Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House.
First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature Adjourned Sine Die on August 2, 2017
On Wednesday, August 2 at 7:09 p.m., ending the longest legislative session on record, the 1st Regular Session of the 128th Maine Legislature adjourned sine die, which is the final adjournment vote of a session. The last day of session was largely spent voting on 27 gubernatorial vetoes and a couple of bond bills. The Legislature overrode 13 of the 27 vetoes, including one to increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, and one to reconstitute Maine’s public health nursing program. Among the 14 vetoes that were sustained were bills that would have banned the use of handheld devices while driving, and the solar power incentive bill that would have altered the phase-out of net metering approved by the Public Utilities Commission earlier this year. All non-emergency Laws and Resolves that do not have specified effective dates within them will become effective Wednesday, November 1, 2017, which is 90 days after the date of adjournment sine die.
A Glance Ahead - 2nd Regular Session; Potential for Special Session
As it wound up its business last week, the Legislature voted to carry over to its 2nd Regular Session more than 340 of the 1645 bills that were submitted during the 1st Regular Session. The 2nd Regular Session will convene on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. In addition to the carry-over legislation, other bills may also be submitted but require approval of the Legislative Council. Cloture, or the deadline for submitting bill requests to the Legislative Council for consideration in the 2nd Regular Session, is Friday, September 29, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. A special session may be convened sometime this fall to allow the Legislature to consider legislation being developed by the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana.
Governor LePage Chooses Alec Porteous as Next DAFS Commissioner
Governor LePage announced on Friday, August 4 that he will nominate Alec Porteous for the position of Commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS). Porteous, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, will take over as Acting Commissioner of DAFS on August 14. He will replace Acting Commissioner David Lavway, who has filled the role since earlier this summer when former Commissioner Richard Rosen resigned. According to the statement issued by the Governor’s office, Porteous will be formally nominated for consideration and confirmation by the Legislature later this year.