Senator Eric Brakey Proposes Bill To Keep Unconstitutional Proposals Off Maine Ballot

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUSTA – Maine state Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) has submitted legislation to amend the Maine State Constitution and create a process to prevent unconstitutional referendum proposals from appearing on Maine ballots.

“The constitutional rights of Maine people should never be subject to a majority rule process,” said Senator Brakey. “We have a constitutional system just for that purpose: to protect the constitutional rights of Maine people from the whims of the moment. As outside special interests increasingly seek to exploit our state’s referendum process, this legislation would establish that our fundamental rights as Maine people are not up for vote.”

The legislation — LD 1411, “RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Limit Petitions for Direct Initiatives That Would Violate the Constitution of Maine” — would allow Maine’s governor, attorney general, state legislature or five-hundred citizens to request an opinion from Maine’s Supreme Court if they believe a referendum proposal is unconstitutional. If a majority of justices agree, Maine’s secretary of state would reject the proposal, under the law.

The legislation has bipartisan support and is expected to be referenced to the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs for a public hearing and work session.

As a constitutional amendment, if passed by the Legislature, Maine people would have the opportunity to ratify the proposal at the ballot box next November.

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