The full Legislature convened twice this week, on Tuesday and Thursday and will meet on Tuesday and Thursday of next week. Committees are wrapping up the remaining bills that they have, but there is still plenty of work left to complete before statutory adjournment on April 20, 2022.
The presiding officers of the Maine Legislature––Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford)––denied to circulate after deadline bill requests from Reps. Laurel Libby (R-Auburn) and John Andrews (R-Paris) related to gasoline and energy costs for Maine consumers, preventing either measure from being heard this legislative session.
On March 6, Libby made public her after deadline bill request which called for suspending the state’s 30 cent per gallon tax on gasoline through the remainder of 2022 in response to growing gas prices at the pump. On March 22, she began the process to circulate a ballot among the 10 members of Maine’s Legislative Council by submitting a request to the Revisor’s Office. From there, a ballot is drafted and the presiding officers may decide whether to allow the ballot to be circulated among the rest of the members who comprise the Legislative Council, which includes majority and minority leadership in both chambers of the legislature.
Rep. Libby, was notified on March 23 by Suzanne Gresser, the executive director of the Maine Legislature, that the presiding officers had denied the request to circulate the ballot. The next meeting of the Legislative Council, scheduled for Thursday, March 24, was cancelled. Without a meeting of the council or approval to circulate a ballot, Libby’s bill cannot be admitted into the second session for consideration by the full legislature.
Rep. Andrews also submitted a request to the Revisor’s Office to circulate a resolution calling on Maine’s congressional delegation to urge President Joe Biden’s administration to increase domestic oil production and support policies that make America energy independent. On Thursday, Andrews also received confirmation from Gresser that the presiding officers had declined to circulate his request among the other members of the council.
The presiding officers did allow the recent circulation of a bill sponsored by Rep. Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town) that would allow outdoor stadiums to serve spirits in addition to wine and malt liquor, which was released for public consumption on Tuesday
CANADIAN PACIFIC STRIKE…
The Canadian Pacific strike has ended, the strike caused a shortage of propane gas delivery via rail into the region. In order to recover from the disruption the State of Maine hours of service waiver continued through the week and will expire on Monday, March 28, 2022, unless the Governor chooses to continue it further
MEMA is excited to announce that the bill that MEMA worked to put in this session passed through the House and the Senate on Thursday this will and will now head to the Governor’s desk for signature.
MEMA and our members felt it was redundant for many customers to get a hard copy ticket verse an electronic delivery receipt. An electronic ticket will save significant time and reduces risk of injury for drivers. The requirement for a “meter stamped” ticket be left that is supposed to prove that the customer received the gallons they were being billed for used to be the primary practice for companies. This bill will become law 90 days after the 130th Maine Legislature adjourns for the session.