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Maine Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2006)

handle is hein.sag/sagme0005 and id is 1 raw text is: 06-1

TEL: (207) 941-3070
FAX: (207) 941-3075
G. STEV EN ROWE                                                             44 OAK STREET, 4TH FLOOR
TTORNEY GENERAL                                                        PORTLAND, MAINE 04101-3014
TEL: (207) 822-0260
FAX: (207) 822-0259
TDD: (877) 428-8800
TEL: (2 7) 626-8800            OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL                128 SWEDEN ST., STE. 2
TTY: 1 888-577-6690                6 STATE HOUSE STATION                    CARIBOU, MAINE 04736
TEL: (207) 496-3792
AUGUSTA, MAINE 04333-0006                  FAX: (207) 496-3291
January 17, 2006
Senator Elizabeth Schneider, Senate Chair
Representative Christopher Barstow, House Chair
Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government
100 State House Station
Augusta., ME 04333-0003
Re:    Proposed Committee Amendment to LD 1481
Dear Senator Schneider and Representative Barstow:
During the work session on LD 1481 held on January 11, 2006, you asked for an opinion
concerning a proposed Committee Amendment to the bill, a copy of which is attached.
Soecifically, you have asked whether the constitutional issue identified in our June 10, 2005
opinion has been resolved by the language of the Committee Amendment.
LD 1481 contains provisions that would have prohibited a municipal initiative or
referendum from having any retroactive effect on existing land use permits or approvals without
imposing such a restriction directly upon municipalities. By doing so, as we stated in our
opinion of June 10, 2005, the bill would have limited the subject matter of municipal ordinances
that are subject to the municipal initiative and people's veto process in conflict with the
requirements of Art. IV, Pt. 3, §21 of the Maine Constitution. The proposed Committee
Amendment removes all the provisions of the bill that would have limited the scope of
ordinances enacted by municipal initiative and referendum as distinct from other ordinances.
Instead, the amendment imposes the retroactivity limitation directly upon municipalities, which
we believe to be within the Legislature's authority. In doing so, the amendment eliminates the
constitutional issue we identified in our opinion.
As always, the determination of the policy issues posed by this amendment are for the
Legislature to determine, and in providing this information we do not express an opinion on
matters of policy.
Attorney General
cc: Anna Broome, Legislative Analyst, OPLA

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