As more and more legislation moves from the committees to the House floor, more and more issues begin to evolve.
Link to Bill Status
This week in the House -
Two issues this week predominated discussion.
First, the issue of the RealID focused lots and lots of attention on the state’s need to answer the question about what we mean by privacy. Compliance with the federal RealID law is certainly easy, but I heard very good arguments about the role of state’s and federal rights and responsibilities. Eventually, I voted against the adoption of the RealID law because I feel strongly that it compromised some core Fourth Amendment rights.
Second, single use plastic bags took center stage on Thursday. The legislation allowed each town or municipality to set its own laws regarding single use plastic bags - and everyone thinks of grocery store shopping bags as an example. I must confess my antipathy to plastic bags of all types, though I’ll freely admit I use them. I worry about the sandwich I bring every day being stored in a plastic bag which will not decay for a century. The sandwich is gone in a few hours, and the bag hags around till long after I am dead. I guess you know how I voted on that bill.
Incidentally, I was so taken with the testimony
on LD 57 given by Representative Ralph Tucker, that I created a separate
web page for it; it was a classic piece of "down home" writing.
Thanks Representative Tucker!
In the Education Committee
The Education Committee is moving ahead, with interests in furthering early childhood education. We have had several bills which seek to find ways to make pre-K instruction more common for Maine residents. I do support these bills as the investment in children always pays off. In fact, I think the “return on investment” of early childhood education far outweighs the cost of remediation later.
I did receive almost 120 letters regarding a law to allow guns being carried on schools grounds in cars while picking up a child. The number of emails was almost astounding - even if they were largely “robot” emails. Clearly being able to pick up a child at school while having a gun in the car is an important concern for Maine residents. That’s understandable.
On another level, this week saw the work session for LD 760, a bill I introduced to promote safety and county fairs concerning petting zoos. The bill mandated that the owners of county fairs establish signage and appropriate facilities for washing hands after petting animals potentially containing e-coli bacteria.
The committee decided to write a letter to the responsible agency to inform petting zoo owners that this was a desirable practice.
Process is sometimes agonizingly slow.
was the first weekend we could really get out into the garden. What
a joy to see crocus, and the oriental poppies begin to grow.
As always, feel free to write to me and let me know your thoughts.