Maine House of Representatives
|Maine House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2014 session start:||January 8, 2014|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Mark Eves (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Seth Berry (D)|
|Minority leader:||Kenneth Fredette (R)|
Democratic Party (88)
Republican Party (57)Independent / Unenrolled (4)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Article IV--Part Third, Maine Constitution|
|Salary:||$13,526/year Sess. 1, $9,661/year Sess. 2 + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (151 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (151 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Maine Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Representatives
- 5 Standing committees
- 6 Joint Standing Committees of the 125th Legislature
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of October 2014, Maine is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from January 6th to April 12th.
Article IV, Part Third of the Maine Constitution establishes when the Maine State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 1 of the Part states that, following a legislative election, the Legislature is to convene its first regular session on the first Wednesday of December. The second regular session of the legislature is to convene in the next even-numbered year. This second session is to convene on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January. Section 1 also instructs the Legislature to enact statutory limits on the length of its regular sessions.
Section 1 also establishes the procedures for convening special sessions of the Legislature. A special session can be convened by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, with the consent of a majority of legislators from each political party.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 2.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from December 5, 2012 through July 10, 2013.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included addressing education, energy, domestic violence, jobs and strengthening the state's economy, and a new two-year budget that's facing a $128 million deficit.
Election of constitutional officers
The Maine House of Representatives voted 79-59 on June 4 to reject a proposal to allow voters to select the state’s Treasurer, Secretary of State and Attorney General. LD 1279 called for a referendum to amend the Maine State Constitution to shift the selection of these officers from the Legislature to voters. The bill sponsored by Representative Andre Cushing (R) called for two-year terms for the Treasurer and Secretary of State and a four-year term for the Attorney General. Legislators currently select all three officers every two years. This legislation was blocked on June 3 by the Maine State Senate 18-16.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 4 through April 14, in recess from April 14 through May 13, and adjourned May 31.
Lawmakers faced a $221 million budget deficit. They also looked to restructure the state Medicaid system, reduce energy costs and improve charter schools.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from December 1, 2010-June 28, 2011. Maine statutes required the legislature to adjourn by June 15, however, pursuant to Joint Order S.P. 520, the regular session was extended for five legislative days, slated to end on June 22, 2011. However, on June 16, Governor Paul LePage ordered lawmakers home for 12 days, only to return to the statehouse for a special veto session to begin June 28.
State representatives appropriated $546,000 during the 2011 session to improve security in the House after the publication of three separate studies suggesting improvements in Capitol Police practices. Beginning in September 2011, visitors to the capitol will have to pass through walk-through metal detectors and their baggage will be subjected to X-ray scans. Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin suggested the security upgrades will be complete by the beginning of the 2012 legislative session.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Legislature was in session from January 6th to April 12th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Maine state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests in September.
- Agency hearings are held from October through December.
- Public hearings are held from January through May.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in January (this deadline is extended to February for a newly elected governor).
- The legislate typically adopts a budget in June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The biennium begins on July 1.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget. Likewise, the state legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Maine was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Maine received a grade of C+ and a numerical score of 76, indicating that Maine was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Maine was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives will take place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 10, 2014, and a general election will take place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for party candidates wishing to run in this election was March 17, 2014. The deadline for write-in candidates to run in the primary election was April 28, 2014, and the deadline for non-party candidates to run in the general election was June 2, 2014. The deadline for write-in candidates to run in the general election was September 22, 2014.
The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 15, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Maine House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 80||Melvin Newendyke||0.1%||4,914||Rachel Sukeforth|
|District 70||R. Wayne Werts||0.1%||4,532||Bruce Bickford|
|District 127||Amy Volk||0.2%||5,444||Paul Aranson|
|District 137||Alan Casavant||0.3%||5,133||William Guay|
|District 29||Stanley Short||0.3%||3,699||Robert Engelhardt|
|District 144||William Noon||0.5%||4,725||Daniel Archambault|
|District 109||Anne Graham||0.6%||5,501||Susan Austin|
|District 45||Brian Jones||0.7%||4,475||R. Ryan Harmon|
|District 94||Teresea Hayes||0.9%||4,634||Timothy Turner|
|District 54||Catherine Nadeau||1.2%||4,444||Susan Morissette|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives were held in Maine on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 15 for candidates with partisan affiliations and June 1 for others. The primary election day was June 8, 2010.
In 2010, candidates running for state house raised a total of $1,607,976 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Maine Association of Realtors||$4,400|
|Maine Credit Union League||$4,050|
|Maine Dental Association||$3,650|
|Dow, Dana Lowell||$3,025|
|Tessier, Paul L||$2,572|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on June 10, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,712,760. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Thibodeau, Michael D||$9,469|
|Maine Association Of Realtors||$7,000|
|Juskewitch, Steven A||$6,516|
|Maine Dental Association||$4,000|
|Maine Insurance Agents Association||$3,900|
|Maine Motor Transport Association||$3,750|
|Leadership For Maine's Future||$3,500|
|National Federation Of Independent Business||$3,250|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on June 13, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,106,312. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Maine Association Of Realtors||$11,500|
|Maine Bankers Association||$9,550|
|Maine Insurance Agents Association||$7,250|
|Maine Association Of Insurance & Financial Advisors||$7,099|
|Maine Hospital Association||$7,000|
|Maine Medical Association||$6,750|
|Maine Forest Products Council||$5,750|
|Business Minded Democrats||$5,374|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on June 8, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,794,005. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Linnehan Jr, John D||$12,000|
|Dow, Dana L||$5,300|
|Sawyer Jr, W Tom||$5,300|
|Dyar, Clyde E||$5,150|
|Hastings III, David R||$5,000|
|House Republican Leadership Of Maine||$4,866|
|Maine Bankers Association||$4,800|
|Maine Oil Dealers Association||$4,750|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Maine||$4,750|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on June 11, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,466,749. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Maine Bankers Association||$24,922|
|Maine Association Of Realtors||$12,041|
|Maine State Employees Association||$3,750|
|Rich, C Matthew||$3,750|
|Maine Association Of Community Banks||$3,750|
|Maine Dental Association||$3,000|
|Associated Constructors Of Maine||$3,000|
Elections for the office of Maine House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on June 13, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,203,357. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Maine House of Representatives|
|Maine Bankers Association||$16,050|
|Maine State Employees Association||$13,250|
|Maine Dental Association||$12,800|
|Maine Association Of Community Banks||$9,250|
|Maine Association Of Realtors||$9,000|
|Maine Insurance Agents Association||$8,350|
|Niblett, Margaret L||$8,137|
|Maine Hospital Association||$7,900|
Section 4 of Part 1 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "Qualifications; residency requirement. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, unless the person shall, at the commencement of the period for which the person is elected, have been 5 years a citizen of the United States, have arrived at the age of 21 years, have been a resident in this State one year; and for the 3 months next preceding the time of this person's election shall have been, and, during the period for which elected, shall continue to be a resident in the district which that person represents."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the house, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must call for an election and allow all political committees representing the vacant seat to set all deadlines. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Maine legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Maine Term Limits Act in 1993. That initiative said that Maine representatives are subject to term limits of no more than four two-year terms, or a total of eight years.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of October 2014|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, deciding all questions of order, and appointing all committee members.
|Current Leadership, Maine House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Mark Eves||Democratic|
|State House Majority Floor Leader||Seth Berry||Democratic|
|State House Assistant Majority Floor Leader||Jeffrey McCabe||Democratic|
|State House Minority Floor Leader||Kenneth Fredette||Republican|
|State House Assistant Minority Floor Leader||Alexander Willette||Republican|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Maine legislature are paid $13,852/year (first regular session) and $9,661/year (second regular session). Legislators receive $38/day per diem for one of two options: housing or mileage and tolls. Additionally, legislators receive $32/day for meals.
When sworn in
Maine legislators assume office after the first Wednesday in December after their election.
Maine House of Representatives has 6 standing committees:
- Bills in the Second Reading
- Engrossed Bills
- Leaves of Absence
- Rules and Business of the House
Joint Standing Committees of the 125th Legislature
There are sixteen (16) Joint Standing Committees in the Legislature:
- Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
- Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee
- Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- Education and Cultural Affairs
- Energy, Utilities and Technology
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Health and Human Services
- Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
- Insurance and Financial Services
- Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development
- Marine Resources
- State and Local Government
- Veterans and Legal Affairs
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Maine State House of Representatives for 20 years while the Republicans were the majority for two years. The Maine State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Maine state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Between 1992 and 2002, the state experienced divided government until electing a Democratic trifecta, which occurred between 2003 and 2011. For two years (2011 and 2012), the state had a Republican trifecta before reverting back to divided government. Maine hit the bottom-10 in the SQLI ranking in 2006 and 2007 (42nd and 45th, respectively). Its highest ranking in the SQLI ranking occurred in 2012 (27th) under a Republican trifecta. The state rose seven points in the SQLI ranking between the years 2010 and 2011.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 38.38
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 28.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 33.73
- Official website of the Maine House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Maine House of Representatives
- Official website of the Maine House Democrats
- Official website of the Maine House Republicans
- ncsl.org, "Chart of Term Limits States," accessed December 16, 2013
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," April 2011
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001. Accessed February 13, 2014
- wlbz2.com, "Maine Legislature returns for short session," January 7, 2014
- WCSH 6, "Maine legislature to reconvene Tuesday," January 5, 2013
- Legislative Information Office, "LD 1279," accessed June 4, 2013
- Portland Press Herald," "Maine House vote kills bill to elect top state officials," June 4, 2013
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- Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, "Proposed Constitutional Amendments," accessed June 4, 2013
- Bangor Daily News, "Maine lawmakers return Wednesday for 2012 session," January 3, 2012
- Maine.gov, 125th Legislature Session Schedule, June 16, 2011
- Bangor Daily News, State lawmakers headed home but only for 12 days, June 16, 2011
- Boston.com, "Maine set to beef up State House security," July 18, 2011
- 2010 session dates for Maine Legislature
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Maine House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Maine 2008 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Maine 2006 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Maine 2004 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Maine 2002 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Maine 2000 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 21A-381)
- Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 21A-382)
- Maine Legislature, "Constitution of Maine," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Section Article IV, Section 5)
- Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 21A-361)
- Rules of the Maine House of Representatives Part 2 - Speaker
- Maine House Leadership links
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of Maine
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |