2013 Scorecard Bills

LD 718: An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers’ Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock (MPA Supported)

This right-to-know bill requires major food producers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. The bill passed both houses with strong support and was signed into law by Governor LePage.

Senate Roll-call #253

LD 671: An Act To Protect Charter Schools by Requiring Them To Be Operated as Nonprofit Organizations (MPA Supported)

Maine’s education system shouldn’t be defined by a system driven for profit with winners and losers. This bill would have changed the way charter schools operate in Maine, removing any concerns that they would put profits ahead of education. The bill was vetoed by the Governor.

House Roll-call #383
Senate Roll-call #163

LD 1181: An Act To Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals (MPA Supported)

This bill would have required major food producers like Con Agra and Del Monte to report whether chemicals of high concern, like BPA, are present in their food packaging, arming parents with more knowledge about the products they buy for their children. The bill passed under the gavel in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House. Unfortunately the bill was vetoed by Governor LePage and the veto was later sustained by the Senate.

House Roll-call #370
Senate Roll-call #379

LD 1302: An Act To Amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act To Protect Water Quality (MPA Supported)

In the 125th legislative session, the Republican majority passed a series of environmental rollback bills, including one to loosen Maine’s restrictions on open-pit mining. This bill would have addressed some of environmental impacts of the previous legislation. After passing the House, the bill failed to garner enough votes in the Senate.

House Roll-call #206
Senate Roll-call #311

LD 1030: An Act To Require That Electronic Benefits Transfer System Cash Benefits Are Used for the Purpose for Which the Benefits Are Provided (MPA Opposed)

This bill was a solution in search of a problem and played on the stereotypes of the poor. This bill would have required food stamp recipients to keep track of every receipt for every purchase they make, and then submit them to DHHS for scrutiny, despite there being no evidence for any need for this program. The bill would have also taken away time and resources for DHHS that should be going to help those who need it most. The bill was voted down in the House.   

House Roll-call #333

LD 1066: An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding (MPA Supported)

This bill would have put Maine on track to accept the federal funds to expand or maintain Medicaid coverage for 70,000 low-income, working Mainers. The bill passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan votes, but was later vetoed by Governor LePage. After several Republican legislators switched their votes, the House was unable to override the Governor’s veto. The legislature will have the option to take up the bill in the second half of the legislative session in January.

House Roll-call #390
Senate Roll-call #167

LD 161: An Act To Prohibit a Health Insurance Carrier from Establishing a Separate Premium Rate Based on Geographic Area (MPA Supported)

In the 125th legislative session, the Republican majority legislature passed a rate hike law that deregulated Maine’s health insurance market, causing rates to increase for rural businesses and the elderly. LD 161 would have prohibited health insurance companies from charging different premium rates based on where you live in the state. The bill passed both the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor LePage. The veto was sustained in the House.

House Roll-call #328
Senate Roll-call #294

LD 225: An Act To Restore Consumer Rate Review for Health Insurance Plans in the Individual and Small Group Markets (MPA Supported)

Part of the health care deregulation that was pushed through in the 125th legislative session was ending “rate review,” where the State of Maine would require a review of any health insurance premium increases for over 5%. Rate review allows the public to have a say in determining the premiums of their health plans. LD 225 would have restored public rate review for health insurance plans. The bill passed along party lines in both the House and Senate, and was later vetoed by Governor LePage. The veto was sustained in the House. 

House Roll-call #329
Senate Roll-call #295

LD 573: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Restrict the Voting Privileges of Persons Incarcerated for Murder or Class A Crimes (MPA Opposed)

This bill would have amended the state Constitution to strip away the voting rights of people convicted of felonies. It was a classic example of an anti-voting rights bill meant to disenfranchise a subset of voters. The bill failed to pass in either house.                

House Roll-call #232
Senate Roll-call #264

LD 1198: An Act To Protect Earned Pay (MPA Supported)

The 125th Legislature passed a series of rollbacks to state programs targeted at workers, including unemployment compensation programs. This bill would have restored protections to prevent unemployed workers from being penalized for not taking vacation days before being laid off.

House Roll-call #166
Senate Roll-call #356

LD 611: An Act To Adjust Maine’s Minimum Wage Annually Based on Cost-of-living Changes (MPA Supported)

Maine continues to fall behind other states when it comes to having jobs that pay a living wage. LD 611 would have increased the minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2016 and indexed to inflation, moving Maine closer to providing a living wage for workers and opening more pathways to the middle-class for many Mainers. The bill passed both Houses largely along party lines and was vetoed by Governor LePage. The House failed to override the veto.

House Roll-call #11
Senate Roll-call #354

LD 1309: An Act To Strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act (MPA Supported)

As a grassroots organization, MPA believes that we cannot be a fully democratic society when money can elevate the voices of corporations over the voices of regular people.  For this reason, MPA supported LD 1309 which would have repaired and strengthened Maine’s Clean Elections Act, (after it was crippled in the previous legislative session) by increasing the funding clean elections candidates could receive. The bill passed both Houses with bipartisan votes, however, it failed to make it out of the Appropriations Committee, where it died due to lack of funding. 

House Roll-call #327
Senate Roll-call #261

LD 1271: An Act To Increase Transparency in Reporting of Party Committees, Political Action Committees and Ballot Question Committees (MPA Supported)

In a post Citizens United world, the political landscape is changing to favor dark money groups that operate in support of candidates. Recent elections have seen these groups flood money into races towards the end of elections, hoping to tilt the balance of a race. LD 1271 would have increased the potential penalties for campaign finance reporting violations close to Election Day. The bill received a unanimous vote from the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, and passed under the hammer in both chambers. Governor LePage vetoed the bill. The House mustered enough votes for an override, but the Senate fell short by one vote.

House Roll-call #403
Senate Roll-call #348