LEGISLATION PROPOSED TO SUPPORT EMERGENCY SHELTERS

This bill includes ongoing General Fund appropriations of three million dollars per year to the Shelter Operating Subsidy program within the Maine State Housing Authority to support operations and capacity at low-barrier emergency homeless shelters across the State. This bill specifies that the funding is supplemental to the Maine State Housing Authority's emergency shelter and housing assistance program.

A public hearing for LD 1909 - An Act to Support Emergency Shelter Access for Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Maine will be held on Wednesday, January 29th at 9 AM in the Labor/Housing Committee. Use this link if you would like to submit testimony.

" The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40


PROTECT CHILDREN FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS

This bill bans the use of nonselective herbicides, including, but not limited to, glyphosate, within 75 feet of school grounds, public playgrounds and child care centers.

A public hearing for LD 1888 - An Act to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals is scheduled for Thursday, February 6th at 1 PM in the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. Use this link if you would like to submit testimony.

The Episcopal Chruch supports the reduction of toxic chemicals at 2003 convention .


FAIR CHANCE HOUSING BILL WORK SESSION

This bill establishes the Maine Fair Chance Housing Act, the purpose of which is to ensure that a person is not denied housing based solely on the existence of a history of criminal convictions. This bill prohibits a housing provider from considering an applicant’s criminal history until after the housing provider determines that the applicant meets all other qualifications for tenancy.

A work session for LD 1572 - An Act to Enact the Maine Fair Chance Housing Act is scheduled in the Labor/Housing Committee on Wednesday, February 12th at 10 AM. Our partners at the Maine Prison Advocacy Coalition testified in support of this bill last session. If you are in favor of this legislation you should reach out to members of the committee and let them know how you feel as a person of faith.

Check out this website for a toolkit if you are helping someone access housing with a conviction record.

Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter
The Maine chapter of Episcopal Peace Fellowship is expanding its advocacy portfolio emphasis to include Preventing Gun Violence, Indigenous Ministry, and Racial Reconciliation in addition to the ongoing work with the Palestinian Israel Network.

EPF - Maine is regrouping and looking to expand participation across the diocese. Currently the group meets at Grace Church in Bath and will be offering technology options like Zoom to encourage others to join in their advocacy work. Their next meeting is Saturday, March 7th at 10 AM - watch for details about how to connect.

Advocacy Links:

EPISCOPAL ADVOCACY AND MINISTRY RESOURCES
The Episcopal Church addresses domestic poverty in many ways: through its network of over 600 Jubilee Ministries; one- and two-year Justice and Advocacy Fellowships based on the Anglican Marks of Mission; Asset-Based Community Development; collaboration with diocesan and congregational ministries across the country; and annual block-grant programs for the development (or enrichment) of local ministry.
The Office of Government Relations plays a key role in carrying out the mission of The Episcopal Church by bringing the experiences and values of our faith into decisions about our nation’s public policy.The Office represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church.
The Office of Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement is responsible for engaging Episcopalians in building, resourcing, and empowering advocacy movements and networks for social justice at a local and community level by connecting, organizing, and mobilizing people in the pews, and people in the pulpit.