Statutory Adjournment is Around the Corner

Statutory adjournment is five weeks away and the Maine Legislature still has a lot of work to complete. Bills are still being printed, committees are still meeting daily and there are still controversial bills remaining to be debated on the House and Senate floors.

The legislative committees have been working through their assigned bills. The Legislative Council and a few committees have successfully tested a hybrid model, allowing for both virtual and in-person participation. Legislative committees deadline for voting out assigned bills is today, March 11 and very few committees have met this deadline.

The Legislature convened in person on Wednesday, March 9th and have set an additional five meeting dates – March 17, March 22, March 24, March 29, and March 31. There is definitely a lot of work to do before April 20th including the Supplemental budget.

The Revenue Forecasting Committee increased the projections for the State’s General Fund revenue forecast by approximately $411.6 million for the current biennium, which ends June 2023. How to allocate that money will also need to be addressed prior to adjournment.

Representative Laurel Libby Proposes Suspending Maine’s Gas Tax as Prices Increase

Maine Representative Laurel Libby a Republican representing the town of Auburn has initiated emergency legislation to suspend the state’s gas tax of 30 cents for the remainder of 22. To pay for the gas tax revenue loss, Representative Libby suggests using some of the budget surplus money Governor Janet Mills was going to use for those $750 relief checks. The MaineDOT says the proposal would remove an estimated $173 million from the highway fund.

Related: Maine businesses urge lawmakers to sustain gas tax

In The News…

As energy prices surge, Maine lawmakers propose new relief bills

Jared Golden wants Joe Biden to use Defense Production Act to boost oil production

Janet Mills formally announces her reelection bid

Lawmakers consider $7 million boost to electric vehicle rebate program

Top Democrats, Republicans say they have deal to ban Russian oil imports

LePage calls for temporary cuts in gas tax, tolls