Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LD 1345, item 1 - Direct Initiative and People's Veto in danger!

----- Original Message -----

To: aftfmaine@gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:09 PM
Subject: HP0946, LD 1345, item 1 - Direct Initiative and People's Veto in danger!


Okay, this nonsense must stop! Legislators have "concurred" or agreed to further limit our rights again! They want to increase the number of signatures (current at 10% of total votes for governor in the last held election) which are needed for a Citizen's Initiative or People's Veto. They want us to gather 20% of the total of gubernatorial votes! Are they nuts? They also want to limit the Citizen's Petition (which they call a "Direct Initiative") to "one subject."
In fact, they're passing, amending, repealing, and then passing again, so many laws that we should limit them from passing bills without the support of a percentage of the public.

I'm listening to testimony in the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee hearing now... I'm logged in at www.maine.gov/legis. They're discussing opening Sunday hunting in Maine. Someone just mentioned that in the past 32 years this bill or ones similar to it, have come to the legislature 28 times! Polls show that about 75% of the public oppose Sunday hunting. Landowners who open their properties to hunters and others deserve one day a week off, don't they, without risking being shot? They're very generous with the use of their lands, and if we pass Sunday hunting, they could simply close their lands to everyone... even bird watchers.

We need to find a way to limit the bills being proposed. There are way too many; and we need to repeal statutes which are clearly in violation of our rights - like the portion of the Maine Health Security Act which makes prelitigation panels mandatory in medical malpractice case.

In judiciary committee they're discussing LD 1020 - gay marriage. Senator Bliss just mentioned that over 2000 comment sheets were received regarding the bill. There was some noise in the background just now; I believe that a woman was removed from the room. Bliss made a comment: "I'll clear this room." He then said they'd take a 3 minute recess. It's 2:15 as I'm writing. He said again at the beginning of the meeting: "We start the meeting at 1:00 sharp as always." He's being sarcastic; they're always late, by about a 1/2 hour this time.

Okay, committee is back, and Bliss is telling people that the public may NOT speak in these work sessions... that opportunity comes in public hearings held days or weeks earlier, usually. Committee member Joan Nass mentioned that about 90% of emails she received (and she received thousands) were in opposition to the bill and she'd vote against it. Now there goes the chair again, lecturing "I want to make Maine a better place... I have three children," and also "this is all about fairness." So why did he vote "ought not to pass" on LD 491 which would have eliminated discriminatory law? Now he tells the public "I'm a gay man... this is extremely personal to me."

Jarod Crockett opposes LD 1020... so does Joan Nass. Hastings says the bill is not about civil rights, but about the definition of marriage, and he suggests an amendment to it, but to pass it. All others support the bill. Hastings says it will go to referendum no matter what the committee votes... because of the huge amount of public interest.

Paula Michaud

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