There are multiple ways you can influence the outcome of a bill in Maine’s Legislature.
COVID-19 has changed the way the legislature does business in 2021. All testimony needs to be submitted digitally and delivered remotely.
The most powerful way to influence legislation is to testify before a legislative committee and speak about a bill. In 2021, that means connecting with the committee on Zoom. Our Legislative Alerts (sign up here) will provide the date, time, and place when committees are hearing the highest priority bills that affect Maine’s lakes. To see priority bills expected this session and fact sheets for bills with hearings scheduled, click here.
If speaking to a Zoom audience isn’t your thing, you can also submit written testimony to the committee easily and quickly. You’ll need to know the committee where the bill is being heard, as well as the date and time of the scheduled hearing. You can upload a document or type your testimony in directly.
To either speak at the hearing or submit written testimony: Visit www.legislature.maine.gov, and click on the “Testimony Submission” button (bottom, right). At the next screen select the committee where the bill originates, then the date of the hearing. Finally, check the box for the bill you are addressing. Then:
• To submit written testimony, upload your document (Word or PDF file). You can also type text directly into the submission box. Below that, add your full name, town or organization in Maine (either full-time or part-time/seasonal residence), email and phone.
• To speak at the public hearing, fill out the contact information as above but also click the box that says “I would like to present my testimony live”. You’ll then see an added box to indicate if you support, oppose or are neutral on the bill. Although written testimony is not required, feel free to upload testimony at this time if you’d like the committee to have a written record of your comments. Please note, you must upload your written AFTER you have selected the live testimony box. If you upload before checking this box, your file will be deleted.
While testifying on Zoom can seem overwhelming, we can assure you that legislators are friendly and the atmosphere in the virtual committee rooms is congenial and welcoming. Legislators listen to a lot of lobbyists, but they really like to hear from “regular” people who are passionate about a bill.
Another way to influence a bill is to call your legislator, or meet with them face-to-face. After a committee has voted to move a bill forward, you can then also contact your individual senators and representatives to urge them to support the bill when it comes to a floor vote.
HOW TO FIND YOUR LEGISLATor:
- Map of Maine’s 151 House Districts
- House: 1-800-423-2900
- Senate: 1-800-423-6900