Dozens of supporters came to see the ceremonial signing Wednesday, after which, the bill was officially a law, though the criminal provisions of the law wont take effect until February of next year.
Governor John Baldacci says Maine is among the first states in the nation to recognize the limitations of the current criminal justice system.
Under the new law, domestic violence assault and domestic violence terrorizing are now considered class D crimes.
Those on hand agree that identifying domestic violence as a crime is a step in the right direction. Though several hope that this is just a first step toward preventing domestic violence.
As part of the law passing, the state’s two year budget recieved an increase of $1,900,000.00 for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention.