Maine judiciary warns against ballot question reform

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AUGUSTA — Maine’s judicial branch is warning lawmakers that a proposal to reform ballot questions could jeopardize the separation of powers.

Maine Public reports judicial branch spokeswoman Mary Ann Lynch took the rare step of testifying against the bill this week.

Republican Sen. Eric Brakey’s bill would allow the Legislature, governor and attorney general to ask the state Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in on the constitutionality of a proposed referendum before it reaches the ballot.

Lynch on Tuesday said it would feed concerns about courts acting as legislators.

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Lawmakers are considering reforming citizen initiatives increasingly funded by out-of-state interests.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says voters didn’t know the impact of initiatives they approved.

Maine’s high court is considering weighing in on a new voting method that voters approved last fall.

More political coverage….

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