Maine is the latest state to join Colorado and 28 other states in banning some form of electronic communication devices during legislative proceedings, according to a report from Stateline.org.
Democratic legislators in Colorado created a rule in 2005 barring senators from using cell phones and other electronic devices used for e-mail and text messaging on the Senate floor, during committee meetings and during any other official Senate proceedings.
The goal for most states, according to the Stateline report, is to curb lobbyists’ access to lawmakers during debates and to limit distractions from the proceedings.
Colorado’s rule allows the Senate President to permanently confiscate the device from the offending senator. However, last year Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, was fined a mere $5 for talking on his cell phone on the Senate floor.