AUGUSTA – One state legislator is seeking to ban sitting lawmakers, legislative candidates and the governor from accepting contributions from lobbyists.
Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, said the bill he sponsored a critical piece of campaign finance reform.
As it stands, politicians in Maine cannot accept money from lobbyists while the legislature is in session. Chenette’s bill would prohibit contributions from lobbyists year round.
“To me, that influence is the problem. We deal with lobbyists on a day-to-day basis and so we want to make sure that money is not clouding the judgments of any lawmakers or even the governor,” Chenette said.
Opponents of the bill said money is free speech and that Maine does not have major lobbying problems.
The bill narrowly passed through committee process Friday and will next go before the House of Representatives and Senate.