Today, Governor Paul LePage signed into law two measures that will increase protections for victims of domestic violence. House Democratic Leader Emily Cain is the sponsor of the governor’s domestic violence bill, LD 1867, “An Act To Protect Victims of Domestic Violence.” The bill will strengthen the bail sentencing for perpetrators in acts of domestic violence and requires that judges set bail conditions instead of bail commissioners in certain cases.
“Stemming the tide of domestic violence in our state is a bipartisan priority,” said Cain. “The legislation the governor signed into law today is an important first step. We must also work together on comprehensive domestic violence prevention resources and treatment for battered women and their families.”
The bill will become law after final adjournment of the Legislature.
Rep. Alan Casavant, D-Biddeford is the sponsor of LD 1760, “An Act To Ensure Notification to Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking When Defendants Are Released on Bail,” which will ensure that jails notify victims directly when their abusers are released on pre-conviction bail or if they are released on bail before being delivered to a jail.
“This bill delivers much needed clarity at the state and county levels regarding the responsibilities and process of victim notification,” said Casavant. “When it comes to protecting the lives of victims, we have no room for any error in altering the victims. We must do a better job in securing the safety of victims of domestic violence and this bill is one piece of that puzzle.”
Casavant introduced the legislation after hearing directly from victims of domestic violence in his community. The emergency bill will become law immediately.