January 30, 2013

Bucking trend, 7 lawmakers introduce no bills in Maine House

Seven of Maine's 151 representatives decided not to submit any bills before the Jan. 18 deadline.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

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That doesn't satisfy one of Clark's constituents, called at random Tuesday.

"What is he doing down there if he's not putting in bills to represent the community?" said Joanne Samon, a Democrat who said she didn't vote for Clark, who won 60 percent of the vote in Easton in November.

Like Clark, Winsor sponsored controversial legislation in the last session -- two bills that would have banned mandatory union dues in public- and private-sector unions.

Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, has submitted two similar bills for this session that surely won't pass in this Democrat-controlled Legislature.

"I think it would be good for workers and businesses," Winsor said of so-called right-to-work legislation. "But I don't think it's the time to get into that battle here."

For Nadeau, the first battle was winning election by providing a stark contrast with Martin, a political legend – for better or worse.

One constituent, called at random, didn't seem to mind that his new representative hasn't submitted any bills.

"He's new," said Peter Pinette of Fort Kent. "We're going to give him the benefit of the doubt."

Nadeau said that by gaining knowledge and influence early on, he'll be able to advocate for his district as well as if he submitted legislation.

"My constituents were telling me that things were out of order and a lot of these longtime politicians, not necessarily Mr. Martin, weren't close with the people," he said. "It's easy to pass a bill, but you need to spend time with the people."

State House Bureau Writer Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at: mshepherd@mainetoday.com


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