Legislative Council Reviews Appeals for 99 Bills in Augusta

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The legislative council went through a long list of bill requests.

99 up for review.

A bill addressing rising costs of electric bills passed through.

It follows the wind storm in October which is expected to cause rate hikes from CMP and Emera Maine.

The council also advanced a bill that calls for ensuring maternity care to continue in rural hospitals.

Just last may, Calais Regional Hospital closed its obstetrics unit.

Representative Stephen Stanley (D-Medway) says advancing this bill, and providing local maternity care, could ultimately lead to keeping more people from leaving the region.

"We're losing our youth and when you start using your youth, you're losing your communities. This bill here, I hope, will help ensure we'll keep the youth in our areas," says Stanley.

There were also multiple bills dealing with Maine's drug crisis.

One targeting opioid treatment for the homeless population passed.

"What this bill acknowledges is among the homeless population in Maine, both in rural and in urban areas, the opioid crisis is really having a devastating effect and impact," says Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook).

Another calling for safe disposal of drugs at places like pharmacies was rejected.

"Easy, cheap, simple. I think this was rejected on partisan basis. It makes me feel disappointed in this process. I'll bring it up in next session," says Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick, (D-Bangor).

The bills moved through will be heard on the floor during the new legislative session in January.