MCC’s Legislative Ministry
During the current session of the Maine State Legislature, the Council has been hard at work advocating for civil discourse amongst our legislators, and supporting passage of our five priority bills. Toward that end, incoming President Bonny Rodden, Board members Cush Anthony and Suzanne Lafreniere, and Public Policy Committee member John Hennessey accompanied Executive Director Jane Field to the State House on January 6 for the opening day of the legislative session. The group delivered a letter to each representative and senator urging them to observe the principles of our civil discourse covenant and Rev. Field delivered the opening prayer in the House.
On Friday, February 12, Board members William Barter, Leslie Manning and Suzanne Lafreniere met for more than an hour with State Senator Linda Baker to discuss the current proposal being put forward by Senator Tom Saviello to expand Medicaid coverage to more of Maine’s most vulnerable low-income residents. The group reported to the MCC Board of Directors that the meeting was productive and gave everyone in the room a chance to speak from the heart about what the voice of faith had to say on this critically important issue. They were especially thankful to Senator Baker for the gift of so much of her time and attention that afternoon.
And in coming days, Public Policy Committee member Heidi Shott will be offering testimony in favor of Senator Amy Volk’s bill, LD 1531, “An Act to Protect Victims of Human Trafficking,” one of MCC’s top five legislative priorities for this session. This bill provides that victims of aggravated sex trafficking are eligible to file for protection from abuse orders and protection from harassment orders. As reported in the Bangor Daily News on February 3, the number of verifiable cases of human trafficking in the state of Maine is at an all-time high. As people of faith, we are called to help those who have no freedom so that they may live in hope. We are called to preach good news to those held in bondage and to set the captives free.