A few weeks ago, we reached a milestone here in Maine.  We marked the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting our state.  With that milestone, we also marked the one year anniversary of government instituted policies aimed at curtailing the pandemic.  The temporary closure of non-essential businesses, business curfews, capacity limits, etc.

While most people understand the need for actions designed to limit the spread of the virus, a lot of people, including many Maine State Senators and Representatives, are concerned about the lack of oversight with regard to those emergency powers.  They feel it is time to discuss adding additional checks and balances.

On Monday, the State and Local Government Committee will hold public hearing, via Zoom, to discuss a series of bills (about a dozen) that would potentially limit the emergency powers of the governor and other government officials.

In a Facebook post, Representative Laurel Libby said:

"The checks and balances built into our three coequal branches of government provide accountability. Those checks and balances have not been functional over the last year, and it is critical that we address the imbalances of power that have become apparent."

As this is a public hearing, you will have a chance to speak before the committee, or submit a written statement, regarding the bills.  Whether you are for or against the bills in question, it is an opportunity to be heard.  Regardless of your view on the situation, it is a chance for you to be a part of the legislative process.

It is important to note that this hearing is not a critique on how Governor Mills, or any other official, has handled the situation.  It is a discussion about the governing process.

For more details about the hearing and the specific bills, click HERE

If you would like to speak before the committee or submit a written statement, click HERE

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