AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers showed strong support Monday for a resolve that directs the Maine National Guard to bring the state in line with federal guidelines related to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of sexual assault in the military.

The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee took the unusual step Monday of moving straight from an introductory public hearing to a recommendation vote on LD 1504, A Resolve Directing the Adjutant General of the State to Ensure the Maine Code of Military Justice Addresses Sexual Trauma in the Military. The committee voted unanimously in favor of its passage.

The resolve calls on Maine Adjutant General James Campbell to conduct a detailed assessment of the Maine Code of Military Justice and other provisions in Maine law, with the intention of bringing the issue back to the Legislature next year for possible action.

The resolve comes on the heels of a startling Pentagon study released last week that estimated at least 26,000 military personnel were assaulted in 2012.

Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, the primary sponsor of the bill, said the Pentagon study stirred strong reactions among Maine National Guard members and advocates fighting against sexual assault.

“It’s just a very emotional day for a lot of us,” Valentino said. “I wish this bill would do more but it’s moving forward. Let’s come back next session and pass something.”

There was no opposition to the bill, which now heads to the full Legislature for passage.


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