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For Immediate Release

Date: 03/26/13

House to Maine Parents: Big Government Knows Best

Bill to restrict parental rights gets first vote in House

AUGUSTA - The Maine House this morning voted to accept the majority "Ought to Pass" report on LD 272, a bill that would make it illegal for teenagers under age 18 to visit a tanning salon, even with parental consent.

"This is yet another expansion of state government's powers to regulate our behavior and limit parental rights," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "If your teenage daughter wants to go tanning before the prom, and you have the information and give her permission to do so, government shouldn't be stepping in to tell you how to parent."

The bill received its initial vote along party lines, 82-63. Six Democrats voted with the majority of Republicans to keep this matter within the purview of parents' responsibilities. The vote comes on the heels of yesterday's hearing on a bill that would impose new tolls on Route 295 in potential violation of federal law.

Several Republicans voiced opinions that it makes sense to require minors to have parental permission prior to tanning, which can have negative health implications, but that Maine parents are perfectly capable of making informed health decisions for their families.

"We've been seeing a lot of bills come forward where state government is intruding on the personal freedoms of Mainers," said Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton). "Republicans opposed this latest measure because we believe that generally speaking, government should let people make decisions for themselves."

The bill faces several more roll call votes before the Senate and the House prior to enactment, which could occur this week or could take longer.

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Contact:
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793