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Behind the News Feb 21, 2019

Sen. Dave Miramant talks about cameras in ambulances, eliminating vehicle inspections, more

Camden — Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, has been very busy since being sworn into the 129th Maine Legislature, submitting 50 bills.

Miramant said the bills are the result of talking to many people, including visiting more than 5,000 homes during the election. Constituents bring up things they see as injustices and concerns and the senator crafts bills to address those needs.

Another factor, he said, has been that for the past eight years under the administration of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, many bills were vetoed, even after they received strong support from lawmakers and committees. He and other legislators see Janet Mills' being in the Blaine House as an opportunity to get things done.

One of his proposals that has generated discussion has been a bill to put cameras in all ambulances. He said a constituent suggested the bill to make sure all people are treated equally. In addition, Miramant said, it would protect paramedics in cases of people looking to sue for a quick settlement on a false claim.

He acknowledged the bill has received opposition from those who are concerned about the cost and privacy issues. A public hearing has been held on this bill, and he said it may not pass, but he thinks it has been a worthwhile discussion.

Miramant has also proposed doing away with vehicle inspections. He said in one case a mechanic said someone's brakes needed to be done because they would not make it until the next inspection, even though the brakes were OK at the time. He also said that 33 states do not have inspection requirements, and eight of the 10 cheapest insurance rates are in those states. Additionally, he said those states are not seeing a greater number of defect-caused accidents.

Miramant is one of several lawmakers submitting bills for a change to the state constitution to allow for ranked-choice voting.

In addition, he has submitted a bill to allow ethanol-free gasoline to be sold in Maine. That would cut down on damage to small engines, he said.

For more information, Miramant can be contacted at David.Miramant@legislature.maine.gov.

 

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