Meredith's Key Priorities >


Here is a brief summary of just some of the bills that made it through the legislative process and became law. For more information on any bill, click here. This link will take you to the Legislative site for researching bills. You can search by bill number or by subject.

Key: LD= Legislative document
PL= Public Law


LD 2309 PL 648
LD 2304 PL 659

The 123rd Legislature passed two bills that will put Maine into compliance with Department of Homeland Security demands to tighten state driver's license security. One will require that an applicant for a license or non-driver identification card show valid evidence of legal presence in the United States and require that a legal non-resident's license must expire when the person's visa expires.

A second law, effective April 22, requires a first-time applicant for a driver's license to show two documents with proof of state residency. Acceptable documents include a tax return, W-2 form, paycheck stub, utility bill, college ID or school transcript. Prior to this law, there were no residency requirements to receive a Maine driver's license.

LD 2313 PL 647
Maine's bridges will be made safer as the Legislature approved bonding $160 million to repair some of the 288 bridges that will need work in the coming years. To help pay for these loans, various title, registration and vanity plate fees will increase beginning September 1, 2008.


LD 2012 PL 591
In an effort to protect children from the dangers of second-hand smoke, legislators passed a law which takes effect on September 1, 2008 prohibiting a person from smoking in a vehicle if a child under the age of 16 is present. A police officer may only issue a warning to a person caught violating this provision for the first year. Beginning September 1, 2009, a person may receive a $50 fine.

LD 2081 PL 510
The sale of novelty lighters, those that appear to be a toy, feature a flashing light or make musical sounds, is now banned.

LD 2109 PL 516
All health insurance policies must cover colorectal cancer screenings recommended by a health care provider for people over the age of 50 or, if younger than 50, are at a high risk for colorectal cancer. This applies to all policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2009.

LD 2048 PL 643 & LD 2053 PL 604
Toxic chemicals in children's toys will receive closer monitoring and the sale of children's products with unsafe levels of lead is banned.


LD 2269 PL 638
LD 1869 PL 273
LD 2181 PL 696
The practice of "slamming," or changing a consumer's telephone service without express authorization, is outlawed. Maine homeowners have new protections from predatory lenders. Customers can request cash refunds on gift card balances of $5 or less beginning November 1.

LD 2257 PL 699
Towns with over 2,000 residents will soon have to adopt the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. Towns that have adopted any building code by August 1, 2008 must enforce the new code by July 1, 2010. Towns that have no building code must adopt the Uniform Code by July 1, 2012.


LD 1697 PL 640
The minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour starting October 1, 2008. A year later it will increase again to $7.50 per hour.

LD 2132 PL 519
A person can now take family medical leave to care for a sibling with a serious health condition if the siblings are responsible for each other's common welfare through joint living or financial arrangements.


LD 633 PL 556
The Snowmobile Trail Fund will receive extra funding for trail maintenance. To help pay for this, snowmobile registration fees for residents will increase from $33 to $35 and nonresident seasonal registration fees will increase from $68 to $88.

LD 648 PL 564
In an effort to preserve Maine's tradition of hunting and other outdoor activities, a new law ensures that the total number of acres of public land open to hunting cannot fall below the acreage open to hunting on January 1, 2008.

LD 2142 PL 492
The Legislature adopted changes to Maine's super pack license to allow for more equity in the distribution of antlerless deer permits. It limits the three deer that may be taken with a super pack license during the special archery season to antlerless deer only. Also, landowners who allow hunting on their lands must receive at least 25% of the antlerless deer permits issued for a wildlife management district.


LD 2219 PL 642
Ethics standards for legislators regarding conflict of interest situations have been clarified. Also, citizens now may file a complaint against a legislator if filed in writing specifying the facts of the alleged violation and signed under oath.

LD 2015 PL 567
Maine Clean Election (or taxpayer-financed) candidates for the Maine Legislature are prohibited from using Clean Election funds to pay a member of the candidate's family for goods or services unless it is a legitimate campaign expense priced at a fair market value and the family member provides those goods or services as a regular part of their business. Privately-financed candidates must also disclose when they use campaign funds to pay a household member for campaign-related goods or services.

LD 2147 PL 551
In an effort to ensure that state government is a model employer of people with disabilities, all state agencies must submit a plan to increase the opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Bureau of Human Resources will report on the plans to the Legislature biennially and will provide an assessment of the plans' effectiveness and any proposed legislation necessary.


LD 2247 PL 629
The Maine House and Senate passed a controversial measure to raise taxes on beer, wine and soda to fund the Dirigo Health program. The tax on these beverages replaced the original proposal to increase the cigarette tax by 50-cents a pack. Also, the measure adds a 1.8 percent tax on all health insurance claims. The bill narrowly passed in both chambers, with the vote splitting mostly along party lines.

The Dirigo Health program, which provides subsidized health insurance policies, originally planned to cover Maine's 130,000 uninsured residents by 2009. It currently covers approximately 14,000 Mainers with an annual budget of $57 million.


LD 1932 Consolidation fix
LD 701 Indian Island Slots
LD 1878 Public Notice Requirements
LD 2320 Fund of Funds
LD 2134 Super Tournament License
LD 2236 No License for Nonprofits
The Governor vetoed two bills during the past session. One was the initial "fix" to last year's school consolidation law. A subsequent consolidation proposal did pass. The second vetoed bill would have allowed 100 slot machines to be operated on Indian Island in Old Town during licensed high-stakes beano games.

The Governor also declined to sign four other bills. This is known as a "pocket veto." The first bill would have saved state funds by altering the public notice requirements in newspapers. Notices would still have been published in daily newspapers but in a shorter form and could have been published in local or weekly papers that are mailed to homes or are available at no cost. Public notices would also have been available on a state website.

The second bill would have established the Maine Fund of Funds to increase access to venture capital to create investments in the Maine economy and stimulate job creation. According to government officials, the state could be liable for up to $19 million annually if this program was established.

The final two bills concern gaming. One would have authorized state police to issue a license once a year for cribbage competitions that are sponsored by charitable and fraternal organizations. The tournament would have been limited to 1,000 players with no more than $10,000 in entry fees. The other would have allowed nonprofit organizations to conduct games of chance without a license if they collected no more than $10,000 in entry fees at any one event and did not collect more than $15,000 total in one year. The organizations would have had to pay a $30 registration fee for each event.



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