By Nancy Smith
Maine Broadband Coalition membership is growing each week, now totaling over 1600! Your collective voice is powerful in determining policy and funding priorities targeted toward our shared work to enable better service for everyone.
With the Swearing In Ceremony on December 2nd, the 130th Legislative Session is in place. This will be an unusual session with the State Capitol closed to the public, while there is much work to be done and safe public access to the legislative process a priority.
Action YOU Can Take Now!
Reach out to your own State Rep and Senator and introduce yourself, offer to be a resource for them on broadband and other policy areas of interest, and share your contact information.
You can also review Legislative committee assignments and learn more about the process so you’ll be ready to engage, at whatever level you choose, throughout Maine's Path of Legislation. Though the process will be different this year to comply with COVID compliance, there's still plenty you can do.
Links below will connect you with your elected officials and the Legislative committees.
The Maine House consists of 151 individuals, (80 Democrats, 67 Republicans, 4 Independents). Plus seats for three non voting members representing the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians. Each House member is elected to a two-year term and represents a district which has approximately 8,797 people as of the 2010 census. Their occupations range from teachers to lawyers to health care professionals. They all have one thing in common – they have given up part of their private lives to serve the people of Maine in the Legislature.
The Senate is the upper chamber of the Maine Legislature and serves as the final confirming body of all bills passed before they are sent to the Governor. The Senate has remained constant in its form of organization as a Constitutional body since its establishment in 1820. the Senate currently consists of 35 Senators. The major political parties in the Senate each elect their own leaders and assistant leaders who are permitted to hire their own staff assistants, with the approval of the presiding officer.
The First Regular Session of the Maine State Legislature convened on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Statutory adjournment is June 16, 2021. Much of the work takes place in Legislative committees, comprised of ten Representatives and 3 Senators. Committees. Virtually all bills are reviewed, analyzed and discussed by one or more legislative committees before they are considered on their merits by the full Legislature. Bills are referred to committees by both chambers, receive a public hearing, are worked on in committee work sessions and are given a recommendation, or "report," by the committee to the whole Legislature.