A public hearing will be held Thursday, Sept. 12, from 1 to 7 p.m. in Room 202 in the Cross Office Building in Augusta by the Unemployment Reform Blue Ribbon Commission.

“Not everyone can take a day off from work and drive to Augusta,” the former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court Daniel Wathen said in a news release. “The commission is looking forward to hearing from all sides of this ongoing discussion and that is why we’ve decided to extend the hours of the public hearing.”

The Unemployment Reform Blue Ribbon Commission, which includes employer representatives David Walck, owner of Thomaston Dunkin' Donuts and Lincolnville resident and Shawn Anderson, as well as employee representatives Kristin Aiello and Christine Hastedt, has been meeting with representatives at the Maine Department of Labor and the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation over the last two months leading up to the public hearing.

The Commission has also been reviewing hundreds of claims made through the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation in order to examine the consistency and objectivity of the unemployment adjudication process.

Anyone interested in testifying before the commission must sign up upon arrival, and will be given three minutes to speak. This requirement will help to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to testify before the commission. If anyone wishes to provide written testimony to the commission, they are asked to bring seven copies. A written copy of the testimony is not required.

If anyone is unable to attend the hearing and wishes to submit testimony, they may do so by sending a physical copy to 181 State House Station, Augusta ME, 04333-0181 or via email to unemploymentbrc@outlook.com. The commission will receive and review submissions for seven days following the hearing.