© 2023 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

High court says Maine lawmakers can act on four citizen initiatives

The State House in Augusta at dusk on November 9, 2022.
Esta Pratt-Kielley
Maine Public
The State House in Augusta at dusk on November 9, 2022.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court says the Legislature can act on four ballot initiatives during the current special session.

The Legislature had asked the law court to determine whether it can vote to approve any of the four referendum questions, even though Democrats used a procedural maneuver to enact the state's budget in March.

Some argued that the Legislature forfeited its chance once the proclamations for the ballot initiatives were signed by the governor in April.

But the advisory opinion by the justices says lawmakers can still approve any of the four proposals, as long as there are no changes made to them.

The opinion breathes new life into one ballot question that would prohibit some foreign government owned entities from electioneering in referendum campaigns, which supporters hope will be approved by the Legislature this month. It would be the first time it has ratified a citizen-initiated law in 16 years.

Lawmakers are expected to send the other three straight to voters.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.