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Maine Commission examines legislation for racial disparities

Sep 15, 2020

This summer, the Permanent Commission on The Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations collaborated with 55 Maine state legislators from across political parties to examine all legislation that remained active in the 129th Legislature and assess the legislation for possible impact on racial disparities.

Three assessment tools were used to determine any given legislation’s potential to combat some of the most common disparities in Maine, as well as the ease with which the legislation could be implemented.

Policymaking must be driven by a set of guiding principles that keeps structural racism central in lawmakers’ minds.

With the guiding principles in mind, future Legislatures must craft legislation that: invests in communities by building infrastructure and allowing for self-determination; allocates resources and establishes systems necessary to address health disparities; targets the opioid crisis to address strain on tribal communities; and takes a bolder approach to criminal justice reform. The Permanent Commission is committed to continuing its engagement with the Legislature, and encourages legislators to institutionalize a process to view legislation through a racial equity lens.

Read the full report at : www.Maine.gov/labor/pcrit/reports/2020_LegReport.pdf.

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