Around Town 2/16/23: How To Participate in the Legislative Process in Maine (& some bills under consideration this week)

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

This week:

One positive thing to come from the pandemic is a new system that makes it easier to participate in public hearings held by the state legislature. Those who are interested have been able to listen via web stream for years, but to speak out on a proposed bill you had to travel to Augusta and often wait hours for your turn.

The state is now offering the option of testifying via zoom, opening up a channel for feedback to far more members of the public. Those who are interested must register at least 30 minutes prior to the meeting, at

If you’d like to listen in without commenting, there are links to live streams of the committees and the full legislature at

It’s easy to find out what bills are coming up for a public hearing or work session by going to and clicking on committees. You can also search by bill number or text.

Written and verbal comments are accepted from the public at public hearings. Following the public hearing – usually at a later date – the committees hold work sessions where only committee members and any experts they’ve invited are allowed to speak.

Here are some of the bills coming up for discussion this week..

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.