AUGUSTA – Multiple priority initiatives sponsored by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon will become Maine law today, including a new property tax reduction fund, expanded access to reproductive health care, and an automatic voter registration system. Gideon’s bills to establish water quality standards to protect sustenance fishing for Maine’s tribes and her bipartisan LIFT bill will also become chaptered Maine law. A summary of Gideon’s legislative accomplishments for the first regular session of the 129th legislature is listed below.
Speaker Gideon released the following statement:
“I’m proud of the work the legislature completed this session. We were able to deliver common sense solutions to the issues facing Maine families. New legislation will expand access to healthcare and lower the cost of prescription drugs. We took major steps to lower property taxes, both in our budget and in stand alone legislation. My bills to help families gain financial independence and improve civic engagement will both have an immediate and a long-term impact on our State. And we also took concrete steps to beat the opioid epidemic and finally, we set aggressive goals to fight climate change. Lawmakers came together to do right by Maine families and that work will continue.”
Gideon Legislative Highlights
LD 1713 An Act To Return Funds to Maine Property Tax Payers – Creates the “Property Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents,” and requires the fund to provide property tax relief payments of $100 directly to residents of Maine who claim the Homestead exemption.
LD 1775 An Act To Protect Sustenance Fishing – Establishes water quality standards designed to protect sustenance fishing in certain waters for Maine communities, including tribes.
LD 1463 An Act To Create an Automatic Voter Registration System – Mainers will now be registered to vote when they interact with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or another approved state agency where they provide proof of eligibility for voter registration. This information will be automatically added to the Central Voter Registration file.
LD 1774 An Act To Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments so Families Can Thrive – Eases the transition for families leaving Medicaid when they start to make more money, puts in place transparency measures at the Department of Health and Human Services and gives more families access to immediate help by eliminating one of the outdated eligibility tests.
LD 1261 An Act To Authorize Certain Health Care Professionals To Perform Abortions – Repeals a ban that prevented qualified Advanced Practice Clinicians from providing abortion services. It removes barriers, helps eliminate the financial and logistical hurdles and brings down both the health risk and financial cost.