cross and clouds
Written by Don Byrd
Late last year, I posted about a proposal by a Maine legislator to adopt a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as many other states have done. Earlier today, however, the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee rejected the proposal with an 8-4 vote. The Bangor Daily News has more:

Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, Senate chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, voted against the bill.

“It’s premature to necessarily throw a blanket over everything right now,” said Valentino. “If we have problems, I think we should deal with them on an individual basis. I just feel that the Maine statutes are already protecting the people of the state of Maine.”

Notably, the Maine RFRA would have significantly differed from the federal version by requiring the government to justify any burden on a person’s religious exercise (the federal version and most state versions require this only when a person’s religious exercise is “substantially” burdened. You can read the post for more about why this difference matters).