AUGUSTA – The Maine Legislature has reversed the decision to stop accepting testimony from Maine citizens via email and announced it will continue to accept email testimony for the time being.
face came days after the announcement that emails to legislative committees would
no longer be considered testimony, and that on April 22, the Maine Legislature
would be rolling out a new online public testimony submission system on the
legislature’s official website.
considerable public outcry, and, according to the executive director of Maine’s
Legislative Council, at least partly because all ten members of the Legislature’s
executive council had
not weighed in on the change, they announced they had reversed the
This legislative session has seen what some observers say is an unprecedented
level of grassroots citizen engagement as the legislature considers far-ranging
bills that would dramatically alter public policy in Maine.
Some bills have spurred hundreds of pieces of written testimony
from Maine citizens, who enjoy what is arguably the most accessible state
legislature in the nation.
A bill that would eliminate exemptions for vaccines and
essentially force parents to vaccinate their children to put them in school
reportedly received over 1,600 pieces of written testimony.
A bill to provide taxpayer funded abortions received 266 pieces of
written testimony. A host of other bills have received waves of written
testimony from Mainers wanting to make sure their voices are heard.
A recent proposal to allow firearms to be confiscated from individuals
through secret “red flag” orders saw nine hours of testimony before committee
and hundreds of pieces of written testimony submitted.
While some Mainers may still wish to submit testimony via email, The Maine Heritage Policy Center has put together a helpful primer on using the online testimony submission form that you can check out by clicking here.