Monday, June 1, 2015

Maine: legislators consider bill to print redacted sections of state constitution

In today's Portland Press Herald, I have a story on a bill before the state legislature to remove a constitutionally imposed ban on publishing sections of the state constitution which enumerate the state's treaty duties to Indian tribes, even though the passages remain in force.

The bill, LD 893, was endorsed 11-1 by the legislature's judicial committee and is expected to go to floor votes this week. It will create a constitutional amendment referendum question on this November's ballot that asks if the hidden portions of the constitution should again be printed.

Nobody testified against the bill in its public hearing last month. The only mtember of the judiciary committee to vote against it, Rep. Stacey Guerin, R-Hartland, did not respond to interview requests, so it is not known what her objection is.

Rep. Henry Bear of the Maliseet tribe, the bill's sponsor, learned of the redacted passages of the constitution from reading the Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram series "Unsettled." (This piece in particular.)

[Update, 6/19/15: The effort failed, replaced by a weak resolution.]

1 comment:

  1. "a forgotten record of uninvestigated killings, state conspiracies, and a legal vacuum..." This needed to be written.