LD 31 RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District, Rep. Espling (R-New Gloucester)

This resolution would amend the Constitution of Maine to require that the signatures on a petition to directly initiate legislation be of voters from each of the State's 2 congressional districts and that the number of signatures from each congressional district be not less than 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in that congressional district in the previous gubernatorial election. It would become effective on March 1, 2019.  Similar bills (some requiring a certain number of signatures from each county, rather than congressional districts) have been proposed nearly every session for decades and have always failed to get the required 2/3rds vote in each chamber. The proponents of this bill argue that under the current process a citizen’s initiative can be certified with the majority of signatures coming from the more populated, southern areas of the state (i.e. York and Cumberland Counties). The proposal and even the final ballot vote, therefore, are not representative of people of the entire state. This bill is currently tabled in the House.