On January 21, 2021, 25,058 petitions were submitted on behalf of the citizens’ initiative effort, “An Act To Require Legislative Approval of Certain Transmission Lines and Facilities and Other Projects on Public Reserved Lands and Prohibit the Construction of Certain Transmission Lines in the Upper Kennebec Region.”
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows confirmed early this week that the certification of the signature has been complete and the effort has enough valid signatures to move forward.
The proponents of this legislation submitted 25,058 petitions with 95,622 signatures to the Elections Division last month. The Elections Division of the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions has completed the process of certifying the petitions and found 80,506 valid signatures, while 15,116 were not valid. A minimum of 63,067 signatures from registered Maine voters is required.
The Maine Legislature will now consider this initiative. Legislators can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote on the November 2, 2021 ballot.
Petitions for this effort were issued for circulation on Oct. 30, 2020. According to the proposed bill summary, this legislation seeks to require the approval of the Legislature for the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines and provides that high-impact electric transmission lines crossing or utilizing public lands must be approved by 2/3 of all the members elected to each House of the Legislature.
This initiated bill also prohibits the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region. These provisions apply retroactively to September 16, 2020, the date of filing of this initiative. This initiated bill also requires the approval of 2/3 of all the members elected to each House of the Legislature for any use of public lands for transmission lines and facilities and certain other projects. This provision applies retroactively to September 16, 2014.
Visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.