clergy.

He also has submitted bills to create a fund to compensate people who have been unjustly incarcerated, and to amend post-conviction review laws.

Evangelos has also submitted a bill to make it explicit that Maine holds title to intertidal land (that between low and high tides). He said it was important to prevent wealthy people from squeezing Mainers out of these lands. Under his proposal, the state would be able to regulate the intertidal lands to protect marine resources.

Another bill would have Maine participate in the Paris climate agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet another would allow consumers more options to select individual channels when purchasing cable television services.

Evangelos has also submitted a bill to allow casinos to conduct sports gambling. He said revenues from this would be dedicated to education.

And another measure would clarify the intent of the federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 to ensure tribal sovereignty. Evangelos said Maine is the only state in the country that does not recognize tribal sovereignty.

McDonald

McDonald has submitted bills to promote youth participation in the Maine lobster fishery and to create an apprentice program for the scallop fishery. The lobster bill would allow a person aged 12 or under to participate in the licensed activities aboard a commercial lobster vessel; touch the traps, lobster, bait, etc. without being counted as crew and therefore needing to be covered by the captain's class I, II or III license.

Another bill would increase the penalty for passing a stopped school bus.

Dow

Dow has also submitted a bill to restore revenue-sharing with regional service centers receiving additional money.

The Waldoboro Republican has also submitted bills that would establish firmly the state's claim to the intertidal zone.

Another bill would support the Frances Perkins Homestead in Damariscotta.

Comments (5)
Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Jan 14, 2019 09:52

Rep. Beebe-Center also submitted a bill to restore municipal revenue sharing and to allow municipalities to impose either a seasonal or year-round sales tax.

Why of course, the typical way to get money by the liberals, let's just tax people more. You know what I would like to see done, an audit of every single office of the Maine government to identify how many directors, under directors, admin staff and others are assigned to each office. I am pretty certain we would see some pretty interesting things and find some pork to cut.



Posted by: Ian Emmott | Jan 14, 2019 08:06

Yikes!  Any legislator reading please amend and increase the homestead exemption to provide a little more taxpayer relief.



Posted by: Keryn Laite | Jan 14, 2019 07:36

Mr Miramant what are you thinking????



Posted by: TC Tolliver | Jan 14, 2019 07:20

90% of the legislators could be dropped.



Posted by: Lawrence Edward Galkowski | Jan 14, 2019 07:02

90 % of these could be dropped



If you wish to comment, please login.