Everyone is dying to know what's happening in Augusta. That's why next week on May 23 we're hosting a mid-session advocacy update via Zoom. We'll provide updates and answer questions on our priority bills as we hurl towards the home stretch of the legislative session. We hope to see you there, but you can also catch the recording later.
Here are your weekly updates 👇
Some bills are stuck in limbo, some still need a committee report before they can be passed on to the House and Senate, and some bills will just have to wait their turn until the next half of the session in 2024. We're watching a few bills that have public hearings and work sessions this week, but let's talk about what happened last week.
- LD 34 and LD 1365 — Photo ID: Both of these bills would require voters to show photo ID at the polls. We oppose them. Photo ID bills are unpopular among Mainers. LD 34 in particular received some heated testimony in opposition. The VLA committee unanimously voted down LD 34, and a majority voted against LD 1365, though it may still receive a floor vote.
- LD 1416 — Raising the number of signatures for ballot initiatives: This proposed constitutional amendment would dramatically increase the number of signatures required for a ballot initiative, making it much harder for initiatives to qualify. We oppose this one, too. Its future is not looking bright — it could die in the VLA committee. We hope.
- LD 1704 — Prison Gerrymandering Reform: This bill prevents prison gerrymandering, the practice of counting incarcerated individuals as part of the district where they're detained — and not by their home address. We support this one. It's done well during its work sessions, and it looks like it'll receive a positive report out of the SLG Committee, with a recent vote of 10-1 in support.
Repealing Our Corporate Contribution Ban:
- 😡😡 LD 726 — Our hair is on fire, and no, we're not kidding. The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee recently voted in favor of an amendment to LD 726 that would repeal our priority bill from last year — the corporate contribution ban, LD 1417. Repealing this would reopen the gates for big corporate money to flow directly to Maine candidates and legislators. We can’t let this stand; we will not go backwards. LD 726 as amended will soon be reported out of committee and head to both chambers for its floor votes in the Senate and the House. We’re asking that legislators reject the forthcoming committee amendment to LD 726 and preserve the corporate contribution ban. We need your help. Let's stand up for what's right. Fill out our quick form to contact your legislators.
Ann M. Luther Award for Excellence in Volunteerism: Call for Submissions!
Established to celebrate and honor the work of outstanding volunteers serving the League of Women Voters of Maine, this award recognizes volunteers who go above and beyond to serve the League and the State of Maine through civic engagement. Awardees give their time and expertise to advance the League’s mission of strengthening American democracy through nonpartisan political participation, public education, and advocacy.
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? Click here to learn more about the award and to submit a name.