Senator Eric Brakey Submits Constitutional Carry Bill; Has Nearly 100 Co-Sponsors
Augusta – Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) today submitted his legislation to allow Mainers to carry a concealed handgun without a permit, if they are already legally eligible to own a handgun. The legislation, commonly known as “Constitutional Carry” or “Vermont Carry,” has garnered wide bipartisan support from both legislative chambers.
A total of 96 legislators---representing well over 50% of all Maine’s lawmakers, including a majority of members in the Democrat-controlled House---signed on as bill sponsors. Members of both Republican and Democrat legislative leadership have signed on to support the legislation. The lead co-sponsor on the legislation is Representative Michael Shaw (D-Standish).
“I am glad to have strong bipartisan support from both chambers for this bill,” said Senator Brakey. “This is a moderate proposal. It allows law-abiding citizens, who are already legally eligible to carry a visible handgun, to also carry a concealed handgun. Under current Maine law, the simple action of putting on a jacket turns a law-abiding gun owner into a law breaker, unless they undergo a lengthy permitting process. This legislation changes that, and in doing so restores our Second Amendment Rights.”
Though eligible citizens would no longer be required to seek a permit to carry a concealed handgun within Maine’s borders, the legislation preserves Maine’s permitting system so that citizens can enjoy reciprocity with other states.
Constitutional Carry is currently law in the states of Vermont, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.
A public hearing has not yet been scheduled for the legislation.
Below are remarks from the Maine Senate Republican Leadership regarding the Governor’s State of the State Address.
Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo)
“There is a lot to like in the plan the Governor laid out for the State of Maine tonight. I was particularly encouraged by his commitment to lower electricity prices for Maine homeowners and businesses and revisit some our renewable energy policies that are costing ratepayers too much.
“I also support the Governor in his plan to continue the fight against welfare abuse by cutting down on fraud and protecting the system for the truly needy.”
I thought other highlights of tonight’s speech were his commitments to provide much-needed funding increases for our struggling nursing homes and to reduce the waiting lists for disabled Mainers who have been waiting too long for critical services.
“I would also like to commend the Governor for his proposal to reduce income taxes in Maine. For too long our tax policies have been a burden to our hard working families and businesses. As the session goes on, we will get a better understanding of how his entire tax proposal affects our local communities.
“The Governor has put forth a bold proposal and I look forward to working with him on it to make Maine a better place for all of us.”
Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin)
“Governor LePage’s goal to eliminate the income tax is laudable. We must put more money back in the pockets of Mainers and focus on having an efficient, effective government. We must always remember that Maine’s hardworking taxpayers foot the bill for our government. They must be at the forefront of any and all decisions made about state spending.”
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot)
“The Governor is to be applauded for the thoughtful budget proposal he has put forth for the people of our state. By prioritizing our needy populations and striving to eliminate the income tax, he puts Mainers first and continues his work to ensure that government is working for the people, as it should be.”
Senate President Thibodeau to Swear In Governor for Second Term
Ceremony will Take Place During Joint Convention at Augusta Civic Center
AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage will be sworn in for a second term during a joint convention of theMaine Legislature on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. The ceremony will take place at the Augusta Civic Center beginning at 11:30 am.
The Governor was reelected by Maine voters last November. He will be sworn in by Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) who was also reelected and chosen by his fellow senators to serve as Senate President for the 127th Legislature.
Following the inauguration, there will an inauguration party on the evening of January 7, also at the Augusta Civic Center. For more information on Inauguration Day events, please click here.
Maine Senate President Announces Committee Assignments for 127th Legislature
Breaking with Tradition, Nearly All Senators will Serve on at Least One Committee
AUGUSTA – Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) has announced senate committee assignments for the 127th Legislature.
The Maine Legislature has 17 standing committees that meet regularly when lawmakers are in session. Some committees continue to meet after adjournment. The committees are made up of 13 members and will be co-chaired by Republicans who hold the majority in the Maine Senate.
Unlike recent Legislatures, nearly every senator, including members of the majority leadership, will serve on committees. For example, Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) will be assigned to the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee and Assistant Majority Leader Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) will continue to be a member of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.
“There is a lot of important work in front of us, and we plan to have a very ambitious agenda,” Senate President Thibodeau said. “That’s why we’re looking at the committee work as an ‘all hands on deck’ situation. I believe that with these committee assignments, the people of Maine will benefit from the legislative experience of both returning Republicans and Democrats and the real world experience of our newly-elected members.”
Below are the senate committee assignments for the 127th Maine Legislature. (Note: the first name listed in each committee is the committee chair.)
Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry: Sen. Peter Edgecomb (R-Aroostook) Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin), Sen. James Dill (D-Penobscot).
Appropriations and Financial Affairs: Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford),Sen. Roger Katz (R-Kennebec),Sen. Linda Valentino (D-York)