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For Immediate Release

Date: 05/02/13

Dem Leadership Suspends Public Hearing Notification Requirement

Reduced public input symptomatic of committee dysfunction, does not bode well for progress

AUGUSTA - House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond announced today that a backlog of almost 1,000 bills still in committees has led them to suspend the requirement that all public hearings be advertised. Additionally, leadership put a rush order on all bills, requiring that those currently before committees must receive a public hearing within the next six business days, by Friday, May 10. (See previously forwarded email.)

"This is symptomatic of some of the problems we've been seeing in committees," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport.

Fredette was referring to recent incidents where Democratic committee chairs procedurally censored Republican Right-to-Work legislation, made a mockery of a public hearing by wearing clown noses, and brought bipartisan condemnation for heavy-handed conduct in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

"Add to that Democrats continuing to use the one big thing we all agree on, the hospital bill, as a bargaining chip and a lack of credible solutions coming from them on balancing the budget, and we're bound to have a very rushed final two months of session," Fredette continued.

Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette of Mapleton added that this all does not bode well for the creation of sound public policy. "Anytime you stop advertising public hearings, you're hindering the public's ability to weigh in on important issues and, as a result, hindering our ability to craft good public policy," he said.

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Contact:
David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793