Augusta – The bill submitted by Senator Linda Baker (R-Sagadahoc) to dock the pay of legislators who have an excessive number of absences today passed the Maine Senate unanimously.

LD 1046, “An Act To Penalize Legislators for Excessive Absences,” requires that a member of the Legislature be penalized by having that member’s salary reduced for each legislative day the member is absent after 5 days of unexcused absence in the first regular session and after 3 days unexcused of absence in the second regular session.

An amendment attached to the bill by the State and Local Government Committee clarifies that every two years, at the beginning of each new Legislature, the Legislative Council will establish how to keep attendance and the amount of the salary deduction for absences.

“With the passage of this bill, we can ensure legislators are held accountable to the people they represent,” said Senator Baker.  “The legislation moves Maine forward in terms of transparency, and will benefit the legislative body as well as the people of Maine.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.