Sportsmen dodged a bullet but may be disappointed that their Constitutional amendments are about to be killed by the Maine legislature. The best news is that the Humane Society of the United States has decided not to pursue another bear referendum in 2016.
Here’s the inside story of what has happened. A bill that made significant changes in the law to assure that Maine citizens circulate petitions and witness signatures for ballot measures is on its way to enactment. That fixes one problem, removing out-of-staters from the process of gathering signatures.
This fall, Maine citizens are likely to vote on a Constitutional amendment to require that half of the signatures for a citizen ballot initiative come from the First Congressional District and half from the Second Congressional District. The Humane Society of the United States gathered 58 percent of their signatures for the 2014 bear referendum in just 22 towns, mostly in Cumberland County. 46,463 of their 63,626 signatures came from the First Congressional District.