The Maine House has killed a bill to amend the state's constitution to prevent any future effort to limit hunting and fishing rights through citizen initiatives. The vote was 84-65.
The state Senate approved the measure yesterday. Lawmakers were divided on whether such a step would protect Maine's heritage or violate First Amendment rights.
Democratic Rep. Stephen Moriarty of Cumberland opposed the measure, saying constitutions are not to be treated lightly.
"They are to be amended only when the fundamental rights of the people require that it be done," he said. "That is not the case in this particular situation."
Democratic Rep. Brian Jones of Freedom says while he thinks it would be unwise for the citizens of Maine to include an article in the state Constitution that limits their right to petition, he thinks the people of Maine should decide the matter.
If the measure had been approved by lawmakers, Mainers would have been asked to vote on the issue during a statewide referendum.
This story was reported and written by Ed Morin.