Maine, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+] - Direct initiative of legislation

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+]
Location
Maine, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Direct initiative of legislation
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 18
1. Petition procedure. The electors may propose to the Legislature for its consideration any bill, resolve or resolution, including bills to amend or repeal emergency legislation but not an amendment of the State Constitution, by written petition addressed to the Legislature or to either branch thereof and filed in the office of the Secretary of State by the hour of 5:00 p.m., on or before the 50th day after the date of convening of the Legislature in first regular session or on or before the 25th day after the date of convening of the Legislature in second regular session, except that the written petition may not be filed in the office of the Secretary of State later than 18 months after the date the petition form was furnished or approved by the Secretary of State. If the applicable deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period runs until the hour of 5:00 p.m., of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
[...]
2. [...] The measure thus proposed, unless enacted without change by the Legislature at the session at which it is presented, shall be submitted to the electors together with any amended form, substitute, or recommendation of the Legislature, and in such manner that the people can choose between the competing measures or reject both. When there are competing bills and neither receives a majority of the votes given for or against both, the one receiving the most votes shall at the next statewide election to be held not less than 60 days after the first vote thereon be submitted by itself if it receives more than 1/3 of the votes given for and against both. If the measure initiated is enacted by the Legislature without change, it shall not go to a referendum vote unless in pursuance of a demand made in accordance with the preceding section. [...]
3. The Governor shall, by proclamation, order any measure proposed to the Legislature as herein provided, and not enacted by the Legislature without change, referred to the people [...]

Source: Maine Constitution ((retrieved 21 June 2017))

Subject Matter:

Enacting laws via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : 10% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election must sign the petition. The petition may simply be accepted by legislature as law, subject to the governor's veto. If it is vetoed by the governor or if it is changed by legislature, it will be submitted to the electorate along with the legislature's counter-proposal. (Maine Constitution, Article IV, Sections 18 and 19)
Decision maker:
Electorate (or Legislature; see "Initiator") : If neither the original petition nor the counter-proposal receive a majority of votes, the one receiving more votes will be submitted at the next statewide election "by itself if it receives more than 1/3 of the votes given for and against both" (Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part 3, Section 18, Subsection 2).

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
18 months, but signatures are only valid for 1 year; must be filed with Secretary of State on or before the 50th day of the first regular session or the 25th day of the second session
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
If neither proposal receives a majority of votes, the one receiving more votes will be submitted at the next statewide election "by itself if it receives more than 1/3 of the votes given for and against both" (Constitution, Article IV, Part 3, Section 18)
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 19
[...] any such measure which entails expenditure in an amount in excess of available and unappropriated state funds shall remain inoperative until 45 days after the next convening of the Legislature in regular session, unless the measure provides for raising new revenues adequate for its operation. [...]

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, Section 901
[...] The application must contain the names, addresses and signatures of 5 voters, in addition to the applicant, who are designated to receive any notices in proceedings under this chapter. For a direct initiative, the application must contain the full text of the proposed law and a summary that explains the purpose and intent of the direct initiative. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine, Revised Statutes ((retrieved 21 June 2017))

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 20
[...] "circulator" means a person who solicits signatures for written petitions, and who must be a resident of this State and whose name must appear on the voting list of the city, town or plantation of the circulator's residence as qualified to vote for Governor; "written petition" means one or more petitions written or printed, or partly written and partly printed, with the original signatures of the petitioners attached, verified as to the authenticity of the signatures by the oath of the circulator that all of the signatures to the petition were made in the presence of the circulator and that to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief each signature is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and accompanied by the certificate of the official authorized by law to maintain the voting list or to certify signatures [...]

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, Section 901-A
1. Opportunity to read direct initiative summary. A person circulating a petition must provide the voter the opportunity to read the proposed direct initiative summary and fiscal impact statement required by section 901 prior to that voter signing the petition. The summary presented to the voter must be as it appears on a publicly accessible website established by the Secretary of State.
[...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine (current through November 2011) and Maine Revised Statutes (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 18
[...] The measure thus proposed, unless enacted without change by the Legislature at the session at which it is presented, shall be submitted to the electors together with any amended form, substitute, or recommendation of the Legislature, and in such manner that the people can choose between the competing measures or reject both. [...]

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 20
[...] The full text of a measure submitted to a vote of the people under the provisions of the Constitution need not be printed on the official ballots, but, until otherwise provided by the Legislature, the Secretary of State shall prepare the ballots in such form as to present the question or questions concisely and intelligibly.

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, Section 906
6. [...] A. The Secretary of State shall advise petitioners that the proper suggested format for an initiative question is a separate question for each issue. [...]
B. The Secretary of State shall write the question in a simple, clear, concise and direct manner that describes the subject matter of the people's veto or direct initiative.
C. The question must be phrased so that an affirmative vote is in favor of the people's veto or direct initiative.
D. If the Legislature adopts a competing measure, the ballot must clearly designate the competing question and legislation as a competing measure and allow voters to indicate whether they support the direct initiative, support the competing measure or reject both.
E. If there is more than one direct initiative referendum on the same general subject, the Secretary of State shall write the questions in a manner that describes the differences between the initiatives.
6-A. Wording of referendum questions enacted by the Legislature. The proper format for a statutory referendum enacted by the Legislature is a separate question for each issue. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine and Maine Revised Statutes (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 18
[...]
3. Timing of elections; proclamation by Governor. The Governor shall, by proclamation, order any measure proposed to the Legislature as herein provided, and not enacted by the Legislature without change, referred to the people at an election to be held in November of the year in which the petition is filed. [...]

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, Section 353
With the assistance of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General shall prepare a brief explanatory statement that must fairly describe the intent and content and what a "yes" vote favors and a "no" vote opposes for each direct initiative, bond issue, constitutional resolution or statewide referendum that may be presented to the people. The Office of Fiscal and Program Review shall prepare an estimate of the fiscal impact on state revenues, appropriations and allocations of each measure that may appear on the ballot [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine and Maine Revised Statutes (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Supervision And Support:

Maine Constitution, Article IV, Section 20
[...] The oath of the circulator must be sworn to in the presence of a person authorized by law to administer oaths. [...] Written petitions for a direct initiative pursuant to Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 must be submitted to the appropriate officials of cities, towns or plantations, or state election officials as authorized by law, for determination of whether the petitioners are qualified voters by the hour of 5:00 p.m., on the 10th day before the petition must be filed in the office of the Secretary of State [...] Such officials must complete the certification of only those petitions submitted by these deadlines and must return them to the circulators or their agents within 2 days for a petition for a people's veto and within 5 days for a petition for a direct initiative [...]

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, Section 901
[...]
3-A. Review for proper form. The Secretary of State shall review the proposed law for a direct initiative of legislation within 15 business days after receipt of the application and either reject the application or provide a first revised draft of the initiative legislation to the applicant within that time. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine and Maine Revised Statutes (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

"Petition organizations" must register with the Secretary of State

Source: Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, Section 903-C (retrieved 21 June 2017)(current through 1 September 2012)

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: