AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate sent a bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, that ban corporate campaign contributions in state races, to the governor’s desk on Tuesday. The initial vote was 24-10 in the Senate and 80-62 in the House.
LD 1417, “An Act Regarding Campaign Finance Reform” would ban corporations from contributing to individual legislative candidates or legislator-controlled political action committees, otherwise known as leadership PACs.
“Getting money out of our politics and our government is essential to ensuring that the Maine Legislature remains a governing body of citizens and a governing body that works for its citizens. That starts with the corporate contribution ban. It makes clear that our democracy is not for sale,” said President Jackson. “By limiting the amount of money flowing into our campaigns, working Maine people can have confidence in their government and elected officials. This is a win for Maine.”
Twenty-two states have already adopted provisions of this bill into state law according to the National Conference of State Legislators, including Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Federal election laws already prohibit corporate contributions to candidates for federal office.
“In the years since the Citizens United court decision, Maine has taken steps to strengthen campaign finance reform laws and improve transparency. We’ve passed laws to tighten the rules around Political Action Committees to ensure lawmakers aren’t profiting off PACs. We’ve put limits on when lawmakers can serve as registered lobbyists,” said Sen. Luchini. “This bill to prohibit corporate campaign contributions to political candidates is the logical next step.”
The bill now goes to the governor’s desk. The governor has ten days to sign the bill, veto the bill or allow the bill to become law without a signature.