TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE LETTERs:
Identify yourself as a constituent.
Include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
Be specific about the reason for writing.
Identify the specific bill you are writing about and your position (support or oppose).
Address one issue per letter, and if possible, keep the letter to one page. Data, research, or graphics can be helpful as long as they are directly relevant to your position.
Explain how the legislation you’re writing about affects you, your family, your friends, your business or community.
Do not make arguments that cannot be substantiated or you will lose your credibility.
Let the legislator know what action you’d like them to take. If you want them to support a specific bill, say so. If you want them to vote against a certain bill, make that clear. If you’d like your legislator to follow-up with you, let them know.
Hand write your note.
Sending hand-written notes or typed letters is generally more effective than sending an email.
To either speak at the hearing via Zoom or submit written testimony: Visit www.legislature.maine.gov, and click on the “Testimony Submission” button (bottom, right) at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing. 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. Note that you may show up to speak at a pubic hearing without submitting written testimony.
• To speak at the public hearing via Zoom, fill out the contact information as above but also click the box that says “I would like testify electronically over Zoom." You'll then see added boxes to indicate if you support, oppose or are neutral on the bill. Although written testimony is not required, 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 after you check the box.
• To speak in-person at the public hearing, arrive at the hearing room at least 10 minutes early and if there is a sign up sheet for specific bills, add your name. If you want to share anything with the committee, bring 20 copies to the room. You may also submit written testimony in advance via the portal above. The state maintains an excellent page with resources for testifying before committees here. If you are unsure which committee is hearing a particular bill, search for the bill by LD number or key word here. If you use the "Consolidated Bill Tracking Page" (the second section), you will see the committee information at the top of the page.
Persons with special needs wishing to participate in a Legislative hearing who require accommodations should notify the Legislative Information Office as soon as possible: 207-287-1692, FAX 207-287-1580, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee meetings may be heard at www.mainelegislature.org. Click on the Audio link on the top right of the page.