Penobscot Valley Senior College
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Maine State Government: Learning Fluency in Policy Change (A 6-week Zoom course) Register View Cart

Maine Gov
Government is a little like baseball. There’s a rule for everything, but there’s also a historic reason for every rule.
In this course, we’ll explore how things happen in state government
     where processes and institutions come from
     what they are meant to do and how people use them
     how government responds to challenges and crises
     how different governmental entities interact and why
     how government solves problems—and then manages those solutions.

We will use and discuss historic case studies, review a broad array of policies and discuss what they were intended to do and how they actually work, and talk about how policies are changed or discarded.
Participants will learn a bit of history and learn how to engage their state government and maybe even how to research policy origins on their own. They will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions.

  • Coming to Yes: Building a Government—this visits the drive to statehood by way of the repeal of the Coasting Laws and the Missouri Compromise, and along a winding path that includes the development of factions into parties and the implications of policy development, will take us to elections and ranked-choice voting

  • Leaping to Conclusions: Identifying and Addressing Problems—among examples will be the Land Bounty Acts, the Economic Development Commission cookbooks, how we sometimes (mis)interpret problems and solutions and wherever else the conversation takes us

  • Oversight, Whose Government Is It, Anyway?: Boys Reformatory scandal of the 1880’s, theft from the treasury by the state treasurer in 1859, and the oversight role of the Legislature, along with OPEGA, etc. The guardianship role of elected officials.

  • The Government You Pay For: development of currency, taxes and changes in tax policy, and war; the panic of 1837, the Banker’s Panic of 1911, with some reaching back to the first class and the Greenback Party

  • Agreeing to Win—or Lose: development and use of procedures, how to follow what’s happening, Thomas Brackett Reed and the disappearing quorum, legislative voting, etc.

  • Who Are You?: different government structures and how they intertwine; federal, state, county, and local; the courts; and what people pay attention to. This one is most susceptible to change depending on what other conversations come into play.

Instructor: MATT DUNLAP
Matt Dunlap has served in state government as a state representative, legislative committee chair, Secretary of State, and state auditor. Matt served duringtimes of tremendous change and controversy and has returned to tell the tale.
Matt has also worked as an advocate and administrator. He holds degrees in history and literature from the University of Maine and lives in Old Town.

Register Activity Ages Grades Days Date/Time Fees
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Maine State Government: Learning Fluency in Policy Change 
N/A N/A 09/30/2022 - 11/04/2022
01:30 PM - 03:30 PM

$30.00 Fee
* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

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