Maine Senate places partial decriminalization of prostitution on observe to go

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate handed Wednesday a invoice to partially decriminalize prostitution whereas rising penalties in some circumstances for getting intercourse, placing the change on observe to get by way of the Legislature.

The invoice from Rep. Lois Reckitt, D-South Portland, cleared the Home final month, with seven Republicans becoming a member of the Democratic majority in backing it. It nonetheless faces votes in each chambers, and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills vetoed the same invoice in 2021.

Democrats pushed the measure by way of the Senate on Wednesday, with Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, the lone Republican to assist it. Others in his occasion favored an unsuccessful modification from Minority Chief Trey Stewart, R-Presque Isle, that will have saved prostitution unlawful whereas retaining the authorized defenses — equivalent to being threatened or compelled by way of medicine and alcohol — obtainable to an individual charged with the crime.