FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Office: 626-8404/ Cell: 441-7638
Citizens’ initiative for ‘affordable health care’ qualifies for 2017 ballot
AUGUSTA – The citizens’ initiative petition effort “An Act to Enhance Access to Affordable Health Care” has submitted the required number of valid signatures to qualify for the 2017 referendum ballot, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed today.
The petitions for this citizens’ initiative legislation had been in circulation since Oct. 28, 2016. Proponents submitted 2,670 petitions with 70,302 signatures to the Elections Division on Jan. 25 and 26, 2017.
Staff members at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions have completed the process of certifying all of the petitions and have found 66,434 valid signatures of registered Maine voters, while 3,868 are not valid.
State law requires a minimum of 61,123 valid signatures, which is 10 percent of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, for a successful citizens’ initiative effort. As the effort has exceeded that threshold, the question is now qualified to go before the Maine Legislature, which can choose to pass it into law without any amendments or alterations. Otherwise, the question will go before voters on the November 2017 referendum ballot.
According to the proposed bill summary, this legislation seeks to require the State to provide federally approved Medicaid services through MaineCare to qualifying persons who are less than 65 years of age with income equal to or below 133 percent plus 5 percent of the non-farm income official poverty line.
Visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.