Decision Maker

Maine State House


Does Maine State House have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.Start a petition
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered Amerasian children ,and descendants, of U.S. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,095 supporters
Petitioning Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Connecticut State House, Illinois State House, Illinois State Senate, Maine State House, Maine State Senate

Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault

The historic trial of Bill Cosby for his acts of sexual violence took place this month. While more than 60 women have spoken out against him, Cosby only faced trial for the criminal violence he committed against a single woman. The law that exists preventing many survivors from prosecuting Cosby for the crimes perpetrated against them is a law that still exists in 30 states including Maine, Illinois, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Cosby survivor and artist Lili Bernard shares her story: "In the early 1990s, Bill Cosby mentored me as I prepared for my guest-starring role on The Cosby Show. After he had won my complete trust and adoration, he drugged me and raped me. When I told him that I would report him to the police, he threatened serious consequences to my life. In 1992, during our last contact, he said to me, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist.” I interpreted that as a death threat and feared for my life. In the spring of 2015, empowered by dozens of brave women who publicly disclosed the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby, I finally shed the fear and filed a police report against him in the state of New Jersey, in which an assault occurred. However, despite the evidence I saved and the witnesses willing to testify on my behalf, Cosby could not be considered for prosecution because the assault occurred a few months outside of the statute of limitations." Statutes of limitations on rape and sexual assaults are a predator’s best friend and a victim’s worst nightmare. An overwhelming amount of sexual violence -- an estimated 63% -- goes unreported and a pervasive rape culture is responsible. As we work to reduce the impact of social silencing mechanisms, we must dually eliminate laws that bar many sexual assault survivors from seeking the justice they deserve. The election to the highest office in our country of Donald J. Trump - a known sexual predator - cast a great shadow over justice for survivors of sexual assault. It is incumbent upon us all, now more than ever, to take real action to show our country’s most vulnerable that we stand with them. In September 2016, California became the 20th state to abolish the timeline for reporting rape and sexual assault. The bill - which does not change the burden of evidence required to press charges - passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously before being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senator Connie Leyva, who filed the bill, said that it "shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them, that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit.” Senator Leyva was recently recognized by the California Women’s Law Center for her work on the legislation. Elected Representatives - if there is one thing you could do to push back against the rape culture further enabled by the current White House administration, it would be to ensure that justice is served in your state. Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in your state, and ensure that every survivor has a chance at justice in our legal system.  Justice knows no time limit. 

End Rape Statute of Limitations
4,457 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State House, Alaska State House, Arizona State House, Arkansas State House, California State House, Colorado State House, Hawaii State House, Idaho State House, Illinois State House, Indian...

Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA.  About SMA: •  SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.•  SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.•  SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. •  One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.•  When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.•  One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA.  The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do.  For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.   

Hunter Has Hope
1,577 supporters
Petitioning Muriel Bowser (D. C. - Mayor), Dannel Malloy, Asa Hutchinson, John Hickenlooper, Rick Scott, Nathan Deal, David Ige, Bruce Rauner, Eric Holcomb, Kim Reynolds, Sam Brownback, John Bel Edwards, Paul ...

Stop The Statute of Limitations on ALL Child & Adult Sexual Assault #metoo #StopTheStatute

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/December-2016/Marc-Winner/ #metoo Please read until the end to begin to understand the scope of it all. ❤️� Hopefully we have just one more pre-trial on the 1st of 4 serial rape trials against Marc Winner and then the actual 1st trial will be set. Over 16 years, I hoped and prayed this day would actually never come, because although I knew he couldn’t stop-it was my greatest wish that he would, so no one else would be violently raped by him again. Painfully, that was not the case with 4 in the SOL and 10 total we know about in a 15 year period. The continuous promises made to me when they wanted me to be okay with the plea deal, were not kept. Woman after woman reported him only to be disbelieved and disregarded, because of archaic belief systems even within the justice system and Chicagoland Cook County City and Suburbs being on different computer systems. How senseless is that? It now does make sense though why only a few months after he raped me, he moved to Chicago and opened a new “award winning” tanning salon, he of course named after himself. It would seem he may have knowingly made the move with the help of his wealthy and powerful family and benefactors in order to stalk prey without scrutiny and undetected once again. I have been ruled a past crime witness, being his first known victim and first to report. We won’t know until the trials begin whether or not past crimes will be testifying and entered into evidence. Often the court system doesn’t want to do what can be referred to as “muddying the waters” by bringing past crimes in. I find that ridiculous because all the past crimes establish an obvious pattern and MO. However, whatever it takes for the rapist predator with a file as large as “War & Peace” to finally no longer slip through the cracks and be put behind bars for good, is fine by me. This has not been an easy road. It’s actually been harder than I would ever be able to explain. My sister and brother survivors understand why sexual assault is the most under reported crime, because coming forward in order to protect others from a monster has no upsides due to the revictimization of stigma, harassment, a pretty inept and broken system, and those who want to make rape of all things about politics or shaming and blaming the survivor rather than stopping the perp. It’s been a long 16+ years with much joy after I came to terms with the unthinkable, but I really got thrown for a loop that invasion day almost two years ago now when I found out he was back or I should say never actually left. For he remained active and my reporting him, going to all our trial dates, and his slap on the wrist plea deal didn’t keep him from continuing his proclivity to do irreparable and permanent harm. I do not feel any of the unfounded shame or blame any longer. I could really careless what the ignorant callous bullies towards survivors of rape think or say either. I do however feel an immense responsibility to my sisters who survived him, all sister and brother survivors, and the community at large to see this through to the end-to finish this-and to help convict him anyway that I lawfully can so he never hurts another living soul again. Many confusingly mock and attack survivor activists who put it all on the line to stop criminals by using the term social justice warrior as a negative connotation on the internet and elsewhere. However, what they don’t seem to understand is that this is NOT a political issue and a violent despicable crime such as rape can never be referred to as “social.” It’s a matter of stopping a violent criminal from seriously hurting others in a way that the survivors receive a life sentence. Rape is actually a CRIMINAL JUSTICE issue-always has been, always will be. As a Criminal Justice issue, one way to end the emboldening of predators like Marc Winner, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Denny Hastert is to stop the SOL clock. Predators know very well that they have a time clock they can easily run out during the often decades of time it takes a victim to come forward and be a survivor. The time is NOW to #StopTheStatute of Limitations on sex crimes in every state for children and adults once and for all. There are no statutes in different states on Forgery, types of Fraud, Murder, Manslaughter, Attempted Murder, Arson, types of DUI accidents, and even in a few on Rape, but a few isn’t good enough-Rape is a life sentence, so should be the time period it takes to report it (which remember does not mean the lack of burden of proof) in order to help deter. The system needs to give survivors the time they need to come to terms with the heinous violation to their body and spirit in order to get closure and justice-How can’t everyone reasonably understand and get behind that? #Ibelieveyou#stopthestatute

Lesley Barton
1,126 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Maine State Senate

WE NEED JUSTICE! For 3DOGS *now saved* from CORINTH, ME OUTSIDE SICK, COLD, STARVING!

Temperatures are normally in the 20's and yet here in Corinth, Maine there are 2 remaining of 3 emaciated/dehydrated dogs tied up in a shed, insulated with only some hay. These dogs were found by a friend of the owner after dropping off a trailor at the residence, he went out back to visit the pups just to find a shed of starving and cold dogs, ONE OF THREE WAS ALREADY DEAD AND HAD BEEN DEAD FOR AWHILE. The owners admitted that one dog had been sick, and needed extra food and care, which they did not provide. They let their sick dog die by "natural causes because its cheaper than the vet" and "so what if we do things differently than you guys", so the owners daughter said. There is so much wrong in this case, they truly think they are caring for these dogs, and we really need the attention of the country. With no foot paths in the snow, it's evident that these dogs were left alone for days without food or water in the harsh Maine winter weather. The family members have defended that they feed the dogs a mere 2 cups a day, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH, especially considering they live outside and need more meat on their bones to help them stay warm. Their water would freeze in these temperatures, and their bodies cannot stay warm. These dogs are being severely neglected,being forced to live outside in the cold, hungry and alone. The family claims the hounds are "TOO BIG TO BE INSIDE dogs" and have admitted that they "cannot bring them inside" due to space limitations.**Animal control has made a visit out there and made requirements for improvement to be met by this sunday, but this case needs to be addressed and charged to the fullest extent possible. It is a Class D crime to let your animal go without proper shelter, medical attention, and food in Maine... This family did ALL of those things, and are being given another chance for the other 2 dogs. These dogs deserve a chance to live healthy, happy.. indoors, with full bellies! Please, call 207-947-7382 and make a claim, ( be calm, be respectful, we need results!) then ask to be directed to Animal control officer Noel Sirabella, he has 6 dogs himself and should be doing something about this! Stress that we cant let this happen. Justice must be served. Please help us!Again, The owners name is David Hallett. 3 hound dogs, 1 dead, 2 in desperate need. A case is started already, if everyone joins together we can save these dogs and maybe teach these people a real lesson on how to care for animals.

ashley eddy
1,125 supporters
Victory
Petitioning The ME State Senate

Stop Maine Legislation That Will Make it Harder to Rent With Pets

Americans love their pets. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to find landlords that allow tenants to have dogs or cats. ME HP 62/ LD 74 is pending in the Maine legislature. This bill would shift the burden of liability for a pet from the tenant to the landlord AND the tenant. The bill provides: "A tenant and that tenant's landlord are jointly and severally liable for damages caused to a 3rd party by that tenant's pet."  In essence, this ill-concieved measure would discourage any landlord from renting to people with pets because their own liability would be too high. People who can't afford their own home shouldn't be discouraged from caring for a dog or cat. If ME HP 62/LD 74 passes, many pets will be abandoned in shelters. Please sign the petition to stop this inhumane measure.

Ledy VanKavage
942 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Maine State House

Ban the Sale and Production of Products containing Plastic Microbeads in the State of Maine

Plastic microbeads are tiny bits of abrasive plastic that are used in many toothpastes, soaps, and cosmetics. These microbeads may not seem like an environmental threat, but they have a substantially negative impact. Because of their small size, most microbeads are not filtered out by water treatment plants. The microbeads then end up in oceans and other bodies of water, rapidly accumulating and posing more of a problem than many environmentalists originally thought.  Microbeads are the same size as many types of fish eggs (less than 5 millimeters in diameter) which means they look exactly like the food that most fish, crustaceans and other organisms eat. When fish eat plastic they absorb toxins, which can then be passed through the food chain to humans and other wildlife. One of Maine's largest financial assets is its fisheries, which makes it crucial that they are protected, not to mention the millions of animals that are important to a healthy ecosystem and a healthy planet. I have started this petition in order to urge the state of Maine to take action against these harmful plastic pollutants by banning cosmetics containing microbeads. Please sign this petition if you would like to see Maine take a step towards being more environmentally conscientious, and if you'd like to keep more plastic out of the oceans and waterways.

Willow Razsa
903 supporters
Petitioning California State Senate, Oregon State Senate, Washington State Senate, California State House, Oregon State House, Washington State House, New York State House, Massachusetts State House, Massachus...

A state-based, Constitutional Amendment to Require POTUS Candidates Release their Taxes.

Amendments to the US Constitution can be proposed by two-thirds of state legislatures. This petition urges state legislatures of all 50 states to immediately take up the task of introducing an amendment to the Constitutional that requires: All candidates running for office of the President MUST release their entire tax history including FULL, long form tax returns to be eligible to run for President of the United States of America. Failure to release said documents will prohibitively disqualify a candidate from running for office of The President of the United States of America. This requirement will hold the same weight and importance as "natural born" status. It's vitally important that the President and their finances are free of foreign influence. The practice of releasing tax returns has been a political norm for more than 50 years. It's time now to make it LAW. If state legislatures lead, the national leaders will follow.  This petition will be delivered to legislatures in all 50 states.

Keith Hamm
278 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Governors, Florida State Senate, Texas State Senate, Pennsylvania State Senate, Ohio State Senate, Ohio State House, Florida State House, Texas State House, Pennsylvania State House, North Car...

Replace the Electoral College with a National Popular Vote

It is fundamental to democracy: the candidate with the most votes wins. Yet twice since 2000, the candidate with the most votes for President has lost. The good news is that we can make 2016 the last election in which the popular vote loser wins the presidency – and we can do it without amending the Constitution.   We can replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Under the Compact, states agree to cast their electoral votes for the national popular vote winner - instead of the winner of their state. Once states with a total of 270 electoral votes approve, the Compact becomes effective. Through the National Popular Vote Compact, the United States can elect a President by popular vote as early as 2020. This is not a pipe dream – states with a combined 165 electoral votes have already enacted it. But in order for the Compact to take effect, and a truly national election to take place, additional states with a combined 105 electoral votes must sign on.   If you live in one of the 40 states that have not yet joined, tell your state legislators and governor that you support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. 

One Nation One Vote
264 supporters
Petitioning New York Times

End Water Fluoridation-Save Lives 70% of American tap water is Fluoridated

   Fluoride is a neurotoxin.  70% Of American's Water is Fluoridated which causes cancer, depression and many other illnesses.This one is about Fluoridation causing bone cancer and kidney disease-http://www.naturalnews.com/027976_fluoride_conspiracy.htmlbasic points of fluoridation:http://www.holisticmed.com/fluoride/Articlehttp://www.robertgammal.com/PDFs/SciFactsFluoride.pdfVideo(described below)-http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7547385139152764985&hl=en#Professional Perspectives on Water FluoridationFeaturing a Nobel Laureate in Medicine, three scientists from the National Research Council's landmark review on fluoride, as well as dentists, medical doctors, and leading researchers in the field," 70% of americans consume it everydayhttp://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2008/07/13/fluoride-in-water-now-reaches-70-percent-of-americans.htmAnother scientific journal articlehttp://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=second-thoughts-on-fluoride And,  even those who use public water that is NOT fluoridated are still affected. Drinking sodas, bottled waters or any other water based drink OR FOOD manufactured in America, has even MORE than a 70% chance of containing Fluoride. Even if one doesn't believe Fluoride is harmful just think about the fact alone that Fluoride is considered a chemical that the CDS claims is good for your teeth...making it a MEDICINE. it is illegal for a doctor to force their patient into taking their medication...so why is Fluoride in our water without a majority approval?...or even an approval at all? WE MUST STOP THE POISIONING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Crystal Cuddeback
223 supporters
Stop State Budget Cuts to Scarborough Schools!

In response to this petition, please take a moment to read the comments that I have submitted to the Scarborough Board of Education (BOE) and the town council. It has been communicated to me that the Finance Chairs of the BOE and town council acted of their own accord to initiate this petition and did not recieve direct approval from either the BOE or town council to file this petition. Thank you for interest and for taking the time to learn more by reading this information. If you would like to review the documents that I reference, please email me at heather.sirocki@gmail.com and I will forward them to you. Regards, Heather Dear Members of the Scarborough Board of Education and Town Council: It has come to my attention that a petition sponsored by the Chairs of the Finance Committees is being circulated via “change.org” regarding the state school subsidy. I welcome engaging with constituents from my House District in open and respectful dialogue. It is always beneficial to listen and learn what others are thinking. I admit, however, that I found the decision to petition me in this manner to be rather curious. Did elected town officials from both the BOE and the town council discuss the idea of engaging me in this manner at open board meetings? Additionally, I was dismayed to receive this e-mail message, “Why are you blocking the Appropriations Committee work on expanding funding for public schools?” As one of the thirteen members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and serving in the minority in the House, I do not have the power to “block” the school subsidy. While I certainly may express my opinion, I do not have sole authority to take funding from one vital program and shift it to another. And while I do serve on the budget committee, I have never served on the education committee. We must abide by the formula as it is set in statute. The state subsidy formula has been developed over time in the legislature, but it is not set in stone. If you have suggestions for re-adjusting the formula, legislation may be introduced at a later time. It may help you to have a frame of reference. In ten years, 2003 to 2013, the state has had a 12% drop in the student enrollment, while at the same time the cost has increased by 31%. During this time period the state contribution has increased 17% over the rate of inflation while the local share on average has only risen .001%. Gov. LePage has consistently included increased funding for education in his budgets, and this year’s budget is no exception. The total cost of PK- 20 education is $2.2 billion, and the state share is $964 million. I recommend that you read the attached documents. The preliminary numbers show that communities with stronger economies will receive a smaller subsidy. Scarborough, compared to the rest of the state, is a vibrant coastal community, thus we are losing an estimated $1.1 million state aid, while other struggling rural communities may see a significant bump in aid. During the appropriation process, there will be an effort to trim funding from other vitally important programs to increase money for the EPS formula. Even with increased appropriations from the state budget, it is important for you to understand that Scarborough is considered a “low receiver” and would only benefit minimally due to the existing formula while communities with a higher student headcount, higher debt levels, and/or lower property valuations would see more of an increase. The general perception regarding school funding for Scarborough and other coastal communities seems to be one of unfairness, and Scarborough taxpayers do pay more into the system via taxation and economic activity than we receive back in subsidy. That is how socializing the cost of education works. As Sen. Rebecca Millett, former chair of Education Committee, explained several months ago to the Scarborough Board of Education, the current funding formula has been deemed “good” by independent experts in the field that evaluated Maine’s formula as compared to other formulas across the country. (Source: PICUS Report) A flat, per student rate, has been proposed, which would help Scarborough and many view as fairer, but those proposals predictably fail in the committee process. Several things affect the amount of state aid that school districts receive including student head count, property values, and debt. Head count: Scarborough, like the rest of the state, has been experiencing a declining student population since the 1970’s. Last year our town’s student headcount decreased by dozens. Fewer students results in less state aid. Since 2011, statewide student enrollment has dropped by more than 8,000 students, and since the 1970’s the count has dropped from about 250,000 to less than 185,000. We have been an aging state for quite some time, indeed we have the dubious distinction of being the “grayest “state in the nation, and more recently we entered into a negative population growth rate. Property Valuation: Scarborough also has strong coastal property valuations and a vibrant economy. Relative to the rest of the state, this increased value also decreases our aid. Debt: Furthermore, Scarborough’s Middle School loan associated with the state will be paid off this year. This decreased debt service also decreases our aid. While it is true that we still have outstanding loans for the previous $28 million high school renovation and the new $38 million intermediate school, I was informed those are local decisions, thus they are not factored into the subsidy formula. The complex state subsidy formula was tweaked in 2011 to distribute more of the “pie” to Maine’s poor, rural communities, and it is true that this change hurt Scarborough. The struggling areas of the state are dependent on the money from towns like Scarborough. Sensitive to how this would affect Scarborough, I voted against it, but I was in the minority. While our fledgling economy is gaining strength, tremendous fiscal strain has been placed upon our state. It is difficult to keep pace with our growing “demographic winter,” constrained federal funds, and the expectations of those who have been promised funding from the state’s limited resources. I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Heather Heather W. Sirocki State Representative District 28 - Serving part of Scarborough

— Heather Sirocki, State Representative
2 years ago