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Passage of the 129th Legislature’s first invoice into regulation is imminent.
It’s doubtless to be LD 477, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, which would offer financial aid for federal staff furloughed or working with out pay should another partial or full authorities shutdown happen this yr. The Senate is predicted to approve the invoice in a vote later this morning before it heads to the Home, and Gov. Janet Mills has already stated she is going to sign it.
Bills to rename bridges also are nearing the top of the legislative course of.
A Legislature’s first batch of payments, which usually arrives a month or so after a legislative session has convened, is a definitive marker that state democracy is lastly in full tilt, though historically, more typically than not, these payments are unceremonious, even rote.
The first act of the previous Legislature was to stall a regulation handed by voters. Initially of the last legislative session, then-Gov. Paul LePage signed the first invoice into regulation, LD 88, which delayed implementation of certain elements of the Marijuana Legalization Act.
In 1999, at the start of the 119th Legislature beneath former Gov. Angus King, it was an emergency invoice clarifying the state’s intellectual property legal guidelines as they related to the Legislature, after the discharge of a 1998 documentary, “Person to Person: Legislating Maine,” depicting the ins and outs of the legislative course of.
A number of years earlier, in 1995, simply as King was succeeding John McKernan within the Blaine Home, the 117th Legislature’s first bill extended the deadline for the Committee to Research Organizational and Tax Issues in public faculties to report its findings to the governor’s workplace. Days later, a invoice setting the parameters of the state’s milk-handling tax, was passed into regulation.
Within the early days of statehood, legislatures and governors set geographic and social boundaries. Throttling back many years to the 8th Legislature in 1828, one of many first payments handed into regulation by then-Gov. Enoch Lincoln designated the center channel of the Penobscot River and bay as the dividing line between Hancock and Waldo counties — as it exists at this time.
In January of 1835, firstly of the 15th Legislature, an act outlining the “safe keeping of persons insane, lunatic or furiously mad” dictated that the city where the “mad person” lives is chargeable for his or her well-being until the Supreme Judicial Courtroom had time to intervene and the individual might be launched. Likewise the town was answerable for damages brought on by the individual in query, even if that meant accidents to others.
The city of Arrowsic was included initially the 21st Legislature in 1841. In 1863, initially of the 42nd, the Legislature set jailers’ weekly compensation at not more than $2.
Regulating natural assets and immigration are not new tasks for governors and lawmakers. In 1911, the 75th Legislature established its first-ever scallop season, noting that the “beds are becoming seriously depleted to the point of absolute destruction,” in accordance to the regulation. Roughly 300 households, depending on the business at the moment, would’ve suffered if the business was destroyed, it stated. The emergency laws blocked scallop cultivation or sales, except from April 15 to Nov. 1.
One of the first legal guidelines enacted by the 52nd Legislature in 1873 shaped Maine’s first Board of Immigration. The board included a commissioner (whose annual salary was $1,000), then-Gov. Sidney Perham, the secretary of state, and a resident of New Sweden — a fledgling colony of Swedish immigrants in Aroostook County.
Beneath the new regulation, the commissioner’s duties included “general care and oversight over all immigrants coming to Maine; to give them all needful information, to assist them in settling upon the public lands of the state, or obtaining employment within its borders,” in accordance to the regulation. The board assigned every adult immigrant “a lot of 100 acres” for five years.
On the finish of five years, the state granted a deed to the immigrant or his remaining household for the property if he had built “a comfortable house thereon” the property, and greater than 15 acres had been cleared — “ten of which shall be laid down to grass.”
Regardless of which invoice lands first on Mills’ desk, what’s doubtless to be the Legislature’s most vital work this session — an $eight billion price range to fund Maine government for the subsequent two years — is months away, as the Appropriations Committee gained’t start public hearings on it until next week.
Right now in A-town
Maine’s prime decide will update lawmakers on the state of the judiciary branch. Chief Justice Leigh Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Courtroom will deliver her annual handle to the Legislature at 11 a.m. as we speak. The Home and Senate are slated to maintain brief periods before Saufley’s speech. Here is her soundtrack.
Most legislative committees will meet immediately with finances work and hearings on power, tax-break and car inspection bills scheduled. On the busy schedule at present is figure in the Health and Human Providers committee on Mills’ supplemental price range. The payments getting public hearings on Tuesday embrace proposals to develop a 10-year power independence plan, exempt feminine hygiene merchandise from the sales tax and roll back car inspection necessities to varying levels.
— With a referendum hanging over their heads, lawmakers spent hours Monday listening to from each side on a invoice to mandate paid sick depart in Maine. The general public hearing earlier than the Labor and Housing Committee drew dozens of opponents and proponents, Maine Public reviews. The invoice, introduced by Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, would require corporations and organizations with greater than 5 staff to present paid sick depart. The Maine Individuals’s Alliance and its allies have been accumulating signatures for a citizen initiative that may trigger a statewide vote on an analogous measure. Given robust help among Democrats who management both chambers of the Legislature, even opponents acknowledged that some type of paid sick depart mandate would probably be enacted, however they asked lawmakers to work with them to reduce the added administrative prices and think about the overall monetary impression of the host of progressive office initiatives being thought-about during this legislative session.
— The governor pulled Maine out of a gaggle that supports offshore drilling. Shocking no one, Mills — who has made decreasing the influence of climate change a precedence — introduced Monday that Maine would go away the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Association, which helps offshore drilling for oil and natural fuel. When LePage joined the group in 2015, Maine turned the one New England state within the group. When she was lawyer basic, Mills joined Maine’s congressional delegation in criticizing President Donald Trump’s suggestion that extra coastal waters must be opened to drilling.
— Maine youngsters gained’t be pressured to take cursive handwriting classes in public faculties. A invoice to mandate cursive handwriting instruction in third by way of fifth grades earned a unanimous “ought not to pass” suggestion from the Legislature’s Schooling Committee on Monday. Lawmakers will send a notice to the Department of Schooling, asking that educators contemplate together with cursive instruction of their curriculum.
— Bears in Maine can sleep — or wake up — soundly this spring. The Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee unanimously shot down a invoice that may have allowed a spring searching season in Maine. Landowners, guides and the Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the proposal. Maine has a 13-week fall bear searching season.
Getting it write
I need to admit that the demise of the cursive handwriting mandate bill unleashed another flood of childhood reminiscences. However every time I mention my 1960s classroom experiences, it traumatizes modern-day academics. So I will maintain this temporary and omit some sordid particulars.
In first grade, our precedence was learning how to read and add. We spent hours with Tip and Mitten, who have been the heirs to Dick and Jane on the earth of reading primers. We also spent hours doing group work — which within the 1960s was actually more like open competitors — to clear up simple equations.
However we additionally spent a huge amount of time on penmanship. Cursive handwriting was so essential during that point earlier than touch screens and keyboards on anything aside from guide typewriters that the varsity district enlisted a specialist to come to our classroom and train us the proper method to write. In our case, it was a stern lady who appeared a few times every week to frighten us into being specialists on the Palmer technique of penmanship.
Among the many tools she brought to the classroom have been rulers and rubber bands. I’ll depart it to your imagination as to how she worked them into her lesson plans. However she was not a nun and there was no abuse.
There was no room for individuality or private type. There was a proper means and a fallacious means to write. Regardless of being a usually compliant lad, I never mastered it fairly the best way she needed it. Hence, my penmanship grade all the time sullied what would in any other case be stellar report cards. It was all the time my worst grade, and I obtained into even more hassle throughout one quarter once I requested why she did not write the C on my report card in cursive.
Paradoxically, I nonetheless write cards and letters by hand, all these years later. But I print. Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Long
At this time’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Long. For those who’re reading this on the BDN’s website or have been forwarded it, click on here to receive Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.