TITLE: AN ACT TO PROHIBIT A CORPORATION FROM ENGAGING
IN POLITICAL SPEECH OR POLITICAL ACTIVITY

SPONSOR: Rep. DUDLEY of Portland
COSPONSORS:
LEGEND:
AUTHORITY FOR INTRODUCTION: LBC
DATE/TIME LAST PRINTED: 02/14/05 Og:12
LAST ACTION: ROS/DONE 02/14/05
SHORT TITLE: PROHIBIT A CORPORATION FROM ENGAGING IN POLITICAL SPEECH

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 13-C MRSA 102, sub-~2-B is enacted to read:

2B. Commercial communication. "Commercial communication" means expression that is related to the presentation or sale of a product or service or other commercial transaction.

Sec. 2. 13-C MRSA 102, sub-*11, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, 2 and affected by Pt. B, 7, is amended to read:

11. Entity. "Entity" includes a domestic or foreign business corporation; a domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation; an estate; a partnership; a trust; 2 or more persons having a joint or common economic interest; a domestic or foreign unincorporated entity; a municipal corporation and all agencies of a municipal corporation; a state and all agencies of a state; the United States and all agencies of the United States; and a foreign government and all agencies of a foreign government; an association: an organization: a trustee: a trustee in bankruptcy; a receiver; and any other legal representative.

Sec. 3. 13-C MRSA 102, sub-~28, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, 2 and affected by Pt. B, 7, is amended to read:

28. Person. "Person" includes an individual and means a human being. "Person" does not include an entity.

Sec. 4. 13-C MRSA 102, sub-~28-A is enacted to read:

28-A. Political speech or activity. "Political speech or activity" means speech or activity that is not commercial communication.

Sec. 5. 13-C MRSA 105, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, 2 and affected by Pt. B, 7, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

105. Reservation of power

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary. the Legislature may amend or repeal all or part of this Act and any other act relating to domestic and foreign corporations passed on or after March 17. 1831 in the same manner as if an express provision to that effect were contained in the act. the articles of incorporation of a domestic corporation or the application for authority to transact business of a foreign corporation. All domestic and foreign corporations subject to this Act are governed by the amendment or repeal.

Sec.6. 13-C MRSA ~106 and 107 are enacted to read:

106. Domestic business corporation or foreign business corporation rights

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary. a domestic business corporation or a foreign business corporation has the following rights:

1. Equal protection. The right to equal protection as compared to another domestic business corporation or foreign business corporation but not as compared to a person:

2. Present information: hearing. The right to present information in writing directly to the administrative officer of a public authority that is considering an action that would affect the business interests of the corporation and to appear. pursuant to applicable rules. at a public hearing before such a public authority: and

3. Engage in commercial communication. The right to engage in commercial communication.

107. Political speech or activity

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary. a domestic business corporation or foreign business corporation may not engage in political speech or activity. This section does not restrict the political speech or activity rights of employees of a domestic business corporation or foreign business corporation. including the employees ' right to donate money to political groups and organizations that are distinct from and not affiliated with, supported. controlled or funded by a corporation.

Sec. 7. Review of use of "person." The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary shall review the use of the term "person" throughout the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 13-C to ensure consistency of the use of that term with this Act. The committee shall report out by January 15, 2006 any legislation necessary to carry out the intent of this Act.

SUMMARY
This bill changes the definition of "person" for the Maine Business Corporation Act to specify that "person" means a human being and not an entity such as a corporation, a state, the United States or a foreign government. The purpose of this change is to specify that a corporation does not have the same constitutional rights as a human, such as the right to engage in political speech or activity.



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