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  • New Maine laws to help working families, small businesses, students, and veterans

    Maine House wraps up work for 2017 on August 2nd

    Measures to invest in education, support small business, increase consumer protections and strengthen environmental stewardship marked the first regular session of the 128th Legislature that wrapped up for the year on August 2. Lawmakers also dealt with a number of issues as a result of the referenda passed in the 2016 election.

    Democratic and Republican lawmakers worked collaboratively to accomplish many of these key goals despite obstruction by Gov. Paul LePage and his allies in the House.

    “We made great strides to help improve the lives of Maine families,” said Speaker of the House Sara Gideon.  “Lawmakers came together to do right by our citizens, even in a time of divided government.  We made smart, targeted investments to grow our economy and increase prosperity for Maine families.  And most importantly, we capitalized on our most important resource - Maine people, investing in lifting children out of poverty and ensuring that they have access to the excellent education, from early childhood through higher ed, that will position them and all of us for a successful future.” 

    Lawmakers considered approximately 1,650 bills this session, with 350 bills becoming law. Democrats, Republicans and unenrolled members came together to override 55 of 128 Gov. LePage vetoes.

    Democrats rejected measures to roll back women’s rights, worker’s rights, and voting rights, while fighting to harness clean, renewable energy and safeguard our environment.

    “While politics as usual in Washington D.C .might mean gridlock, this session we proved that Maine knows how to get things done, “ said Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden. “From strengthening health care services for first responders and veterans to investing in our kids and communities through better education funding statewide, we worked hard this session and achieved real progress for all Mainers."

    The Legislature will reconvene for the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature in January 2018. 

    Key New Laws from the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature

    Measures sponsored by House Democratic members and unenrolled members who caucus with Democrats: 

    Public Safety

    An Act To Allow Hunters Whose Religion Prohibits Wearing Hunter Orange Clothing To Instead Wear Red

    An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines

    An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act

    An Act to Combat Human Trafficking by Requiring Prevention Training for Commercial Drivers

     

    Education

    An Act To Improve Safety and Traffic Efficiency near School Grounds

    An Act To Revise Certification Statutes for Educational Personnel

    An Act To Protect Students from Identity Theft

    An Act To Provide Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to Secondary School Health Educators

    Resolve, To Establish the Task Force To Identify Special Education Cost Drivers and Innovative Approaches to Services

     

    Economy and Small Business

    An Act To Extend the Legal Hours for Harvesting LobsterAn Act To Support Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Maine's Economic Future

    An Act Regarding Transfers of Liquor between Licensed Manufacturers' Facilities

    An Act To Provide Support for Sustainable Economic Development in Rural Maine

    An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries

    An Act To Improve Vocational Rehabilitation under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992

     

    Energy / Environment

    An Act To Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution

    An Act To Include 50 Milliliter and Smaller Liquor Bottles in the Laws Governing Returnable Containers

    An Act To Create a Penalty for the Discharge of Septic Waste from Watercraft into the Inland WatersAn Act To Establish Energy Policy in Maine

    An Act To Revise Certification Statutes for Educational Personnel

     

    Health Care and Public Health

    An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for Contraceptive Supplies

    An Act To Incorporate Protections for Living Donors into Maine Law

    An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Forensic Examination Kits

    An Act To Increase Access to Hearing Aids

    An Act To Prohibit Certain Gifts to Health Care Practitioners

    An Act To Provide Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to Secondary School Health Educators

     

    Consumer Protection

    An Act To Promote Fiscal Responsibility in the Purchasing of Debt

    An Act To Protect Maine Consumers from Unexpected Medical Bills

    An Act To Protect Students from Identity Theft

    An Act To Increase Reporting on Wage and Hour Violations

     

    Transportation

    An Act To Authorize the Construction of a Maine Turnpike Connector to Gorham

    An Act To Improve Safety and Traffic Efficiency near School Grounds

     

    Veterans

    An Act Regarding Mental Health Care for Maine Veterans

     

    Opioid

    An Act To Allow Corrections Officers To Administer Naloxone