Proposal from Maine Democratic leaders for a special legislative session shot down by Republican lawmakers

Senator Dana Dow says there's nothing that can't wait until next session.
Maine State House
Maine State House(Allegra Zamore)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4:59 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon released the results of a second poll to reconvene the legislature for a special session this month.

All Democratic, Independent and Tribal members of the legislature voted in favor of reconvening for a session at the Augusta Civic Center.

But, four Republican lawmakers voted against it and 64 failed to vote at all.

Under the Maine Constitution, a majority of each party must approve the request to reconvene.

“I think it’s incredible that they would turn their back and not do their jobs during this time,” Jackson said.

“First of all, we’ve got to get over this 50 person limit for meeting inside, that hasn’t been changed any, so right now it’s possible to go back until that’s changed. We’re not an exception,” said Senator Dana Dow.

The new poll question was issued after committees finalized nearly all the unfinished work from the second regular session that adjourned in March due to the pandemic.

162 bills were reported out of committee wth 74 percent of the votes bipartisan.

“There’s no reason why we can’t come in and do 163 bills in a day or two, and all those bills are important to somebody or the committees wouldn’t have put them out,” Jackson said.

“That isn’t some two or three day event. That’s two or three weeks. I’m not urgent about any of those bills,” Dow said. “There’s nothing that can’t wait until next session.”

Dow says he's waiting for the governor to provide input.

Jackson says he’s hopeful they can work something out to help the people of Maine in need during this time.

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