October 29, 2015
First Round of Voting Completed on Bill Requests for Second Session
The Second Regular Session of the 127th Legislature will convene on January 6, 2016.
The Second “short” Session of the Legislature is only four months in length: January through April. This session is limited by the Constitution of Maine to budgetary matters, the Governor's legislation, legislation of an emergency nature approved by the Legislative Council, legislation submitted pursuant to authorized studies and legislation submitted by direct initiative petition of the electors.
On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the Legislative Council, comprised of the ten members of legislative leadership, held its initial round of votes on which bills will be considered during the Second Session of the Legislature.
Thirty-three bills were approved to move forward during that meeting. Lawmakers will have the opportunity to appeal bills that were rejected. Members of the Council also voted to table 18 bills for November 19th, when the Council will reconvene to hear appeals from the sponsors of bill requests which were not approved.
Here is the link to the list of legislator bill requests and the results of the Legislative Council voting:
The requests which are ultimately approved in November in this process will be added to the roughly 200 bills carried over from the 2015 legislative session. Here is the link to find the list of carryover bills:
November 3rd is Election Day in Maine. There are three issues on the statewide ballot and two special legislative House elections. The three issues include a citizen initiative on campaign finance; a bond issue for housing for seniors and a bond issue for transportation infrastructure. To read the ballot questions, please follow this link;
LePage Appoints Dr. William Beardsley Acting Education Commissioner
Dr. William Beardsley was appointed Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education on Friday, October 16th. Dr. Beardsley is a former President of Husson University from 1987 to 2010. In 2011, Dr. Beardsley was appointed as the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation. In 2012, Governor LePage appointed Dr. Beardsley to the State Board of Education. He has also been a longtime member of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Council. He replaces Tom Desjardin, who will revert to his position as Deputy Commissioner.
LePage Announces Judicial Appointments
Governor Paul R. LePage announced the nomination of two magistrates and two lawyers as District Court Judges and the nomination of a current Superior Court Justice as an Active Retired Justice for the Maine Superior Court.
The Hon. Maria A. Woodman, Esq. and the Hon. Paul D. Matthews, Esq. have been nominated as District Court Judges, as have Jed J. French, Esq., a managing law partner in a private firm, and Michael P. Roberts, Esq., a deputy district attorney.
Superior Court Justice Paul A. Fritzsche has been nominated as an Active Retired Justice for the Superior Court.
All Gubernatorial Judicial nominations will be heard by the Judiciary Committee of the 127th Legislature, and public hearings will be scheduled by the Committee.
For more information on the judicial appointees, please follow this link; http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov+News&id=658925&v=article2011
MAINE HIRE A VET CAMPAIGN
More than 100 employers have committed to hiring veterans at the halfway point of the Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign. The goal of the statewide initiative is to commit at least 100 employers to recruit veterans and with the result of at least 100 veterans hired. Through October 28, 2015, 118 employers are participating, with 64 veterans having been hired, including the full municipalities of Auburn, Poland, Portland and Scarborough.
The campaign provides support for employers to expand the hiring of veterans, to include a network of state and federal agencies, resources and nonprofits; education on military language and culture; assistance with recruiting, hiring, assimilation and retention; a Veteran Hiring Toolkit and recognition for the hiring and advancement of veterans.
Citizens Encouraged to Vote in Honor of a Veteran
This election season, the Department of the Secretary of State will once again offer the "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" program link at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/veteran/index.html , which was first initiated by the late Dan A. Gwadosky, 46th Secretary of State, in 2000. The program offers a way for voters to remember the brave soldiers, sailors and airmen whose sacrifices helped ensure that all Americans can exercise the right to vote.
Voters can participate in two ways:
Order a button. A signature part of the Vote in Honor of a Veteran program includes a free button that citizens can order at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/veteran/order.html from the Office of the Secretary of State, which can be personalized with the name of the veteran they wish to honor. Maine voters can order a button on the Secretary of State website or by calling 626-8400.
Share a tribute. When first initiated in 2000, the Vote in Honor of a Veteran program received such an overwhelming response that Secretary Gwadosky authorized the compilation of the stories of our veterans in the book "Maine Remembers Those Who Served." The book is now available online and continues to grow with additional tributes each year link at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/veteran/toc.html.
Participants can add a tribute to the veteran they are honoring by filling out the online form at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/veteran/tributeform.html.
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