Constitution is the issue

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Revenue bills can only originate from the House, not the Senate. Now that seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? If a bill is going to raise revenue for the state, it must originate in the Maine House of Representatives, not the Senate.

It seems, however, that the Maine Senate has not only introduced a bill to raise revenue on saltwater fishermen, but it has declared the bill to be something other than a revenue-producing bill.

What? A bill that is going to raise more than a million dollars in new fees is not a revenue-producing bill?

When asked, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills decided that, in fact, it was not a revenue-raising bill. She ruled that it did not offend the Maine Constitution and it could go forward. How is that possible?

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The question is not whether you think saltwater fishermen should be forced to get licenses, but rather, how many offenses against the Constitution are we, the taxpayers, to bear? How many cavalier decisions are we to stand for?

The constitution of Maine and the Constitution of the United States seem to not matter.

Five dollars. Not much money by most people’s standards, but the $5 is not the issue. The Maine Constitution is.

Is it not possible for the people in Augusta to at least adhere to it?

Do they really believe that the rules are just for you and me and they are far too powerful to be bothered by such trivialities?

Harry Faulkner, Bethel

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