Action Under the Dome for Monday, March 29

Monday, March 29, 2021
Jen Lancaster

On this day in 1961, the 23rd Amendment was ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections. The amendment was first introduced in the Senate in 1959 and ratified by Maine on January 31, 1961. Residents of D.C. cast their first-ever Electoral College votes in the 1964 presidential election. It was 1971 before D.C. voters could elect a non-voting Delegate to Congress. 

Still today, the tax-paying citizens of D.C. are subjected to systemic inequality and denied the full rights of citizenship, including voting representation in Congress. #DCStatehood would change that. H.R. 51, or the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, would admit D.C. to the union. It will be S. 51 when it goes to the Senate. The League supports this bill 100%.  



What we’re hearing: The Maine legislative calendar is showing both chambers in session on Tuesday, March 30. There has been quite a bit of reporting about prospects for a bare-bones majority budget to pass on Tuesday. We’re hearing that the legislature will adjourn sine die at the end of the day on Tuesday so that the budget can take effect before the end of the fiscal year — it needs 90 days. The new fiscal year starts on July 1. We’re also hearing that the governor will call the Legislature back into special session immediately thereafter, likely Wednesday. The legislative calendar is blank for Wednesday — all committee work has been cleared for that day.


Gearing up for the week after: One of the most important voting rights bills this session — online voter registration (LD 1126, sponsored by Rep. Teresa Pierce) — will get its public hearing in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee (VLA) on Monday, April 5. We urge you to contact your legislator or consider submitting written testimony. Click here to take action. This is one of our highest priority bills this session.

Another of our priority bills will also get its public hearing on Monday, April 5: LD 1155, An Act to Require Election Transparency and Audits, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski. We will be vigorously supporting this bill, as well.

Several bad bills will be up on April 7. We will be opposing three photo ID bills, LDs 253557, and 1083, along with one really bad, broadly restrictive bill, LD 1099. Together with our partners at MCCE, we will be opposing four bills that would curtail Clean Elections, including LD 921, which proposes to eliminate Clean Elections funding for gubernatorial candidates. 

See the full VLA schedule here



State of Maine Democracy: We’ve come through a tumultuous year in American politics, and against this backdrop, Democracy Maine launches its new State of Maine Democracy report on April 1, 2021. This report offers a broad perspective on the state of democracy in Maine in several selected areas: voting rights, money in politics, conduct of our elections, and more. It’s a timely, objective, and informative portrait. You can learn more about the report’s findings from the authors in our webinar on Thursday, April 8. Learn more and register here.


For the People Act: This week, Georgia enacted a package of the most restrictive voting laws since the days of Jim Crow. Dozens of other states are lining up to follow suit. We must rise up against voter suppression and defend inclusive democracy. Now is the time to contact Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins and ask them to support the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1). We've made it easy. You can use our look-up form to find your Senator's contact information and send them a letter that we have already provided. It only takes a few minutes. Click here to get started.


Save the date for our upcoming biennial Convention: It’s the biggest event on the League calendar, May 14 and 15. Join us as we plan future programs to protect voting rights, advocate for democracy reform, get big money out of politics, and safeguard free and fair elections. The Maine League stands out nationally because of the size of our impact and the momentum behind our membership, volunteer efforts, and advocacy work. This year's Convention will be hosted virtually on Zoom. Learn more and register for Convention here