Links to State of Maine .gov Websites
No one competes with the State as a source of information about legislators and legislation.
What follows is a list organized by type of information.
Any of this information can be useful depending on one's interest at a point in time,
but my personal favorite is the "Committee Info" page shown below.
Crafting intelligent policy that is durable and improves people's lives is challenging, and if you would like
to see the arguments that were offered on both sides of proposed legislation, then you will want to see the testimony
heard by the committee that the bill was referred to.
To learn who your legislators are
To learn more about your legislator
To provide testimony at a committee hearing, written or in person
The schedule of public hearings for all committees is available from a drop-down menu here
Detailed and practical advice for providing testimony in-person is provided here
Written testimony may be provided by using the form here.
Public hearings for any committee can be heard live online, links to the audio for each committee are provided here
Sensible advice is to be polite in both written and oral testimony. You or I would not find rude behavior or comments persuasive and I do not imagine that legislators do, either.
To see all roll call votes in the House of Representatives or the Senate
For a House roll call vote, use the link above and follow the "Roll Call" link on that page.
For a Senate roll call votes are listed here: 129th Senate Roll Calls
To learn more about a specific legislative document, order or paper
The easiest way to find information on the State's website is to start with any roll call, and then use their
navigation system. Once you select a particular roll call to view from either of the pages of all roll call votes given
above, the page that lists the roll call has their navigation bar on the left, shown below:
The site is navigated by using the tabs on the left, which are the same
starting from any roll call. The tabs link to the following pages:
- Search leads to a search feature where you can search by Legislative Document (LD) number,
or for other types of documents, such as Senate Paper (SP), Senate Order (SO), House Paper (HP) and
House Order (HO), by their reference number. You can also select "Advanced Search" which leads
to a different search page. "Search" is used for obtaining information on one legislative document
at a time, using the other tabs discussed below. "Advanced Search" leads to a page for searches that
provide lists of documents that meet some criteria. For example, Advanced Search can be used to find all
documents sponsored by a particular legislator, all documents that became law, and so on.
The tabs other than "Search" lead to additional detail information for the current document, which is LD 1461.
- Summary links to a page that provides the most recent House and Senate actions on LD 1461.
- Actions links to a page that has the legislative history as actions ordered by date for LD 1461.
For a legislative document, the legislative history starts with the comittee reference, follows with
the first and second readings and engrossment of the bill, enactment if enacted, and if enacted, the
Governor's response and if the Governor's response was to veto, the votes on motions to reconsider
after the veto. On this website, the Actions tab is the source of all of the context that is provided
for the votes (e.g., "what happened after the ought not to pass motion failed," and so on.)
- Bill Text and Other Docs leads to either the text of the original bill (i.e., LD 1461 for the
image shown above) or an amendment to the original bill. If the link leads to a page that lists an amendment
rather than the original bill, then clicking on "Text and Disposition" on the tab on the left of the page will
bring up the original bill. You can view or download the text of the original bill as a PDF document or a Word document,
and the summaries of LDs or amendments used on this site are the summaries that are at the bottom of these documents.
- Committee Info
The Committee Info tab leads to the page shown below.
Under the title of LD 1461 ("An Act to Encourage the Construction of Affordable Housing"), a listing of the
status of the bill in committee is given - when the bill was referred to committee, the most recent
committee action, and when the bill was reported out. Along with the dates of public hearings and work sessions,
clicking the "+" sign next to "Public Hearing Testimony" provides written testimony the committee received.
Of the blue tabs on the left, "Divided Reports" will indicate the committee members' votes on any divided
committee reports. The search bar at the top left leads to web pages of committee information for other legislative documents.
- Title & Section provides a reference to the section of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated that the
- Amendments leads to a page that lists all amendments that were offered to the bill (i.e., amendments that
were offered to LD 1461 here), and clicking on the "More information" link leads to a page of PDF and word files of
all amendments, where you can view the content of the amendments.
- Sponsors leads to a page that lists the primary sponsor of a bill and all co-sponsors in the House and the
Senate, and is the source of the data used on these pages.
- Roll-calls leads to a page that lists all of the roll call votes taken in the Senate and the House that
involved this particular bill, LD 1461. Recall that this site only lists the last roll call taken, which is often
on a motion to reconsider passage of a bill after a veto; all of the other votes along the way to that final vote
are listed here, and clicking on any roll call will lead to a page similar to the page shown above, which provides
the date, motion, outcome and votes.
- Subjects provides the subject the legislative document pertains to, with subjects being a much more fine-grained
version of the "topic" used on this site.
To learn more about the legislative process
The State provides an overview here.
Joint rules of the 129th legislature (e.g., Joint rule 310.3 is here) are available
An additional useful additional reference is The Legislative Handbook, authored by the State's Office of Policy
and Legal Analysis and given to freshly minted legislators at the start of each session. A PDF version of the Handbook for the 129th Session
Additional sources and resources
The Maine Ethics Commission
is the source for the candidate's funding in the 2018 election.
Links to additional sites used for the scorecards on legislator information pages are available from the Explanation of the Scorecards.
I try to post upcoming hearings with each bill on this website, but I can fall behind. The Sunday Telegram provides a list of committee hearings weekly.
Suit Up Maine
, a non-partisan progressive group of more than 5,400 volunteers, provides a wealth of information for citizen involvement on a variety of issues that are being considered at both the state and federal government levels. They track a selected set of bills in the Maine legislature, and are open to suggestion on additional bills to follow. Their follow-up on issues is thorough and detailed.