Difference between revisions of "Maine State Senate"

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==External links==
==External links==
*[http://www.maine.gov/legis/senate/ Official website of the Maine Senate]  
*[http://legisweb1.mainelegislature.org/wp/senate/ Official website of the Maine Senate]  
*[http://www.maine.gov/legis/senate/senators/index.htm Official list of members of the 124th Maine State Senate]
*[http://legisweb1.mainelegislature.org/wp/senate/126th-maine-senators/ Official list of members of the 126th Maine State Senate]

Revision as of 21:58, 19 August 2014

Maine State Senate

Seal of Maine.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   4 terms (8 years)
2015 session start:   January 8, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Michael Thibodeau (R)
Majority Leader:   Garrett Mason (R)
Minority Leader:   Justin Alfond (D)
Members:  35
   Independent (1)
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 (35 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (35 seats)
Redistricting:  Maine Legislature has control
The Maine State Senate is the upper house of the Maine Legislature. The Senate consists of 35 members representing an equal number of districts across the state. Unlike the Maine House of Representatives, the Senate does not set aside non-voting seats for Native tribes. Members of the Maine State Senate serve four-year terms with term limits.[1] Each member represents an average of 37,953 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 36,426 residents.[3]

The Senate meets at the Maine State House in Augusta.

As of April 2015, Maine is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

See also: Maine State Legislature, Maine House of Representatives, Maine Governor


In 2010, the Senate 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 Senate 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.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included Medicaid expansion vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage (R) last session and welfare reform.[4]


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

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

The House and Senate votes largely followed party lines with Democratic majorities in both houses. Republican majorities in the House and Senate blocked similar legislation in 2011.[8][9]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through April 14, in recess from April 14 through May 13, and adjourned May 31.

Major issues

Lawmakers faced a $221 million budget deficit. They also looked to restructure the state Medicaid system, reduce energy costs and improve charter schools.[10]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate 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.[11] 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.[12]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Legislature was in session from January 6 to April 12.[13]

Role in state budget

See also: Maine state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[14][15]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests in September.
  3. Agency hearings are held from October through December.
  4. Public hearings are held from January through May.
  5. 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).
  6. The legislature typically adopts a budget in June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The biennium begins on July 1.

Maine is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[15]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget. Likewise, the state legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.[15]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating 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. The challenges states faced included 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.[16]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014

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.[17] 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.[17]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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 was 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.[18]



See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 10, 2014, and a general election was held 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.


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate were held in Maine on November 6, 2012. A total of 35 seats were up for election. The signature filing deadline was March 15, 2012.

Maine state senators are subject to term limits and may serve no more than four two-year terms. In 2012, 10 state senators were termed-out.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate were held in Maine on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 15 at 5 PM-ET for Party Candidates and June 1 by 5 PM-ET for others. The primary Election Day was June 8, 2010.

Maine's state senators are elected to four-year terms. They are subject to term limits of no more than two consecutive four-year terms.

In 2010, the candidates running for state senate raised a total of $1,988,888 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:[19]


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 10, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $1,854,105. The top 10 contributors were:[20]


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 13, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $1,990,662. The top 10 contributors were:[21]


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 8, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $2,095,278. The top 10 contributors were:[22]


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 11, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $1,323,033. The top 10 contributors were:[23]


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 13, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $1,368,281. The top 10 contributors were:[24]


Section 6 of Part 2 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "The Senators shall be 25 years of age at the commencement of the term, for which they are elected, and in all other respects their qualifications shall be the same as those of the Representatives."

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."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the senate, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat.[25][26] The Governor must call for an election and allow all political committees representing the vacant seat to set all deadlines.[27][25][26] The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.[28]

Term limits

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 senators are subject to term limits of no more than four two-year terms, or a total of eight years.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1993 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 1996.[1]



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.[29]

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 15
     Republican Party 20
Total 35

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Maine State Senate from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Maine State Senate.PNG


The President of the Senate is elected by the full body. The President is the presiding officer, whose duties include appointing all committees and a President Pro Tempore, enforce order, and vote in all cases. The President Pro Tempore serves as presiding officer when the President is absent.[30][31][32]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Maine State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Michael Thibodeau Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Anne Haskell Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Roger Katz Ends.png Republican

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Maine legislators assume office after the first Wednesday in December after their election.

Current members

Current members, Maine State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Dawn Hill Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
2 Ronald Collins Ends.png Republican 2010
3 John Tuttle Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
4 David Dutremble Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
5 Linda Valentino Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
6 James Boyle Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
7 Rebecca Millett Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
8 Justin Alfond Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
9 Anne Haskell Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
10 Stanley Gerzofsky Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
11 Richard Woodbury Grey.png Nonpartisan 2010
12 Gary Plummer Ends.png Republican 2012
13 James Hamper Ends.png Republican 2012
14 John Patrick Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
15 John Cleveland Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
16 Margaret Craven Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
17 Garrett Mason Ends.png Republican 2010
18 Thomas Saviello Ends.png Republican 2010
19 Eloise Vitelli Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
20 Chris Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
21 Patrick Flood Ends.png Republican 2012
22 Edward Mazurek Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
23 Michael Thibodeau Ends.png Republican 2010
24 Roger Katz Ends.png Republican 2010
25 Colleen Lachowicz Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
26 Rodney Whittemore Ends.png Republican 2010
27 Douglas Thomas Ends.png Republican 2010
28 Brian Langley Ends.png Republican 2010
29 David C. Burns Ends.png Republican 2012
30 Emily Cain Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
31 Edward Youngblood Ends.png Republican 2012
32 Geoffrey Gratwick Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
33 Andre Cushing Ends.png Republican 2012
34 Roger Sherman Ends.png Republican 2006
35 Troy Dale Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 2008

Standing committees

There are five (5) Senate Standing Committees:

Joint standing committees

There are sixteen (16) joint standing committees in the Legislature:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Maine
Partisan breakdown of the Maine legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Maine State Senate for 16 years while the Republicans were the majority for four years.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates 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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Maine, the Maine State Senate and the Maine House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Maine state government(1992-2013).PNG

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
Chart displaying the partisanship of Maine government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links


Wikipedia® has an article on:


  1. 1.0 1.1 ncsl.org, "Chart of Term Limits States," accessed December 16, 2013
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," April 2011
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001. Accessed February 13, 2014
  4. wlbz2.com, "Maine Legislature returns for short session," January 7, 2014
  5. WCSH 6, "Maine legislature to reconvene Tuesday," January 5, 2013
  6. Legislative Information Office, "LD 1279," accessed June 4, 2013
  7. Portland Press Herald, "Maine House vote kills bill to elect top state officials," June 4, 2013 (dead link)
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Bangor
  9. Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, "Proposed Constitutional Amendments," accessed June 4, 2013
  10. Bangor Daily News, "Maine lawmakers return Wednesday for 2012 session," January 3, 2012
  11. Maine.gov, 125th Legislature Session Schedule, June 16, 2011
  12. Bangor Daily News, State lawmakers headed home but only for 12 days, June 16, 2011
  13. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Session Calendar," October 30, 2010 (Archived)
  14. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  16. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  18. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "Maine 2010 - Candidates," accessed August 19, 2014
  20. Follow the Money, "Maine 2008 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
  21. Follow the Money, "Maine 2006 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
  22. Follow the Money, "Maine 2004 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
  23. Follow the Money, "Maine 2002 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
  24. Follow the Money, "Maine 2000 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 21A-381)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 21A-382)
  27. Maine Legislature, "Constitution of Maine," accessed December 16, 2013 (Referenced Section Article IV, Section 5)
  28. Maine Legislature, "Maine Election Law," accessed December 16, 2013 (Referenced Statute 21A-361)
  29. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  30. Rules of the 122nd Maine State Senate
  31. Maine State Senate Democratic Leadership
  32. Maine State Senate Republican Leadership