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.


Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.