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2015 Maine Legislature Doubles Down on Bond Ballot Rewrite of Maine Constitution

In 2015 An Act To Limit the Information Required To Be Printed on Municipal Referenda Ballotswas sponsored by Representative Picchiotti of Fairfield, Cosponsored by Senator Whittemore of Somerset and Representative Beth O'Connor of Berwick (former manager of Maine Taxpayers United) . It was referred to The Joint Standing Committee on
State and Local Government where it was rejected by the majority .

Ought Not To Pass Representative Martin of Sinclair, Chair
Senator Libby of Androscoggin
Senator Willette of Aroostook
Representative Babbidge of Kennebunk
Representative Bryant of Windham
Representative Doore of Augusta
Representative Evangelos of Friendship
Representative Greenwood of Wales
Representative Tuell of East Machias
Representative Turner of Burlington
Ought To Pass Representative Pickett of Dixfield

The Maine Constitution Article IX General Provisions Section 14 constitutionally requires the following information to accompany the bond question
  • the total amount of bonds of the State outstanding and unpaid,
  • the total amount of bonds of the State authorized and unissued,
  • the total amount of bonds of the State contemplated to be issued if the enactment submitted to the electors be ratified
Remember that these state wide referendums wherein the public votes on the issuance of bonds were the first thing that GovernorLongely and the founding fathers ofthe Corporation of Maine wanted to eliminate

The Report- Governor's Task Force For Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation For An Economic Development Program -110th Congress, calls for the elimination of local referendums on municipal bond issues
2, eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues.- Governors Task Force for Economic Redevelopment-1976

 Below is a description of the information which the constitution requires to be made available with state wide referendums- as found in the current statutes:

§353. Explanation of proposed amendments and statewide referenda
With the assistance of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General shall prepare a brief explanatory statement that must fairly describe the intent and content and what a "yes" vote favors and a "no" vote opposes for each direct initiative, bond issue, constitutional resolution or statewide referendum that may be presented to the people. The Office of Fiscal and Program Review shall prepare an estimate of the fiscal impact on state revenues, appropriations and allocations of each measure that may appear on the ballot, within the following time frames: for a direct initiative, within 15 business days after the applicant has given consent to the Secretary of State for the final language of the proposed law; and for a statewide referendum, bond issue or constitutional resolution, within 30 days after adjournment of the legislative session in which the measure was passed. The fiscal impact estimate must summarize the aggregate impact that the constitutional resolution, statewide referendum, direct initiative or bond issue will have on the General Fund, the Highway Fund, Other Special Revenue Funds and the amounts distributed by the State to local units of government. [2011, c. 342, §1 (AMD).]

1973, c. 625, §3 (AMD). 1979, c. 534, §1 (AMD). 1979, c. 541, §A2 (AMD). 1979, c.663, §1 (AMD). 1991, c. 837, §A1 (AMD). 2005, c. 316, §1 (AMD). 2007, c. 695, Pt. A, §2 (AMD). 2009, c. 341, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 462, Pt. D, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 538, §1 (AMD). 2011, c. 342, §1 (AMD).

Parts of the Maine Constitution, Article IX General Provisions Section 14 Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds, which directs where and how this information is to be made available to the voting public is being incrementally and statutorily overwritten by the contemporary Maine State legislature: The information is still available to the public but not in an open and accessible way. It has been removed from both the ballot and the ballot booth and placed somewhere outside the guardrail- which is to say outside the voting area and with out any instructions to post a notice for the public benefit about where that information can be found:

In 2013 §152. Ratification of bond issue; was amended to make constitutional compliance optional. The words “the statement may be printed on the ballot or it may be printed as a separate document that is made available to voters as provided in Title 21-A, sections 605-A and 651” are added to the end of the paragraph. Title 21-A, sections 651..2.Election materials distributed and posted instructs that the fiscal information will be posted “Outside the guardrail enclosure at each voting place”

§152. Ratification of bond issue…...To meet the requirement that the signed statement of the Treasurer of State accompany any ballot question for ratification of a bond issue, the statement may be printed on the ballot or it may be printed as a separate document that is made available to voters as provided in Title 21-A, sections 605-A and 651. [2013, c. 131, §1 (AMD).]

Title 21-A, sections 651..
2. Election materials distributed and posted.
A. In each voting booth: one voting instruction poster prepared under section 605-A; and [2011, c. 342, §22 (NEW).]
B. Outside the guardrail enclosure at each voting place:
(6) One Treasurer's Statement prepared under Title 5, section 152;
(8) One copy of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review's estimate of the fiscal impact prepared under Title 1, section 353. [2011, c. 342, §22(NEW).]

The statute does not include instructions to post notification about where the fiscal information is located. There was no notice about where to find the fiscal information where I voted. I called the town the next day and was told that the short paragraph of fiscal information was located somewhere in the office.

The 2015 revision to the Maine Constitution eliminates any ambiguity as to the meaning and intention of the Maine legislature's statutory amendment of the Maine Constitution: The Title of the bill specifically identifies what the legislature is enacting:

 The process by which the Constitution is overwritten  by statutes is the method used in Italy in the era of Mussolini to transform the nature of government without going through a constitutional process::

[Reprinted by permission of the Foreign Policy Association, from Information Service, Vol. II, No. 7, June 7, 1926.]

The march on Rome in October, 1922, established Mussolini and the Fascist party in power. The series of measures recently proposed under Fascist auspices marks a new crisis in Italian politics and a further development of Fascist authority. Up to the end of 1925 the Statuto Fundamentale del Regno granted by the King of Sardinia to his subjects in 1848 was still in essence the basis of the constitution of Italy. Changes, however, had been made?-not by constitutional amendments but by ordinary process of legislation. By this process various modifications had been effected from time to time, but the recent laws, while less dramatic than the coup d’état of October, 1922, constitute a whole program of legislation, and mean not only an extension of Fascist principles but an abrogation of the constitution and radical changes in the whole structure of the Italian state. Of these changes the most fundamental is the control of the entire productive life of the nation by the government, through the new Ministry of Corporations and an elaborate machinery of subsidiary organizations. According to its supporters this new system, with its substitution of a relationship of cooperation between labor and capital for one of antagonism, constitutes the achievement of a constructive and peaceful revolution in Italy and also furnishes a significant contribution to political theory and practice in world history.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 30-A MRSA §2528, sub-§6, ¶C, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 and Pt. C, §106 and amended by PL 1989, c. 6; c. 9, §2; and c. 104, Pt. C, §§8 and 10, is further amended to read:

C. Any question or questions required by law to be submitted to a vote shall must be printed either below the list of candidates or on a separate ballot from the ballot listing candidates. The full text of the proposal and any financial information may be printed on the ballot. If a separate ballot is used, this ballot must be a different color than the ballot listing candidates.

This bill amends the laws governing municipal referenda elections to specify that only the question to the voters is required to be printed on the ballot and that the printing of the full text of the proposal and any financial information is optional.

See Also  
Governor Longely's Architechs ot Transformation

1977 The Maine Capital Corporation - Seeding The Hegemony

Legislating  a Run Around The Maine Constitution

The Missing Most of the Economy!


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