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Nearly two dozen bills are now Maine law

All bills state lawmakers have worked on in the latest legislative session officially became law in Maine on Monday.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Today, about two dozen other bills that have been worked on by state lawmakers last session officially became law. These laws range from health care to election security.

The bills that officially became law on Monday are as follows:

  • LD 665 An Act To Promote Better Dental Care for Cancer Survivors.
  • LD 1899 An Act To Ensure Safe Entry and Access for People Seeking Health Care and Other Constitutional Rights.
  • LD 1900 An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Name Changes.
  • LD 2029 An Act To Enhance the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Maine National Guard. 
  • LD 1722 An Act To Ensure Access to All Paths to Recovery for Persons Affected by Opioids Using Money Obtained through Litigation against Opioid Manufacturers.
  • LD 1888 An Act To Amend the Laws Affecting Sex Offenders and Petitions for Child Custody. 
  • LD 1129 An Act Relating to the Valuation of Retail Sales Facilities. 
  • LD 1920 An Act To Enact the Interstate Counseling Compact To Address Inequities in Access to Clinical Counseling Services and Increase Maine's Provider Workforce.
  • LD 1694 An Act To Create the Maine Redevelopment Land Bank Authority. 
  • LD 1911 An Act To Prohibit the Contamination of Clean Soils with So-called Forever Chemicals. 
  • LD 1891 An Act To Continue Supporting Safe Drinking Water for Maine Families.
  • LD 1902 Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Encourage Climate Education in Maine Public Schools. 
  • LD 1929 An Act To Provide Assistance to Areas Severely Infested with Browntail Moths. 
  • LD 965 An Act To Provide Assistance to Areas Severely Infested with Browntail Moths. 
  • LD 1879 An Act To Support Law Enforcement Officers, Corrections Officers, E-9-1-1 Dispatchers, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Services Persons Diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • LD 575 An Act To Establish a Conditional Presumption of Compensability for Certain Employees in Cases of Impairment from Hypertension or Heart Disease. 
  • LD 305 An Act To Include Forest Rangers and Forest Fire Prevention Specialists in the Bureau of Forestry's Forest Protection Unit in the Laws Concerning Cancer Suffered by Firefighters.
  • LD 177 An Act To Improve Labor Laws for Workers in Maine. 
  • LD 1969 An Act Concerning Equity in Renewable Energy Projects and Workforce Development. 
  • LD 225 An Act Regarding the Treatment of Vacation Time upon the Cessation of Employment.
  • LD 912 An Act To Extend Family Medical Leave to Hourly School Employees.
  • LD 1779 An Act To Protect Election Integrity by Regulating Possession of Ballots and Voting Machines and Devices. 
  • LD 585 An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.
  • LD 290 An Act To Stabilize Property Taxes for Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older Who Own a Homestead for at Least 10 Years 

One of the bigger bills that were passed into law is LD 1899, which aims at protecting patients from harassment at abortion facilities.

Nicole Clegg, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said she and her team already work hard to do that, but laws like this take another step.

"We certainly have protesters outside our health center we have you know safety mitigation programs in place. We have a greeter program. We do everything we can to reduce the impact, but I don't want to pretend that walking through a line of protesters doesn't have an impact on people who are coming here for care," Clegg said.

The Good Samaritan Law is another high-profile law. This protects anyone who is assisting at the scene of an overdose from arrest.

Members of Maine's recovery community worked on this bill with state lawmakers and say what they came up with could save lives.

"I'm really excited that everybody was able to come to the table and really negotiate a good solid piece of legislation. When I look at the governor's amendment that she first proposed and I look at our amendment that we first proposed I'm actually more happy with the amendment that we got to," Courtney Allen from Maine Recovery Advocacy Project said.

Maine is now the first state in the nation to ban the spreading of sludge linked to contamination from chemicals, known as PFAS, thanks to LD 1911. This is something farmers across the state have been working towards for years.

Sports betting is also now legal in Maine. Online sports betting will go exclusively to Maine's Native American tribes, while Maine's casinos and off-track betting facilities will be eligible to apply for licenses.

But, Maine Gambling Control Unit Executive Director Milton Champion says it could take until January 2024 to get rules sorted out.

"Maine is not Las Vegas, Maine is not Atlantic City, but that doesn't make it lesser of a regulatory responsibility on my part, and so I'm going to make sure we get things done correctly," Milton Champion said.

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