This year may become known, among many other things, as the Legislative Session that Wasn’t. Since lawmakers confronted the coronavirus tidal wave and left town in March, the State House has been mostly empty – with no public access and precious little legislative activity.
This is more than a little odd. Almost every other state legislature, and all those in the Northeast, came back to finish their business, if any remained undone. Several addressed Black Lives Matter protests with policing reforms and other criminal justice bills; many patched budgets.
In Maine, despite strong Democratic control of House and Senate, as well as the governorship, there have been no session days. In June, Democratic leaders resumed committee meetings, and all bills were voted up or down, with 162 ready for floor action; since then, nothing.
Instead, the public has been treated to the kind of rhetorical salvos that have been a