AUGUSTA – State Sen. Justin Chenette, D –Saco, and State Rep. Kent Ackley, I-Monmouth have started the Democracy Reform Caucus.
The caucus will be a platform for fellow lawmakers to discuss, debate, and collaborate on a range of topics related to strengthening our Democratic institutions. Speakers will also be brought in to elevate the awareness and the need for solutions.
The two Maine lawmakers believe this legislative session has the best chance to address issues such as:
“The strength of our Democratic institutions rests with protecting the power of the people over a handful of political insiders at the top,” said Sen. Chenette. “We must work to respect voters again and limit outside influence from those who seek to manipulate the system in their financial favor.”
Sen. Chenette has introduced legislation to ban lobbyists contributions to sitting lawmakers, end the revolving door of former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists, ban legislators from operating political action committees, and send a constitutional amendment out to the public to ensure ranked-choice voting is used for state and federal races.
“A democracy works for the citizens who participate,” said Rep. Ackley. “A lot of problems never become problematic when our voting system is open and inclusive.”
Rep. Ackley is sponsoring bills to establish open primaries and to expand early voting opportunities across the state.
Sen. Chenette is serving his second term in the Senate representing the communities of Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington and part of Buxton. He serves as chair of the Government Oversight Committee and as a member of the Senate Ethics Committee.
Rep. Ackley is serving his second term in the House representing the towns of Litchfield, Wales, and part of Monmouth. He serves on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.