Highlights from Maine Legislature’s 2006 session

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Some of the major legislation enacted during the 2006 session:

AT WORK

n Minimum wage rises to $7 as of October 2007

ENVIRONMENT and CONSERVATION

n Collection program established for mercury thermostats

n Button cell batteries containing mercury banned as of July 2011

n New limits for mercury emissions from individual sources

n Added regulation for pesticides to control browntail moths

n Further steps to reduce algae in the Androscoggin River

n OKd addition of 6,015 acres in Katahdin Lake region to Baxter State Park

ROADS AND LAKES

n Minimum fines for parking in spaces for disabled doubled to $200

n Youths 16 to 18 can’t operate personal watercraft unless they’ve completed a boater safety course or they have someone 18 or older aboard (starts 2007)

CONSUMER PROTECTION

n Selling wireless phone records illegal

n Access to automobile “black boxes” data limited

n Profiteering law strengthened

n Correction of credit reports in identity theft cases

n Limits on finance charges for debit cards issued in home equity loans

n More disclosures on “holds” in debit or credit card purchases

n Process simplified for immigrants getting health insurance

MISCELLANEOUS

n Voting simplified for private clubs’ smoking policies

n Requirements for issuing drivers’ licenses and state IDs to non-U.S. citizens tightened

n New restrictions on eminent domain

n More court oversight in child custody cases

n More disclosures by lobbyists

n More restrictions on Clean Election funding

n Chebeague Island secession OKd

n Augusta, Prospect-Verona Island bridges named

MAINE FIRSTS

n Homeless victims of violence get new protections

n Pets can be included in protection orders

LOOKING ABROAD

n Process set to discourage state purchases of clothes and shoes made in foreign sweatshops

n Divestiture of state pension funds in companies doing business in Sudan to protest genocide in Darfur

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