Maine Senate convenes for 1st time since March

August 25, 2020 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Senate convened for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to vote on nominees to a state ethics commission, among other nominees for state-level positions.

Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson convened the special session on Monday in the House chamber, which is larger than the Senate chamber, to vote on three nominees to the Maine Ethics Commission. The commission oversees campaign and lobbying disclosure laws, ethics investigations in the legislature and the Maine Clean Elections program.

All three nominees — two Republicans and an independent — were approved, the Portland Press Herald reported.


The special session lasted less than an hour and only took up votes on the gubernatorial nominees, all of which had previously won the backing of legislative committees, the newspaper reported.

The windows in the chamber were open, Jackson said, and he asked all lawmakers at the special session to wear masks and maintain a distance from others.

Jackson and his counterpart House Speaker Sara Gideon, also a Democrat, have twice tried to convene the state legislature since the virus outbreak began, but have failed to overcome opposition from Republican members, the newspaper reported.

The president of the Senate can, however, unilaterally convene the body to vote on gubernatorial nominees.