2013-2014 Scorecard Bills

  • 2016: Public Lands
    (LD 1629)

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    In 2015, the legislature authorized a commission to study the funding structure of Maine’s Public Reserved Lands – a network of over a half million acres of public land that includes some of Maine’s most outstanding natural features. Public Reserved Lands are managed for a variety of resource values including outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat conservation, and commercial timber harvesting. The study commission developed a set of recommendations for improving access, prioritizing recreation infrastructure projects, and clarifying that timber harvesting revenue should be used by the Bureau of Parks and Lands for stewardship and management. The bill was enacted unanimously in 

    Yes is the Pro-environment vote

    Final Outcome:

    Bill defeated

    • House Roll Call #671 (04/29/2016) 90 | 58
    • Senate Roll Call #0 () 0 | 0
  • 2016: Solar Power
    (LD 1649)

    freeport solar photo

    The governor vetoed a bill enacted by the legislature to expand Maine’s solar capacity ten-fold over five years. LD 1649 included provisions to build community solar projects, update net metering, create solar jobs, and reduce electricity costs for all ratepayers. The Senate considered and rejected an undermining amendment that would have given the Public Utilities Commission the authority to decide net metering policy. The vote on the amendment is scored here. The Senate unanimously enacted LD 1649 (without the harmful amendment) and sent it to the House, where it passed with a 91-56 vote. The governor vetoed the bill and the veto override vote fell short by two votes in the House. The subsequent override vote in the House is scored here. Six representatives refused to vote.

    No is the Pro-Environment Vote in the Senate; Yes

    Final Outcome:

    Bill vetoed by governor, veto override failed.

    • House Roll Call #671 (04/14/2016) 93 | 50
    • Senate Roll Call #661 (04/29/2016) 16 | 19
  • 2016: National Monument Designation
    (LD 1600)

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    The governor introduced a bill withdrawing state consent for the federal government to designate a national monument. A national monument is a place protected for its natural, scientific, or cultural significance under authority granted by the federal Antiquities Act. The bill was an attack on a potential monument designation in the Katahdin region. Despite significant constitutional issues raised by Maine’s Attorney General, the bill passed by three votes in the House and by one vote in the Senate. The legislation cannot legally prevent the creation of a national monument. 

    No is the Pro-Environment Vote

    Final Outcome:

    Bill passed; signed into law by the governor

    • House Roll Call #569 (04/07/2016) 77 | 73
    • Senate Roll Call #643 (04/14/2016) 18 | 17
  • 2016: Land for Maine's Future
    (LD 1454)

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    Immediately after the failed LD 1378 override vote at the end of the 2015 session, Majority Leader McCabe amended a different bill, LD 1454, to direct the governor to release the LMF bonds. The bill passed with a majority in both chambers and was sent to the governor’s desk. At the beginning of the 2016 session, LD 1454 was reconsidered, further amended and passed unanimously in the House and Senate. LD 1454 provides $6.5 million to protect working farms, forests, and working waterfronts.

    YES IS THE PRO-Environment Vote

    Final Outcome:
    • House Roll Call #466 (01/12/2016) 147 | 0
    • Senate Roll Call #471 (01/21/2016) 34 | 0
  • 2015: Regulatory “Takings” Change Defeated
    (LD 309)

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    The Legislature defeated regulatory “takings” legislation, which would have required the state to pay landowners if future laws passed by the Legislature arguably reduced their property values significantly. If the state could not afford to pay, the landowner would have been permitted to disregard the law. This legislation threatened to freeze the passage of any future environmental law or regulation because of the potential financial consequences to the state. The Senate passed the “takings” bill and the House rejected it. As a result, the bill died.

    YES IS THE PRO ENVIRONMENT VOTE IN THE HOUSE • NO

    Final Outcome:

    Bill died

    • House Roll Call #201 (06/10/2015) 85 | 64
    • Senate Roll Call #134 (06/03/2015) 16 | 19
  • 2015: Diversion of Increased Timber Harvesting Revenue Thwarted
    (LD 1397)

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    The Legislature voted against diverting timber harvesting revenue from public land stewardship. One of Governor LePage’s priorities has been to increase timber harvesting on public lands and use the revenue to fund unrelated heating programs. The Legislature rejected this proposal, as did the 126th Legislature in 2014 (see LD 1838). The diversion of timber revenue was soundly defeated in the House and unanimously in the Senate. Relatedly, the Legislature established a commission to review the use of revenue generated by harvesting on public lands as well as sustainable harvest levels.

    YES IS THE PRO ENVIRONMENT VOTE

    Final Outcome:

    Bill died

    • House Roll Call #272 (06/16/2015) 91 | 58
    • Senate Roll Call #0 () 0 | 0
  • 2015: Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Bonds Withheld
    (LD 1378)

    LMF photo

    The Governor continues to withhold Land for Maine’s Future funding, approved by voters in 2010 and 2012. LMF supports the conservation of farms, forests, waters and recreational access. The Governor held the bonds hostage in 2013 until a hospital debt was paid. The debt was paid and the Governor promised, in writing, to release the bonds. The Governor broke his promise and held the bonds hostage again this year, subverting the will of Maine voters. This time, LePage demanded an increase of timber harvesting on public lands above current sustainable levels, to fund unrelated heating programs. Sen. Katz sponsored a bill to require Governor LePage to release the LMF bonds. The Legislature voted to support the bill but the Governor vetoed it. On the last day of the session, the Senate voted to override the veto, but the House failed to override it by five votes. Six representatives switched their votes after receiving intense pressure from the Governor’s office. Despite this tremendous disappointment, immediately following the vote, another bill was amended (LD 1454) to direct the Governor to release the LMF bonds. This bill was passed by both bodies and will likely be vetoed by the Governor in January. The Legislature will have a chance to override this potential new veto in 2016.

    YES IS THE PRO ENVIRONMENT VOTE

    Final Outcome:

    Bill vetoed by Governor; veto override failed

    • House Roll Call #460 (07/16/2015) 91 | 52
    • Senate Roll Call #426 (07/16/2015) 25 | 9
  • 2015: Energy Efficiency Funding Replaced: “AND”
    (LD 1215)

    MUBEC NREL

    The Legislature restored energy efficiency funding to the Efficiency Maine Trust. In March, the Public Utilities Commission slashed $38 million from energy efficiency programs. The funding cut was the result of a clerical error in the omnibus energy bill of 2013 – the word “AND” had been erroneously omitted. Rep. Gideon sponsored a bill to fix the error and restore the energy efficiency funding. The bill overwhelmingly passed both bodies and was vetoed by Governor LePage. In an act of solidarity and good governance, the Legislature unanimously overrode the Governor’s veto. This was one of the bills the Governor held hostage; offering to sign the bill in exchange for more control over Efficiency Maine. The Legislature did not agree to the Governor’s terms.

    YES IS THE PRO ENVIRONMENT VOTE

    Final Outcome:

    Bill vetoed by Governor; veto override successful

    • House Roll Call #387 (06/23/2015) 144 | 0
    • Senate Roll Call #371 (06/23/2015) 35 | 0
  • 2015: Metallic Mining Rules Rejected
    (LD 750)

    mining pollution

    The Legislature defeated metallic mining rules submitted by the Department of Environmental Protection. The same rules were submitted to and rejected by the 126th Legislature. The Environment and Natural Resources Committee spent significant time reworking the rules this session and voted 8-5 to approve them. However, the rules still did not adequately protect clean water or taxpayers from paying the cost of cleanup and were rejected by large majorities in the House and Senate. By law, the 1991 metallic mining rules will remain in effect until new rules are approved by the Legislature.

    NO IS THE PRO ENVIRONMENT VOTE IN THE HOUSE • YES

    Final Outcome:

    Rules rejected

    • House Roll Call #156 (06/04/2015) 109 | 36
    • Senate Roll Call #287 (06/17/2015) 26 | 8