The Second Session of any legislature here in Maine is traditionally the time to complete any “carried-over” bills from the First Session, as well as to decide the fate of any “emergency” or new legislation. As we predicted at the end of last year, it appears that the Second Session won’t have a shortage of weighty topics to debate.
Legislators will once again revisit education and workforce challenges, infrastructure issues, energy policy, and taxation polica. There is no shortage of work in the next 3.5 months as legislators grapple with more than 400 “carry over” bills from the First Session, nearly 160 new titles approved by legislative council, and several pieces of legislation submitted by the Mills administration, which we are currently reviewing.
Approximately 500 bill titles are an average workload for the Second Session. However, in that mix are two new significant issues brought forward by the administration, specifically Governor Janet Mills’ recently released health care proposal (see page 1) and implementation of the state’s Economic Strategic Plan. In other words, while approximately 500 bills seem manageable in just a few months’ time, the complexity of these issues represented in that mix of bills means it will be no easy task for lawmakers to make statutory adjournment in April. To top it all off, 2020 is an election year, with candidates for both the Legislature and Congress campaigning earnestly.
As always, I can assure you that our team will be there to ensure that the interest of our members, and Maine’s business community as a whole, is well-represented at the Statehouse and beyond.