AUGUSTA – Proposals from a number of local lawmakers were left in the dust as legislative leadership Thursday weeded out bills for consideration in the upcoming second session.

Ruled out: bills by Sen. David Hastings III, R-Fryeburg, to amend a new law regulating big business, a bill by Rep. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston, to help homeless youth, and an effort by two Democrats, Lewiston Reps. Elaine Makas and Richard Wagner, to seal a loophole that allows out-of-state waste into municipal landfills.

All bills dealing with school consolidation got the ax as well. Party leaders said the concerns would be wrapped into legislation drafted by the state Department of Education and the Legislature’s Education Committee.

Some efforts by Central and Western Maine lawmakers did make the cut, however. Leadership approved a bill by Rep. Terry Hayes, D-Buckfield, to remove personal information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth and banking account numbers from documents found at the Registry of Deeds.

Sen. Bruce Bryant, D-Dixfield, and his brother, Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham, submitted several bills to combat Lyme disease. One, to expand the definition of Lyme disease to help the state gather more accurate statistics, was allowed in, while bills to reduce the deer tick population and provide funding for study of the disease were scrapped.

One of Rep. Richard Sykes’ bills to increase boater safety was approved. The Harrison Republican’s other proposals, including efforts to impose a horsepower restriction on boats on two bodies of water in his district and to establish a minimum age for operating power boats, failed to make the cut.

Leaders OK’d a bill submitted by Rep. Deborah Simpson, D-Auburn, to protect student athletes. Simpson said she put in the bill after a study by The New York Times revealed a high number of people dying from head injuries that occurred after previous head injuries were not recognized or treated promptly.

Simpson’s bill will provide for more training for athletic trainers and coaches to better identify and treat head injuries.

A bill by Rep. Timothy Carter, D-Bethel, was allowed in that seeks to establish a bracelet monitoring program for people “convicted of minor crimes.” Carter said the bill, if passed by the Legislature, will serve two purposes: ease the burden on correctional facilities by allowing certain individuals to stay at home, and offer a transition phase between being in prison and being on the outside in order to reduce recidivism.

The program uses GPS technology to track those wearing the bracelets.

The bills cleared by leadership will go before the full Legislature starting in January.


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