Information About Petitions to Require Agency Rulemaking

An individual does not have to wait until an agency proposes a rule to institute a change. Title 5, Section 8055 establishes procedures for anyone to petition a department for the adoption, repeal or modification of any rule.

The petitioner should first contact the department to make sure that such rulemaking change does not conflict with another state or federal law or that the rulemaking change does not extend beyond the authorization of the department to make the desired change.

The petitioner should use the petition forms below. The petition can be duplicated by the petitioner to provide the number of copies needed. THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST ONE PETITION FOR EACH MUNICIPALITY WHERE THE PETITION IS TO BE CIRCULATED.

The petition cover sheet should be completely filled out and attached to the signature pages. It should explain what the petitioner hopes to accomplish by this rule change and the text or wording of the desired change.

Before presentation to the agency, the petition must be signed by 150 registered voters which must be verified and certified as follows:

  1. The circulator of the petition must verify by oath or affirmation before a notary public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths that all of the signatures to the petition were made in the circulator’s presence and that to the best of the circulator’s knowledge and belief each signature is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
  2. The registrar of each municipality shall certify the names on a petition which appear on the voting list of that municipality as registered voters (see Certification Codes). If the petition contains signatures from more than one municipality, the petition must be submitted to each municipality for verification of the signatures of registered voters in the respective municipalities.

Whenever a petition to adopt or modify a rule is submitted by 150 or more Maine registered voters, the agency shall initiate appropriate rulemaking proceedings within sixty (60) days after receipt of the petition.

If a petition is signed by fewer than 150 Maine registered voters, the department is not required to begin rulemaking proceedings; however, it may choose to do so. Within sixty (60) days after the receipt of such petition, the agency shall either notify the petitioner in writing of its denial, stating the reasons therefore, or initiate appropriate rulemaking proceedings.

It is the responsibility of the petitioner(s) to insure that the requirements are met. An agency need not accept an incomplete or defective petition.

For further guidance in completing or submitting the petition, contact Jeff Crawford (207) 287-7647 or the Secretary of State's Office at (207) 624-7650.