Law lets state track deadbeats through cell records

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AUGUSTA (AP) – A new law gives the state another advantage in tracking down parents who owe child support payments.

Gov. John Baldacci on Tuesday signed a bill to give the state access to cellular phone records of “deadbeat parents.” The new law took effect immediately upon Baldacci’s signature.

The state will submit lists of parents who owe money to wireless service companies. The companies must return the lists with information including Social Security numbers and addresses and employers of those listed.

Wireless companies may assess reasonable fees to carry out the data searches.

A separate bill that was near enactment seeks to add privacy protections for cell phone customers. It would make Maine the latest state to ban the sale of personal cell phone records. That bill would also take effect immediately.

Bill no longer allows more liquor stores in smaller communities

AUGUSTA (AP) – Legislation that would have allowed more liquor stores in smaller Maine communities with fewer than 20,000 has been weakened to leave the current ceiling of three intact.

But the measure still includes one change: it no longer gives an advantage to large big-box stores in liquor license applications. The bill faced a final Senate vote.

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