Maine Legislature backs resolutions supporting campaign finance, immigration reforms

By:  Matthew Stone

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature waded into two contentious federal debates Tuesday, supporting resolutions that call for a constitutional amendment overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance ruling and urging Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The Senate passed the Citizens United resolution in a 25-9 vote and the immigration resolution 22-12.

In the House, the resolution urging reversal of Citizens United passed by a 111-31 vote. The resolution in support of immigration reform garnered 88 votes, with 55 representatives opposing the measure.

The Legislature’s endorsement of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United makes Maine the 13th state to pass a resolution calling for the change.

Sen. Richard Woodbury, an independent from Yarmouth, introduced the resolution directing Maine’s congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United opinion equating campaign spending with free speech.

The ruling has opened the door to unprecedented amounts of spending and outside influence in both federal and state elections, Woodbury said.

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