Action Under the Dome for Monday, May 3

Monday, May 3, 2021
Jen Lancaster

Today is World Press Freedom DayThere is no democracy without a free press. The First Amendment is first for a reason. Journalists around the world, and even here in the U.S., are increasingly under verbal and physical attack. Today, let's be thankful for our Maine-owned media and celebrate local journalists and newspapers and all the good work that they do. If you’re not supporting local news, subscribe now. 


The week that was: The big news from last week was that one of our highest priority bills, Online Voter Registration (OVR), got a strong majority vote in the VLA Committee on Monday. We joined coalition partners in issuing this press release

The legislature held a rare session day on Wednesday, but none of our important bills was on the calendar. They have blocked off May 12 and 13 to convene again, and some of our high priority bills may be up for a vote at that time. See the full legislative calendar here.


Yup, it's Monday (again): It's another whopper of a week, with several work sessions on key bills. See the full Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee (VLA) schedule here or the full State and Local Government Committee (SLG) schedule here. The most important bills are highlighted below. 

Upcoming Public Hearings on our Priority Bills:

  • LD 1575 — As big and important as OVR, this bill would cement in law some of the best practices that emerged out of the 2020 COVID election, as well as shoring up some weaknesses, most notably securing the rights of nonpartisan election observers, allowing a student photo ID that is issued by a Maine college to be used as proof of identity in registering to vote, and extending the period for no-excuse absentee voting to include the Friday before the election. LWVME supports. Public hearing is scheduled for VLA on Wednesday morning, May 5.
  • LDs 1568 and 1626 — The Indian Land Claims Settlement Act. LWVME supports, with attention to protecting the voting rights of tribal members. The public hearing is scheduled for the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning, May 4.

Upcoming Work Sessions on our Priority Bills: 

  • LD 1155 — This bill includes the requirement for a post-election audit and election transparency. LWVME supports. Work session is scheduled for VLA on Wednesday afternoon, May 5.
  • LD 1417 — This is our corporate contribution ban that will ban corporate campaign contributions to candidates and leadership PACs in Maine elections. LWVME and MCCE Action support. Work session is scheduled for VLA on Wednesday afternoon, May 5.


Check it Off: The deadline for Maine individual income tax payments was moved from April 15 to May 17, 2021. When you are filling out your tax forms, you can check a box to designate $3 to the Maine Clean Election Fund. This helps to finance the election campaigns of qualifying Clean Election candidates. The Clean Election check-off is on Line 1 of the Maine Income Tax form. It doesn't increase your tax bill, and it doesn't decrease your tax refund. For more information, click this link.



Register now to get your Convention packet: Our staff will mail out Convention packets starting this week. To make sure that your packet arrives on time, don't wait to register! Save your spot now, and we'll get your swag in the mail. Learn more and register for Convention here


Introducing new LWVME staff:
Fiona Keane (they/them) joins the LWVME and MCCE team as a Democracy Reform Organizer. They’ll be coordinating our efforts in support of the For the People Act. Help them if you can. Fiona is a Massachusetts native who now calls Maine home. They graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in American Studies and have spent their post-college career working on Democratic campaigns. You can reach them at