1/3/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
The second session of Maine’s 128th legislature starts today.
This legislative session is scheduled to last until April 18th. However, the date is tentative. Last session was originally scheduled to end Jun 21st of 2016. But because leadership dragged their feet before dealing with the budget, the legislature voted to extend the session by five days at a cost of nearly $100,000 to Maine taxpayers.
The five extra days still weren’t enough, and a three-day government shutdown led to the session lasting until July 4th.
While odd-year sessions are intended for the budget and for legislators to propose any bills they deem fit — even-year sessions are meant for emergency legislation and proposals from the governor.
However, as Maine First Media has previously reported multiple times (example 1, example 2, example 3), Maine’s Legislative Council repeatedly violated the Maine Constitution by greenlighting bills that are obviously not emergencies.
Along with many pieces of nonsense legislation, it is speculated there will be several important (some positive, some negative) issues the legislature tackles this session, including:
- Finding Funding for Medicaid for the Young and Healthy
- Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
- The Constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting
- Reforming the Broken Referendum Process
- Penalizing Harboring Havens (aka so-called “sanctuary cities”)
- Multi-Million Dollar Welcome Center for “New Mainers” to Recruit and Retain Immigrant Workers
Maine First Media will have reports on some of these important issues in the coming days and weeks.
While the above issues are rumored, what policies the legislature ultimately debates will hinge somewhat on the proposals brought forth by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
This will be the final session of Gov. LePage’s term, and he’s expected to go out swinging!
Again, proposals (many of which are non-emergencies) allowed late last year by the Legislative Council and some first session bills that were held over will also be considered.
Republicans (mostly RINOs) have 18 seats in the State Senate, compared to 17 for the Democrats, giving the GOP control of the upper chamber. Meanwhile, Democrats control the House of Representatives.
Legislators will only have to work three days before getting their first Holiday on Monday, Jan. 15th, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
You can click here to see a calendar of the currently scheduled working days for both the House and Senate.
Maine legislators will each make $10,158 this session (compared to $14,271 for the longer first session), plus up to $70 per working day in per diem.
Maine First Media will follow the legislative session and report important information as it happens.