1) Term limits. Maine’s strict limits sap institutional knowledge. We should explore extending the number of terms which can be served concurrently.
2) Slow efforts to reduce the size of the Legislature. Cutting the number of legislators to save money wouldn’t register in the budget. Many states considered to be rural have similar sized legislative bodies.
3) Pay legislators more. Increased salaries will make it easier for more Mainers to answer the call.
4) Voters should elect Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and State Auditor. Secret ballot elections in the Legislature should be abolished. These candidates should be vetted by all Mainers.
5) Establish state laws governing polling places. Cities and towns of certain size should provide separate voting locations per-2,200 voters. Efforts like Lewiston’s (they claim for budget reasons) to limit the number of polling locations hurts minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status.
6) All municipalities must have similar early voting guidelines. Each should allow early voting for 15 business days prior to primary and general elections, including off-hour voting opportunities.
7) Online voting. This should be an option.
8) A constitutional amendment establishing a Lieutenant Governor. The official second in line to run the state should be elected by Mainers with that job description in mind.
9) Create a legislative body like Massachusetts’ “Committee on Steering and Policy” to advise and set priorities for the Senate and House, sift, hold or send legislation back to sponsors, before sending bills to their committee. This would control the flow and limit redundancies in legislation.
10) Appoint a nonpartisan commission to evaluate state government. Stock it ex-legislators (from Maine and elsewhere), business leaders, lawyers, and Mainers from all regions to look at how we operate. Costs, process, structure, layout and reasoning for reform all should be considered.
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