The Maine Legislature is attempting to limit the Maine citizen petition process. It is no secret that since the recent passage of citizen initiatives on the legalization of recreational marijuana and the raising of the minimum wage, Gov. LePage and certain members of the Maine House and Senate have not been happy with the citizen petition process in this state.

L.D. 31 is a proposed amendment to the Maine Constitution that would require that the number of signatures from each congressional district be not less than 10 percent of the total vote for governor cast in that congressional district in the previous gubernatorial election. L.D. 31 would require that a certain percentage of the signatures on a direct initiative of legislation or a citizen petition drive would come from each congressional district.

On the surface this might look good, but it will pit northern Maine against southern Maine, much to the delight of some legislators whose only goal is to slow down or even eliminate the citizen petition process as it becomes too much trouble to enact these citizen petitions.

Apparently, the will of the people must be thwarted at all costs so the citizens of northern Maine could presumably stop a casino from being approved in southern Maine and the citizens of southern Maine could weigh in unfavorably on road signs for the new national monument, neither of which is supported by Gov. LePage.

Let’s not let this happen. The citizen petition process has worked well in Maine for over 100 years. Let’s not tinker with success.

Contact the clerk for the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, Karen Montell, at 287-1692 or email her at [email protected] to voice your opinion. A log is kept of all calls and emails on a bill and is presented to the Legislature at the time that a vote is taken. Your voice matters!

Val Philbrick