Legislative Update – June 9, 2023

This week, several committees met to finish their assignments and prepare their requests for bills to be carried over into the next session. The Appropriations Committee continues to work on the Part II budget and then will review bond requests.  

LD 1964, “An Act to Implement Recommendations of the Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program” was voted out of the Labor Committee on a party line vote. Amendments were added to the bill in part to address concerns raised by the Governor. Whether these changes meet the expectations of the Governor will be the determining factor in passage of the bill. In general, the business community is still concerned with many remaining provisions.  

The Labor Committee also elected to carry over LD 1190, “An Act to Enhance the Predictability of Mandated Overtime for Pulp or Paper Manufacturing Facility Employees” despite conflicting testimony from union representatives. This bill will continue to be debated next session. 

LD 1610, “An Act to Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution” remains in a holding pattern in the VLA Committee until word from the courts determines if the legislature has the authority to work on any of the 4 ballot initiatives presented to the legislature during the First Regular Session. This bill, along with the auto repair ballot initiative, is of interest to the legislature for possible action now in this Special Session.  

At the work session, an amendment to LD 2004, “An Act to Restore Access to Federal Laws Beneficial to the Wabanaki Nations” was presented by Speaker Talbot Ross, addressing concerns raised during the hearing. Preliminary reviews by the AG’s and Governor’s office identified ongoing concerns with the original bill and amendment. There were continued discussions about the 151 federal laws enacted since the settlement acts were established and whether these laws were accessible to the tribes. Jerry Reid conducted a quick sampling of the list and found very few laws that potentially would require determinations about their conflict with jurisdictional authority of the state. The Council believes that an analysis of these laws by the Attorney General would help to center the discussion on whether revisions to the implementation acts are required. One remaining work session is anticipated for next week.  

The Energy and Utilities Committee reached consensus on the need to scale back on the current net energy billing law. Deliberations on LD 1986, “An Act Relating to Net Energy Billing and Distributed Solar and Energy Storage Systems” resulted in two reports that both suggested changes to the program.  

As reported by Maine Public Broadcasting and the MSC – the Maine Senate voted 24-9 on Thursday to give preliminary approval to a bill authorizing construction of a 1,200-megawatt transmission line. The $2 billion project would carry electricity from a massive wind farm proposed for commercial timberlands near Oakfield. The bill faces additional votes in the House and Senate. And both the northern Maine transmission line and the so-called King Pine wind farm project require additional regulatory approvals.  


Other than a few bills listed above, committee work is about to end. The House and Senate are scheduled for all day sessions throughout the week, and we will be watching for floor amendments that might make significant changes to the pending legislation. We will keep watch and let you know if your voices need to be heard on any objectionable proposals.  

If you would like to sign up to testify, or submit testimony, the link to do so is here.

The full schedule is provided below. If you have any questions, or need help submitting testimony, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for assistance.

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