LD 2146 would prevent cities with over 30,000 people from suspending emergency shelters for unhoused residents. In the midst of a housing crisis, this legislation will help keep some paths to shelter open.

Housing – let alone shelter – is a human right. No Maine city should have the authority to explicitly deprive their residents of shelter by implementing a moratorium on emergency shelter. Emergency shelters provide temporary shelter to people experiencing homelessness, and they save lives. But some municipalities are considering banning these shelters despite Maine's housing crisis and growing number of unhoused residents.

When people don't have access to shelter, they are more likely to become entangled in the criminal legal system. This unnecessarily risks their civil liberties and has also been proven to cost taxpayers more than simply meeting people where they are and providing shelter. Additionally, a lack of shelter space would threaten unhoused residents' constitutional rights, such as when officials enforce camping bans despite the lack of alternatives to sleeping outside.

Bill Movement:

This bill originated in 2024 during the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.

  1. Bill printed: 1/3/2024
  2. Referred to Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government: 1/9/2024
  3. Public hearing in committee: 1/30/2024
  4. Work session and vote in committee: 2/6/2024 (DIVIDED REPORT)
    • Ought to pass as amended: 8
    • Ought not to pass: 5
  5. House vote: 2/22/2024 (PASSED)
    • Yes: 74
    • No: 58
    • Absent: 18
    • Excused: 0
  6. Senate vote: N/A
  7. Action by governor: N/A


Representative Grayson B. Lookner




The Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature

Bill number



ACLU of Maine Policy Counsel Michael Kebede delivered testimony in support of LD 2146 on January 30, 2024, before the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government.