The 125th Legislature is nothing if not ambitious.

Of the approximately 2,000 bill requests for the current legislative session, 595 have cleared the Revisor’s Office. The submitted legislation addresses a variety of topics, from regulatory issues and taxation, to the moose lottery, fireworks and whoopie pies.

Some bills have received plenty of media coverage. The following are a few that may not but are nonetheless noteworthy for illustrating the priorities of the tri-county delegation and their constituents.

This week is a review of bills 1 through 100. Future updates can be viewed online by visiting politicalpulse.sunjournal.com. The blog updates are likely to run ahead of the print pieces.

Here’s the rundown for 1 through 100:

– Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake, R-Turner, is sponsoring LD 16, a bill that would decrease the notification area for aircraft-delivered pesticides, or crop dusting.  State law currently requires the landowner using these pesticides to notify all of his neighbors living within a 1,320-foot radius. Timberlake’s bill would essentially reduce the radius to 100 feet, about one-third of the size of a football field. Timberlake lists his occupation as a farmer. He’s also sponsoring LD 490, a bill that would exempt the value of family farms from the estate tax.

LD 29 is a bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn, that would limit compensation for hospital executives to the governor’s annual salary, about $70,000. Bolduc has told the Sun Journal his proposal is motivated by recent reports that administrators were giving themselves pay increases while laying off employees and criticizing the state for not paying hospitals the Medicaid payments they are owed.

LD 20 would designate March 29 Vietnam Veterans Day. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, and Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, who want to honor Vietnam veterans by creating a day observing the day U.S. troops were withdrawn from that country in 1973. Briggs has been a frequent supporter of veterans and once staged a homecoming for 24 Iraq War troops. According to a recent Sun Journal story, she submitted the bill on behalf of Dwight Murphy, a Mexico man who served in the Vietnam conflict.

– Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, is sponsoring LD 38, which would allow junior hunters to shoot anterless deer. Harvell’s proposal would add a subsection to Maine hunting rules. Shooting antlerless deer is also the subject of LD 78, sponsored by Rep. Gary Knight, R-Livermore Falls. Knight wants to allow antlerless deer permits to be transferred to family members.

LD 74, is sponsored by Rep. Stephen Wood, R-Sabattus. It’s title,”An Act To Impose Liability on a Landlord for Damages Caused by a Tenant’s Pet,” might seem a bit misleading because it gives the impression that Wood is trying to hold landlords liable for damage to a rental property by a tenant’s pet. But what Wood wants to do is make landlords and tenants equally liable for damage inflicted on a human by a tenant’s pet.

– Knight is also sponsoring LD 79, which would amend how the motor vehicle excise tax is assessed. It was just two years ago that Maine voters rejected a controversial overhaul of the oft-maligned motor vehicle excise tax. The big concern was that it would represent a drastic cut in municipal revenues. Current law bases excise tax on a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, even if the buyer paid less via trade-in. Knight’s would base the excise tax on 90 percent of the suggested retail price.

– Knight has also introduced LD 80, which essentially tries to prevent Maine Clean Elections Funds from being distributed to a legislative or gubernatorial candidate who isn’t contested in a primary election.


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