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PNS Weekend Newscast - September 23rd, 2017 


Here's a look at what we're covering: Senator John McCain says no to the GOP's health care plan, a new survey takes a look at how residents in one state feel about the effort to real Obamacare, and International Day of Peace is being celebrated this weekend.

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Scorecard: Some Progress, No Major Rollbacks on Maine Clean Elections

A new report card sizes up Maine's clean elections law and notes a couple of measure that failed by a narrow margin in the State Senate. (Royalbroil/wiki)
A new report card sizes up Maine's clean elections law and notes a couple of measure that failed by a narrow margin in the State Senate. (Royalbroil/wiki)
August 31, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine -- A nonpartisan group is out with its annual report card on this year's legislative session, how lawmakers performed on Maine's campaign finance laws and how they serve the public interest.

Anna Kellar is the program director for Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. She said this session was a mixed bag, with some small progress being made, and lots of bills turned back that could have harmed the clean elections initiative.

"So, we were able to achieve the funding for clean elections in the budget that will let candidates be able to use the clean elections system in 2018 with confidence” Keller said. “And we were able to defeat the bills that were trying to roll back parts of that citizen initiated law."

By Kellar's count, there were about 15 bills that failed this session that would have curtailed some of the protections under the clean elections law. To find out how your lawmaker performed on clean elections issues, visit the group's website: MaineCleanElections.org.

Kellar said all the measures Maine Citizens for Clean Elections supported had bipartisan support, and some came very close to being approved this session.

"Yeah, we had a narrow loss with an 18-17 vote in the Senate on a bill that would have stopped legislators from having their own PACs, which is a way that they can avoid contribution limits and really end up running their own slush fund,” she said.

Kellar said they will try again to pass that measure, LB 1211, next session.

The group also defended Maine's Ranked Choice voting, which it said remains on the books for now, despite a negative ruling by the state Supreme Court.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME