Maine Lawmakers Address Texting While Driving, ATV’s

Maine’s first Republican-led Legislature in decades did as it promised and rolled back business regulations, and after years of trying made major changes in health insurance laws during the six-month 2011 session.

But lawmakers also are leaving their imprint on Mainers’ lives in other ways.

Motorists will face $100 fines for text messaging. Teenagers will be allowed to work more hours during the school year. Mainers will pay added fees for health insurance.

All-terrain vehicle users will have to be more sensitive to private property owners’ rights. And lobstermen can feel more comfortable about stacking their traps on docks.

Maine Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors says lawmakers’ action put business in better standing. And Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says environmentalists avoided major damage and are pleased overall.