ORONO, Maine — The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging held a field hearing here in Maine.
The hearing, held by Senator Susan Collins, was regarding the tick act and held at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, where there's a tick lab.
The lab takes submissions and tests the ticks for tick-borne diseases.
"It's really exciting that she opted to have a field hearing, here," Dr. Jim Dill of the Cooperative Extension said.
Ahead of the hearing, Collins toured the tick research lab, as well as the rest of the Cooperative Extension.
"I really wanted to have the hearing here in Maine because our high rate of the disease but also to spotlight the University of Maine's tick lab,' Collins said.
Officials hope that spotlight brings in more ticks to test, so they can better understand where ticks are in the state of Maine and which ticks carry diseases.
"It might be a little overwhelming, I'm not sure what's going to happen," Dill said with a laugh when discussing the potential of more ticks being sent in.
The Aging Committee doesn't hold many of these hearings, and there aren't even many in the state of Maine. The last one was held in Lewiston by Collins discussing lead paint in 1999.
But Collins says they're not uncommon, "particularly during congressional recesses when we're not in session."
To hold a field hearing, you must be the chair of a committee or subcommittee or have permission from that person to hold the hearing.
After 20 years without a hearing in Maine, there will be another one in Machias with Congressman Jared Golden on Friday.