The End Is Within Sight For the 130th Maine Legislature

Earlier this week, the Legislature met to enact a series of spending bills, signaling the end of substantive work for the Second Regular Session of the 130th Maine Legislature. The Legislature plans to reconvene for a final time on May 9 to take up any vetoes issued by Governor Mills. It is anticipated that following the consideration of the Governor’s vetoes, the Legislature will adjourn for the final time.

The League had a strong legislative session, making advances to help credit unions deal with excessive storage fees on abandoned vehicles, to stopping premature legislation that would have greatly increased credit union liability when using biometric technologies for member account security purposes.

“This session represented an opportunity to return to the halls of the State House, engage with lawmakers one on one, and make the case for credit unions,” said Robert Caverly, League Vice President of Governmental Affairs. “Each time we made our case to legislators, we came out on top. This is not only a testament to the League and our strong advocacy approach, but also to the strength and engagement of our credit unions. Without the full backing of all of Maine’s credit unions we would not have achieved the success we did this session, or during prior sessions.”

The League was pleased to champion the passage of Remote Online Notarization (RON) this legislative session. This achievement was preceded by Robert Caverly’s participation in a working group of interested parties that presented an outline and plan to the Legislature to adopt remote online notary services in Maine. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was intricately involved throughout the process to enact RON. Now that RON has been signed into law, the Secretary of State’s office will be working to implement and develop the framework for RON in Maine.

During the First Regular Session, the Legislature enacted a working group to study how to bring electronic vehicle titling to Maine. Ellen Parent, the League’s Regulatory & Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, serves on the League’s behalf on this important working group. While the path to electronic titling remains years away, the working group was able to make a good first step in achieving the ultimate goal of passing LD 1843, An Act To Allow the Secretary of State To Use an Electronic Lien Titling Program for the Purposes of the Maine Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title and Antitheft Act.

In addition to advancing electronic titling, the League also took steps to improve the notification process for lienholders when abandoned vehicles are collected by towing companies. Towing companies sought to increase the monthly rate they can charge for storing abandoned vehicles on their property. The League took this opportunity to encourage legislators to only embrace that increase if their process could be streamlined to reduce the number of days a lienholder is charged due to lack of notification. The current process is very cumbersome and time consuming, which leads to increased storage fees. The new law should go into effect in August, and while not perfect, should be an improvement for credit unions. It is anticipated that as electronic titling becomes a reality, notice to lienholders regarding abandon vehicles should improve.

Another important aspect to the legislative process is blocking harmful legislation and the League secured several key victories. First, the League joined a large coalition of business associations to oppose a bill aimed at increasing the minimum income a salaried employee can make. The proposal would have ultimately pushed salaried employees up to $60,000/year over the course of the next few years. Such a large increase would have had drastic consequence on Maine businesses. Ultimately, legislative proponents walked away from taking further action this session.

Second, the League was very engaged on a bill that could have represented a significant risk to credit unions that use biometric technologies to protect their members’ accounts. During a public hearing for LD 1945 in February, it was quickly determined by many that it was a complex and cumbersome bill. Ultimately the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee issued a three-way report to the House and Senate. The Committee’s majority report would have convened a study to further research and improve the proposed legislation, leading to a report and recommendation during the next Legislature. The minority report would have enacted the proposed legislation with a delayed implementation date of January 1, 2024 while commissioning an implementation committee to study and recommend changes to the 131st Legislature. And finally, two members of the Judiciary Committee voted the bill Ought Not To Pass. In the end, the bill died in non-concurrence because the House supported the minority report and the Senate supported the majority report. Without question, a similar bill to LD 1945 will be back when the 131st Legislature convenes in January 2023. In the meantime, the League plans to engage with interested parties to work toward a bill that both industry and privacy advocates can support.

If you have questions about the League’s work in Augusta, please email Robert Caverly at or Ellen Parent at