Maine Lawmakers To Consider More Disclosure On Ballot Initiative Financing

Feb 19, 2018

Legislative leaders have voted unanimously to allow a new bill this session that requires more disclosure of the financing of ballot initiatives. 

Rep. Louis Luchini, a Democrat from Ellsworth, is sponsoring the legislation. It requires more thorough and timely disclosure of the spending to get a ballot question approved.

“What is really important to me is to, I think, understand all of the financing issues," Luchini says. "That’s something we really saw last year during the casino campaign where lots of money was flowing in, we didn’t know where it was coming from. “

Luchini says the effort led by Shawn Scott to build a casino in York County was unsuccessful, but the drive to get the question on the ballot cost millions of dollars and was not disclosed until after the petition process was over. 

“From start to finish, I think, the campaign finance ballot questions need to be cleaned up," he says. "So it’s good to know who is paying for the original process just to get it on the ballot and then who is funding these ballot question committees that pay millions of dollars to promote initiatives.”

The legislation is aimed at providing greater disclosure of all aspects of spending around ballot initiatives.