MMA's State and Federal Relations staff (SFR) advocates on behalf of local government in a number of ways.
A majority of staff time is spent working at the State Legislature during each legislative session, and on related legislative matters between sessions, with the goal of advancing the interests of municipal government and working in a constructive way toward establishing an appropriate relationship between state and local government in the delivery of governmental services. SFR staff also regularly participate when state agencies undertake the process to adopt new rules that affect municipal government. A third area of effort for SFR is the federal arena. SFR communicates with Maine's congressional delegation when there are proposals before Congress that would impact municipal government in Maine.
Legislative Policy Committee
MMA's legislative platforms, policies, and positions are developed by a 70-member Legislative Policy Committee (LPC), which is made up of two municipal officials from each of the state's 35 Senate Districts. The LPC representatives are elected to that position by the municipal officers within their Senate District. The roles and responsibilities of the LPC and its procedural guidelines are all detailed in the LPC Handbook. For more information about the LPC please click here.
Publications and Communication
When the Legislature is in session, the SFR department publishes the weekly Legislative Bulletin. The Bulletin tracks the progress of hundreds of municipally-related legislative proposals (LDs) as they work their way through the legislative process. SFR staff also write extensively for the Maine Townsman throughout the year, particularly before and after each legislative session with a 'preview' and 'wrap-up' edition, respectively. SFR staff also distribute Action Alerts for the purpose of bringing particularly significant issues to the attention of municipal officials across the state and urging those officials to take some kind of action, such as contacting their state representatives or the state agencies that may be involved. From time to time SFR also distributes survey instruments to LPC members or municipal officials, generally, to obtain the feedback it needs to accurately represent municipal interests before the Legislature or the appropriate state agency. On the federal level, SFR publishes the Federal Issues Paper in February of each year, which is taken down to Washington every March by a group of local government officials to inform Maine's Congressional Delegation about issues of concern to Maine municipalities that might be addressed at the federal level.
For more information about these publications and other research and links, please click here.