This is it — the final week, the final day. The Legislature will come back into session today, May 9, to deal with any possible vetoes issued by the Governor. Though anything can happen, we expect them to adjourn sine die at end of the session. It's been a remarkable season for the League. A number of the bills we worked on and lobbied for have been signed into law! A round of applause for everyone who submitted testimony and letters to legislators — democracy works when we come together to get things done. Thank you!
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day: Thousands of cases of missing and murdered indigenous persons go unsolved, a majority of these cases involving girls and cis & trans women. The Maine Legislature passed a joint resolution to recognize May 5, 2022 as Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. This action follows the recent murder of Kimberly Neptune, a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe at Pleasant Point.
Federal Action for Wabanaki Sovereignty: Rep. Jared Golden is sponsoring HR 6707, legislation that would amend the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act so that the Wabanaki tribes can benefit from future federal laws that apply to other federally recognized tribes. The House Natural Resources Committee will decide soon whether to advance the bill. Write a personal letter in support of the bill and send it to the committee using this form.
Local Action Workshops: When it comes to running for office, creating sustainable change, or overcoming challenges within our communities, large barriers can hinder progress. We designed a three-part virtual series to give everyday Mainers the tools they need to address these roadblocks and to empower themselves and their towns. In the final workshop, we discussed the potential challenges that might come up as you take action in your community and how you can overcome such challenges. Watch it on Youtube here.
Highlights from the session will arrive in your inbox next week, but don't forget to sign up for our post-session webinar on May 19 at 1:00 PM. We'll discuss what we accomplished for Maine's democracy and what comes next. Here are the remaining updates:
- Semi-open Primaries (LD 231): This bill was supported by LWVME based on our 2018 League Study. The bill was enacted in both chambers and still waits for the Governor's signature. Its fate will be decided today, which we'll announce on social media. Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter if you want a status update in real time.
- Tribal Sovereignty (LD 1626): This bill is the real deal and is still stuck on the Special Appropriations Table. It didn't have enough votes to withstand a veto, and the Governor apparently wants it to die on the table. It's been a scramble to move this bill forward as far as it will go. The bill will die this session, but we'll continue to fight for tribal sovereignty in the next.
We'll See You in Denver!
Here's another reminder that we're looking for delegates to represent Maine at the national Convention. It will be held in Denver from the evening of Thursday, June 23, through midday Sunday, June 26. This is a hybrid event, and delegates can attend sessions and vote on proposals either in person or virtually. Interested? Sign up here.
LWVME can cover all registration costs and can help defray travel/hotel costs for in-person delegates. We are also welcoming delegates who may be able to pay all or part of their own way. We are grateful to members who may even contribute funds or air miles to support our delegation. We want to ensure no one is prevented from attending due to cost.