Governor Signs Bill to Repeal Maine Children's Marketing Law
Good news from Maine! Governor John Baldacci signed legislation yesterday which repeals the "Predatory Marketing to Minors" law that was passed last year. That law imposed serious restrictions on the collection and use of personal information from minors under the age of 18, both offline and online. The repeal legislation contained an emergency clause so the repeal takes effect immediately.
ANA joined with a coalition of companies and industry groups to file a lawsuit last summer in federal court, arguing that the children's marketing law violates the First Amendment and is pre-empted by the federal COPPA law. Although the court did not strike down or enjoin the law, the Maine Attorney General publicly committed not to enforce it. The Judiciary Committee voted in October to recommend that the new law be repealed.
The sponsor introduced a new bill this year (LD 1677) that would have repealed the children's marketing law and replaced it with a more narrowly tailored regime that would prohibit certain pharmaceutical marketing to minors. The Business, Research and Economic Development (BRED) Committee held a hearing on LD 1677 on March 4th. ANA provided a letter to the committee urging it to simply repeal the law from last year. The BRED Committee and both houses of the legislature ultimately voted for a "clean" repeal of the law.