Legislative Report: Review of 2015 session: 9/16/2015

16 September 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With the summer now behind us, here is a review of the first legislative session which concluded in the middle of July.

In a defining way, the legislature united across many expected political divisions to override an unprecedented number of gubernatorial vetoes. I am proud of that bipartisan work.

As we began this session, with Democrats holding the majority in the House and Republicans the majority in the Senate, many expected that our work would be structurally gridlocked.

Instead, as a body, the legislature wasted relatively little time on partisan set pieces and instead focused pragmatically on policy that could gain bipartisan support between House and Senate.

The legislature considered more than 1400 bills this year.  Nearly three-quarters of these bills received unanimous recommendations from their respective legislative policy committees, jointly chaired by House Democrats and Senate Republicans.

About half of these unanimous reports supported the proposed bills and half recommended against passage. Roughly 30% of introduced bills were then enacted by both the House and the Senate.

Midway through the session, the increasingly isolated Governor declared that he would veto all subsequently enacted bills that had been sponsored by Democrats.  The Governor’s veto policy quickly expanded to include all bills regardless of policy or original sponsorship.

By the session’s end, the Governor had vetoed 181 enacted bills, including the complete budgets for the state’s General Fund and for transportation.

In an overwhelmingly bipartisan response, the legislature overturned 127 of the Governor’s vetoes largely without debate.

In the final day of the session, the Governor delivered veto letters for an additional 65 enacted bills.  But the legislature asserted (and the Supreme Court subsequently confirmed) that the Governor had missed the constitutional deadline to veto these bills and that in the interim they had properly become law.

In this climate, you will understand why I was very gratified to have eight of my own bills become law and to have three more carried over to the second session.  Another 16 bills that I cosponsored became law.

Our most significant achievement surely was the enactment of the state budget avoiding the government shutdowns through which many other states such as New Hampshire and Illinois are still struggling.

I am proud of that work and of the bipartisan leadership from House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Mike Thibodeau that resulted, against all odds, in a fair compromise budget which contained property tax relief, lower income taxes for the middle class, and more investment in our students and workers.

That accomplishment reinforces my belief that public policy-making in Maine has not devolved into the stalemates of posturing and polarization which unfortunately now color the federal legislative process.

Below is a sampling of bills which had some success this session. I’ve indicated my positions on each and the respective roll call votes.

I also want to share this working outline of my plan for the upcoming second session.

As always, please let me know your thoughts and concerns about state policy. It remains my honor and privilege to serve as your representative.

With gratitude,



Selected bills from 2015 legislative session – by policy area
Representative Brian Hubbell

14 September 2015

Appropriations and Financial Affairs

Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry

Criminal Justice and  Public Safety


Environment and Natural Resources

  • LD 568: An Act To Protect Maine Lakes prohibits certain applications of fertilizers containing phosphorous or nitrogen within 25 feet of great ponds.
    • I voted for this bill.
    • Result: Became law without Governor’s signature.
  • LD 795: An Act To Encourage Prudent Development along the Coast or in a Flood Zone by Considering Predictions for Sea Level Rise proposes to enact measures that would require sea level model predictions to be taken into account in the design phase of any development project on the coast or in a flood zone if more than 10% of the total funding for the project is state funding. Also proposes to enact measures to require coordination among state and federal agencies, universities and stakeholders concerning development projects on the coast or in a flood zone that may be affected by sea level rise.
    • I cosponsored this bill
    • Result: Carried over to second legislative session.
  • LD 427: An Act To Address and Mitigate the Effects of Marine Debris proposes to enact measures to address and mitigate plastic pollution in the marine environment, including but not limited to micro-debris pollution. For the purpose of this resolve, “micro-debris” means particles of plastic approximately 5 to 10 microns in length that may be ingested by filter-feeding organisms in the marine environment.
    • I cosponsored this bill
    • Result: Carried over to second legislative session.

Energy, Utilities, and Technology

Health and Human Services

Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development

Marine Resources

State and Local Government



Veterans and Legal Affairs:

  • LD 364: An Act To Allow a Sales Representative To Serve Spirits or Wine at a Tasting Event provides that a licensed sales representative may pour samples of spirits, wine or malt liquor at a taste-testing event that has been authorized by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations at an on-premise retail licensee’s establishment, an agency liquor store or an off-premise retail licensee’s establishment.
    • I cosponsored this bill.
    • Result: Became law signed by Governor.
  • LD 516: An Act Regarding Gaming prohibits lottery draw games with more than five daily drawings such as Keno.
    • I voted for this bill.
    • Result: Became law despite Governor’s veto.


Representative Brian Hubbell,
Maine House District 135
Bar Harbor, Lamoine, Mount Desert
66 Park Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(800) 423-2900 (Augusta)
288-3947 (home)

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