Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Act Relating to Access to Vital Records

LD 258 "An Act Relating to Access to Vital Records" is sponsored by Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea. It amends LD 1781 [PL 601] which was passed last year and which closed Maine's vital records for 100 years.

Due to the very short time between the public hearing (Wednesday, March 2) and the work session where the bill will be voted on (Thursday, March 3) it is vital that people submit testimony supporting LD 258 via e-mail as soon as possible.

Testimony may be submitted by e-mail to the HHS Committee Clerk, Lisa Cote at:

There is another bill to amend the law,
LD 388, which will be presented at the same public hearing. It has a provision to lower the fee for the state researcher identification card to $25 and make it good for 2-years. We do not want any requirement that genealogists buy a special card to access vital records. We already pay to belong to various genealogy and historical societies; membership cards from those organizations should be sufficient to prove one is a genealogist. Comments on this bill are also requested. [send to the Lisa Cote]

You may download a copy of LD 258 (and LD 388) by going to and typing the bill number in the box in the upper right corner.

If you can come to present testimony at the hearing you need to bring at least 20 copies of the testimony. The hearing will be at 10:00 a.m. in Room 209 of the Cross State Office Building. Please be advised that parking is very limited around the capitol complex and will be further affected on Wednesday & Thursday by supporters & protesters of the state budget which is also having public hearings.

Please pass this on to any and all genealogists and supporters thereof.

If you have questions, please email Helen Shaw (

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