AUGUSTA — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, to reduce the outside influence of money in politics became law this weekend. LD 54, “An Act To Limit the Influence of Lobbyists by Expanding the Prohibition on Accepting Political Contributions,” puts restrictions on lobbyists using their money to influence electoral and policy outcomes.
“We have achieved another anti-corruption win,” said Sen. Chenette. “We are holding lobbyists more accountable now than ever before, and we’re preventing undue influence, to ensure we have a government that truly works for Maine people.”
LD 54 will ban sitting lawmakers and legislative candidates from accepting political contributions from lobbyists. The new law also will ban out-of-state lobbyist contributions to the Governor and gubernatorial candidates. Previously, the only ban in place was for sitting officials while the Legislature was in session. This law expands the ban to be year-round.
Maine joins five other states — Alaska, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and California — that already ban lobbyist contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Mainers deserve a government that they can trust – one that responds to their needs instead of corporate donors,” said Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. “Under this new law, we are making sure the voices of Maine people aren’t drowned out by lobbyist money. We are fighting for a government that works for regular people. I’m grateful for Sen. Chenette’s leadership and unwavering commitment to getting money out of our politics.”
This law is a part of Sen. Chenette’s successful campaign finance reform package, which includes LD 76, “An Act To Strengthen the Integrity of the Legislature by Extending the Waiting Period before Legislators May Engage in Any Amount of Compensated Lobbying,” and LD 256, “An Act To Ban the Use of Leadership Political Action Committees for Personal Profit.” Both of those bills became law last year.
LD 54 will go into effect 90 days after Legislature adjourns sine die, which is scheduled for April.