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Politics

Maine Lawmakers Endorse Bill For Hearings On Citizen Initiatives

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers have passed a bill calling for public hearings on citizen initiatives before they head to the ballot. The Democratic-led Senate approved the bill 32-3 Tuesday. It now heads to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' desk.

Currently, a citizen initiative heads to the ballot if lawmakers decline to pass it themselves.
 
The bill would require that certified initiatives receive a public hearing in front of a legislative committee.
 
The amended bill says the Legislature can waive the requirement for a public hearing with a two-thirds vote of those present.
 
Maine already allows the Legislature to hold public hearings and work sessions on such initiatives.
 
But Republicans have raised concern about a lack of hearings for ballot questions in recent elections.