Legislative Updates / Spring 2022

The 2nd session of the 130th Legislature and our Public Policy Committee

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year; it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” John Lewis

I had the opportunity this past weekend to review our testimonies to the 2nd session of the 130th State Legislature.  It was a reminder of the stances we have taken along with our partner organizations for justice, equity, and fairness in our beloved state of Maine. (It was also a balm as we wrestle with the decisions that our US Supreme Court have handed down during this past week.)   

In addressing climate education, The Rev Doretta Colburn, MCC representative to the Environmental Priorities Coalition stated that “The work we are doing now to mitigate climate change, the laws we are passing to strengthen the health of the Earth, the decisions and choices that are being acted on today to address sustainability will only be enhanced when we give our educators and our students the tools they need to further their awe and wonder, and to develop a respect and sense of reciprocity for all that Earth gives us in that mutual relationship of love and care.”

Our testimony for universal health care emphasized that it is a moral imperative to transform health care so that it is inclusive, accessible, affordable and accountable.” (Executive Director, Jane Field)

In support of an advisory panel on genome-editing, John Hennessy, co-chair of the committee wrote “This bill supports the development of conversation channels…. self-reflection and dialogue regarding some of the most important questions that currently exist at the intersection of faith, religion, medicine, and science….”

Seven bills that we supported as a Council passed.  They include bills to:

  • Provide access to clean drinking water for Passamaqoddy Tribal members (LD906)
  • Improve dental health access for ME children and adults with low incomes (LD996)
  • Establsih an advisory panel regarding the implications of genome-editing technology (LD1771)
  • Strengthen the Good Samaritan law concerning drug-related medical assistance (LD1862)
  • Climate education in ME Public schools (LD1902)
  • Universal health care coverage (LD 1945)

There were others that we supported but failed to pass including the Tribal Sovereignty Bill (LD1626). and The Pine Tree Amendment.  Each of these will be back in a new form next year, we believe,

We invite you to partner with us in the coming legislative year knowing that there will be bills to support and others to speak out against from a faith-based perspective, rooted in the Christian and Hebrew traditions that expect no less from us than to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

Evelyn Johnson Moore, Co Chair MCC Public Policy Committee