Maine Will Prohibit Certain Corporate Contributions, Limit Individual and Corporate PAC Contributions to Certain State PACs

Skadden Publication / Political Law Update

Ki P. Hong Charles M. Ricciardelli Matthew Bobys Melissa L. Miles Tyler Rosen Karina Bakhshi-Azar Theodore R. Grodek Sam Rothbloom

In June 2021, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed L.D. 1417 into law, significantly limiting contributions from business entities, including, but not limited to, corporations and partnerships. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Until the law takes effect, the current law states business entities, PACs and individuals may contribute — per election — $1,725 per candidate for governor, $425 per legislative candidate, $850 per county candidate, $500 per municipal candidate (in municipalities with a population of 15,000 or more) and $850 per candidate for all other offices. Business entities, PACs and individuals may make unlimited contributions to PACs and party committees.

Under the new law, business entities will be prohibited from contributing to candidates for state office, county office and municipal office in municipalities with a population of 15,000 or more, as well as to state corporate PACs and state legislators’ leadership PACs. A business entity will be permitted to provide its sponsored PAC with the use of offices, telephones, computers and similar equipment when that use does not result in additional cost to the entity. A business entity’s payment of other administrative expenses would constitute an impermissible contribution to its own PAC. Business entities, however, still will be permitted to make contributions to certain other state PACs, including legislative caucus PACs, and to political party committees, as long as any contribution does not go to an account that is used to make contributions to candidates or leadership PACs.

Under the new law, individual contributions will be limited to $5,000 per calendar year to a state corporate PAC, and individual and state corporate PAC contributions will be limited to $425 per calendar year (subject to biennial indexing) to a state legislator’s leadership PAC.

This memorandum is provided by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and its affiliates for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. This memorandum is considered advertising under applicable state laws.