Legislators will hold a public hearing at 9 am Tuesday, Feb. 15 on LD 1626, a bill to restore the inherent right of the Wabanaki tribes in Maine to self-govern within their respective territories in accordance with the same federal laws that generally govern tribal lands elsewhere in the United States.
Supporters of this legislation can help secure its passage by submitting written testimony in favor of the bill or speaking at the public hearing. The process is easy and done online. Find tips below and plan to watch the hearing on YouTube.
WRITING YOUR TESTIMONY
- Make it personal. Testimony is most effective when it’s personal. Why is restoring tribal self-governance important to you? We know that when the Wabanaki thrive, all Mainers thrive. How might you, your family, and your community benefit from LD 1626? Use specific examples.
- Be specific. You don’t need to address everything in the bill, but you should highlight a few key elements about what the legislation would accomplish and why it’s needed. Need a little background? Find it in our LD 1626 FAQ.
- Keep it brief. Your testimony should be brief, about a page long, and to the point. Select an issue you feel most strongly about and show the committee why it matters to you. Speak from your heart.
- Still not sure where to start? Take a look at our LD 1626 Talking Points for ideas.
- Go the distance. After you’ve submitted your testimony, email a copy to your legislators. Find them and their contact information in the Maine Voter Lookup. Share your testimony with Gov. Janet Mills. Find her contact info here. You can also rework your testimony as a letter to the editor. Find out how to do that in our LTE Guide.
Find a template below for information to include at the beginning and end of your written testimony
SUBMITTING YOUR WRITTEN TESTIMONY
- Go to: https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/
- Select “public hearing”
- Select “Judiciary” as the committee hearing this bill.
- Select February 15, 2022 as the day of the hearing
- Select the bill — LD 1626.
- Enter your testimony, by uploading a PDF or by copying the text and pasting it into the testimony field.
- If you want to testify orally during the public hearing (held via Zoom), check the “I would like to present my testimony live” at the same time you submit your written testimony. You should submit written testimony even if you are planning to deliver it live during the hearing. Find tips below on how to testify at the hearing
- Enter your name and contact information, check the “captcha” box, and select “submit/register.”
- Reminder: If you submitted written testimony in support of LD 1626 during the 2021 session, you do not need to submit testimony again. Find a list of those testimonies here.
Your written testimony will be shared with members of the committee, be added to the bill website, and become part of the bill’s permanent legislative record.
TESTIFY DURING THE HEARING
Delivering your testimony live during the public hearing is a powerful way to demonstrate your support for this legislation. Public hearings are all held virtually via Zoom this session. To sign up, follow the steps below. Want to know exactly what to expect? Watch this video from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
- Register for the hearing. When you submit your written testimony, check the box “I would like to present my testimony live,” which can be found just above the entry field for your testimony. You must register at least 30 minutes before the hearing begins.
- Register for the Zoom link. After you complete the steps above, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to register for the Zoom. Click the link and enter the requested information and you’ll receive another email with the link to join the hearing. Click that link a few minutes before the hearing begins.
- Sound check. Before the hearing, test your video and audio to make sure you can be heard and seen.
- Be patient. We are expecting a lot of supporters of LD 1626 to testify, which means it could be a while before it’s your turn. You’ll be held in a “waiting room” until it’s your time to speak. You will be able to see the public hearing while you wait. You can also watch the hearing on YouTube.
- Practice. Oral testimony is usually limited to 3 minutes, so you may need to shorten your written testimony. Practice before the hearing to make sure you have the timing down.
TEMPLATE FOR WRITTEN TESTIMONY
To: Sen. Carney, Rep. Harnett, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary
From: YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, HOMETOWN, ZIP CODE, AFFILIATION, IF RELEVANT.
Re: Support for LD 1626, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act
Intro: Sen. Carney, Rep. Harnett and members of the Judiciary Committee, my name is _(your name) and I live in (your town) . If you are testifying on behalf of an organization, state that here. I am here to testify in support of LD 1626.
Testimony: [Make your case for LD 1626 here. See above for tips for effective testimony.]
Closing: Thank the committee members and succinctly summarize your take-home message.