District: Part of Auburn
Legislative service: Fourth term
Bill record: 26 bills, 13 signed, one carried over, 12 dead
Tax reform: For
Bear trapping ban: Against
Washington County slots at a tribal horse track: For
Stiffer seat belt law: For
Increase term limits from 4 two-year terms to 6: For
Deborah Simpson’s legislative interests were across the board this session.
An advocate for domestic violence laws, Simpson pushed a bill requiring more training for law enforcement officers in identifying the primary aggressor in domestic calls.
In the Education Committee, she presented a bill that provided greater clarification about what parts of a school’s crisis response plan are public and what parts are confidential.
And when the Maine Law Court handed down a decision barring municipal boards with a vacancy from taking any action, she rushed legislation to reverse it.
She pushed legislation to alter the protection-from-abuse laws and the family medical leave laws.
She submitted two separate bills designed to work together. One allows those people who report incidents of human abuse to also report animal abuse; the other allows animal control officers to report human abuse.
“It’s an odd thing,” Simpson said. “People will call to report animal abuse before they will call to report child or elder abuse. The animal control officer may be the first person who gets into the house.”
All of the bills passed.
Simpson is the chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, which dealt with more than 130 bills this session. One of the most significant was to redefine the definition of “physical or mental disability” within the Maine Human Rights Act.