Maine’s Legislative Council met Monday to vote on which bills submitted for consideration during the 2nd regular session would go forward.
Among 300 bills, only about 125 made it past the 10-member council, which is made up of party leaders in the House and Senate. By law, 2nd session bills are supposed to be budget-related or emergency in nature.
Although there is still a chance for bill sponsors to appeal the council’s decision, Monday’s session revealed some clear winners and losers.
Sen. Kevin Raye, R-Perry — The Senate president was a perfect 6-6 on Monday, although one of his bills was tabled. Perhaps the biggest victory was an act to ensure a reliable funding stream for the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
Rep. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden — The assistant House majority leader had a good day, too. Four of his bills passed through easily, including a measure that seeks to improve the relationship between land users and landowners.
Sen. David Hastings, R-Fryeburg — All four of Hastings’ sponsored bills received unanimous approval. None were particularly controversial.
Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono — The House minority leader was one of the few Democrats to see success Monday. Two of her bills passed unanimously.
Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn — Four of Bolduc’s five bills were rejected by unanimous votes. The other was tabled. One of his bills sought to withhold subsidies from any hospital that pays its administrators annual salaries greater than the annual salary of the governor.
Rep. Benjamin Chipman, U-Portland — Chipman was a hard-luck loser Monday. Two of his bills were soundly defeated, but three others were barely rejected. His bill to improve municipal campaign reporting requirements received a 5-5 vote, which meant it failed.
Sen. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston — All four of her bills were defeated, including an act to prevent bullying in schools. The Legislature does have a carry-over bill related to bullying, so that could be why.
Rep. Jarrod Crockett, R-Bethel — He also saw four bills defeated, including a measure to simplify the foreclosure process on abandoned time-share condominiums.
Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash — Jackson was 0-4 Monday. Among his bills that failed was an act to authorize a bond to redevelop the former Loring Air Force Base.
Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick — Four of O’Connor’s bills, including a dead-on-arrival plan to eliminate the state income tax, went down in unanimous votes.
Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland — She also went 0-4 Monday, including a bill to recognize common-law marriage and another to limit the definition of “person” to a human being.
Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta — Perhaps the most moderate senator in Maine had an interesting day. Nearly all of the votes on his bills were close. Three failed because of a 5-5 tie vote. Two more failed in 6-4 votes, despite Katz’ party holding the majority on the council. He bill to expand the availability of natural gas in Maine did get unanimous support.
Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley — Two bills passed easily. Three were defeated, including his idea to fund a feasibility study for an East-West highway.