It took considerable effort and much collaboration amongst Maine Press Association members, Mitchell Tardy Jackson (our advocates in Augusta), and allies AARP, Maine Broadband Coalition, Grow Smart Maine, but on April 27, LD 422 was finally put to sleep.
And we especially thank Rep. Holly Stover for her stalwart support throughout this session as we opposed An Act to Eliminate the Requirement that Municipalities Provide Public Notices in Newspapers.
The bill left the Maine Legislative Committee on State and Local Government after a March 9 work session, when the vote was 8 to 5 that LD 422 ought not to pass.
On April 25, the House voted 78 to 63 against the bill, and on April 27, the Senate voted 24-9 to defeat it. Republican Senators Harrington and Keim voted with their Democratic colleagues in favor of the motion.
While there is a sense of relief, MPA acknowledges that similar bills will surface in the future, just as they have in the past. It is an issue that the MPA board intends to address, with an emphasis on better collective marketing of the Maine Notices website.
In other Capitol news, the MPA Legislative Committee submitted testimony either in support of, or in opposition to, seven bills on April 26-27. The majority of them were related to Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and the treatment of records.
LD 848, An Act to Expunge Certain Nonviolent Drug Crimes, and requests that Judiciary move further discussion back to a reconstituted Criminal Records Review Committee for recommendation
LD 1550, An Act to Authorize the Expungement of Records of Nonviolent Crimes, and requests that Judiciary move further discussion back to a reconstituted Criminal Records Review Committee for recommendation
LD 1646, An Act to Vacate or Adjust Sentences and Expunge Arrests, Convictions and Adjudications for Cannabis-related Offenses and requests that Judiciary move further discussion back to a reconstituted Criminal Records Review Committee for recommendation.
LD 1649, An Act to Support Local Governments in Responding to Freedom of Access Act Requests
LD 1789, An Act to Remove All Marijuana-related Provisions from the Maine Criminal Code and Expunge All Convictions Involving Marijuana and requests that Judiciary move further discussion back to a reconstituted Criminal Records Review Committee for recommendation.
LD 739, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Empower the Legislature to Allow the Expungement or Sealing of Certain Criminal Records
LD 1622, Resolve, to Reestablish the Criminal Records Review Committee
~Lynda Clancy, Chair of MPA Legislative Committee