Op-Ed: Lawmakers should alter their rules to improve transparency, public confidence


The First Session of the 131st Legislature is underway. Quickly, bills are being printed and lawmakers are settling into their roles as representatives of the people.

At the outset of each Legislature, lawmakers can accept the “Joint Rules” as they exist, adopt new ones, or make changes. The Joint Rules are the policies and procedures by which all lawmakers and legislative committees must abide. They help set decorum and legislative process, and are intended to make the inner workings of the Legislature clear and straightforward to lawmakers and the public.

But the Joint Rules also allow for legislative shenanigans. Veterans of the State House know what kind of trickery is possible. But lawmaking shouldn’t be a game of gotcha and one-upmanship. It should be transparent and accessible to everyone involved, including lawmakers, lobbyists, and most importantly, Mainers.

Click here to read communication director Jacob Posik’s full op-ed in the Bangor Daily News.