Maine legislators approve three initiative bills

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July 27, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

AUGUSTA, Maine: Lawmakers in Maine ended their legislative session on March 12, 2010, with three initiative bills signed into law[1][2]. The bills signed into law include changes on petition circulators and fiscal impact statements along with ending public notices for statewide referendums in newspapers.

The petition circulator bill requires disclosure for organizations employing paid circulators, reducing how much time courts can hear appeals on signature challenges, and giving citizens more time to challenge signatures[3]. The bill was approved by the House on a 119-23 vote on March 29, 2010. The Senate approved the bill two days later before receiving the Governor's signature on April 6, 2010[4].

Lawmakers also approved changes to how fiscal impact statements are presented for referendums. The bill clarifies when the Office of Fiscal and Program Review is required produce statements on a measure's fiscal impact. Also, statements would have to be placed separately from other sample ballots on the guardrail outside of the polling place[5]. The bill was approved by both houses of the Legislature on acclimation before receiving the Governor's signature on March 23, 2010[6].

Legislators also made public notices of statewide referendums in daily newspapers a thing of the past. The bill would no longer require the Secretary of State to publish notices before an election involving a referendum[7]. Both houses of the Legislature approved the bill on January 14, 2010, with hardly any opposition. The Governor signed the bill into law on January 21, 2010[8].

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