by Ginger Taylor, MS
Maine LD 798, the bill to remove religious and philosophical exemptions passed the Maine House of Representatives last week, and was passed in the Maine Senate today, however after the passage an amendment to restore the religious exemption was passed.
It will have to go back to the House for concurrence, so that both chambers are agreeing to pass the same version of the bill. The House can either accept the Senate's version of the bill with the religious exemption available to Mainers, or send it back to the Senate with their language that excludes religious exemptions and insist that the Senate adopt the House language. The Senate is unlikely to accept it (as they didn't today). If the two bodies cannot agree, the bill dies completely.
Both sides of the issue will likely fight for their version of the bill until all procedural options are exhausted, however odds are that Mainers will retain the right to an education.
Congratulations and thank you to all of the parents who stood for personal liberty and against House Bill 19-1312.
That bill will be laid over for Second Reading Friday, tomorrow, which means that it CANNOT pass Third Reading before midnight tomorrow.
Why? Because the state constitution REQUIRES that Third Reading occur on at least the next legislative day from Second Reading. And, there won’t be a legislative day after tomorrow. That means the bill is DEAD on the Calendar and WILL NOT BECOME LAW.
This outcome would not have been achieved without the hundreds of parents who advocated against the bill. While you didn’t get a victory in either committee hearing, you should embrace this delayed victory today.
Again, congratulations and thank you.