Action Under the Dome For Monday, Jan. 15

Monday, January 15, 2024
Jen Lancaster

It's Monday, January 15.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Voting Rights Act, a signature achievement of the Civil Rights Movement, has to be protected, which the League stands up through advocacy and litigation at the national and local level. Still, even today, the Voting Rights Act faces threats and challenges: legislators want to disenfranchise voters through unfair redistricting maps and institute restrictive voter ID laws. Let’s use the holiday to honor MLK's legacy, educate ourselves, and take action.

Here are your weekly updates 👇

Here's what we're seeing lately in Augusta:

Public Hearings:

  • LD 1991 — Changing Governor Primary Elections: This bill would alter primary elections for governor to be nonpartisan and require top-two Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), where the top two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election. We have reservations and think that there’s a better way. Stay tuned. It has a public hearing on Wed., January 17 in the Veterans and Legal Affairs (VLA) committee.


  • LD 1578National Popular Vote: NPV had its public hearing in VLA last Monday. It received plenty of good testimony, but the opposition is making its voice heard. We have to be louder and show that Mainers want NPV. Even the Editorial Board of the Portland Press Herald has endorsed it. Contact your legislator now and take action by signing up for the phonebank on January 18.
  • LD 1590 — Disclosure of Campaign Funding Sources: This bill would have required disclosure of the true, original sources of contributions made to Maine PACs and ballot questions committees. Mainers want to know who is spending money to influence our democracy. We support this bill. There was enthusiasm for it in 2023, but that seems to have dissipated. The committee thought the bill too complicated for this session and voted "ONTP" = Ought Not to Pass.
  • LD 1966 County Clean Elections: This would have established Clean Elections for county offices in Maine, including district attorneys, sheriffs, and county commissioners. We 100% support this bill. During its work session last week, the VLA stripped it back to just include clean elections for district attorneys. It received a divided report (split votes) “OTP-A” = Ought to Pass Amended.

Other Important links:

Contact your legislators about gun safety legislation
The Gun Safety Coalition is drafting language to put forth Maine-specific legislation that will address gun safety concerns. In the meantime, we need to contact our legislators and ask them to support this reform. We estimate that over 1,000 people came to the State House on January 3, and we can't let this momentum slide. Take action now — it only takes a few minutes.