AUGUSTA – At 4 p.m. today, the deadline closed for Maine lawmakers to file legislation for consideration during the 2021 legislative session.
Any additional bill proposals, known as after-deadline bills, must be approved by the 10-member, bipartisan Legislative Council for consideration during the first regular session. The Legislative Council includes both Presiding Officers and the floor leaders in each chamber.
Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash released the following statement:
“This week, we hit two milestones. Health care workers all across the state began receiving the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, while new COVID-19 cases hit an all-time high. As we head into the final stretch of 2020, we still don’t know what 2021 will have in store or all of the new challenges that Maine lawmakers will need to grapple with. However, now that the deadline for bill submissions has passed, Maine lawmakers must come together, buckle down and start passing measures that deliver some relief.
“As I’ve said from the beginning of this session, we need to start by providing relief to Maine workers and small businesses who have suffered tremendously through no fault of their own. We also need to expand access to high-speed reliable internet to keep Maine kids learning, parents working, businesses running and seniors connected, while we do our part to reduce the spread of this virus. This session, I’m hopeful we can make serious headway to keep people in their homes, lower the cost of health care and take care of vulnerable Mainers – our seniors, veterans, children and more.”
This deadline, known as cloture, is established by the Maine Legislature through Joint Rule 202, which states that “all requests for bills and resolves submitted by Legislators for a first regular session must be submitted in complete form, as provided in Joint Rule 208, to the Revisor of Statutes by 4:00 p.m. on the 3rd Friday in December.”
Legislative committees will begin meeting to hold public hearings and work sessions on these measures in early 2021. A video stream of the committee meetings will be available through the Legislature’s YouTube channel. More information on how members of the public can participate in the public hearings will be announced at a later date.