Maine's Environmental Priorities Coalition

A program of the Maine Conservation Alliance, the united voice for Maine's environment

2016 PRIORITY BILLS

Proactive Priorities

LMFmcv green checkmarkProtect Maine’s Natural Resources by Investing in our Forests, Farms, and Fish The Land for Maine's Future program (LMF) partners with landowners, municipalities, and state agencies to support local economies through conservation projects. LD 1454 will provide funding to protect working farms, forests, and waterfronts and provide essential infrastructure to help preserve Maine's unique character, support ecotourism, and grow businesses.  Sponsored by Rep. Jeff McCabe – Resolution: Success – Under pressure from his caucus, the Governor released the 2010 Bond.

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x markPass the New Comprehensive Bill to Reduce Barriers and Lower the Cost of Solar Maine is the only state in New England without a comprehensive solar policy, and we lag behind in solar installations and jobs being created. LD 1649 would ramp-up solar installations, increasing the amount of energy produced by ten-fold over five years, creating 800 new jobs, and reducing electricity rates for all Mainers. Sponsored by Rep. Sara Gideon – Resolution: Amended bill was passed in the House 91-56 and in the Senate unanimously. The Governor vetoed the bill and the House failed to override by two votes.

x markReconnect fish and wildlife habitat, create jobs, protect roads, and improve public safety Many Maine culverts are old, ineffective, and risky. LD 1069 will prepare communities for extreme weather events, strengthen Maine's long-term economic base and competitive advantage, create and preserve jobs, and reduce future costs by avoiding emergency replacements during large storms or water main breaks during spring thaw. Sponsored by Rep. Jeff McCabe – Resolution: The Culvert Bond was tabled and died. The only bonds that were voted on and passed by agreement were regarding transportation and research and development. 

 

Defensive Priorities

RGGImcv green checkmarkReject LD 1398: Keep RGGI working to lower energy costs for businesses The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is an effective 9-state program that reduces climate pollution while lowering energy costs and improving Maine's economy. LD 1398 would slash RGGI funding for energy efficiency programs. Cutting energy efficiency support for businesses means less capital investment in Maine, fewer jobs, and a less competitive economy. Governor’s Bill – Resolution: Success – The bill was amended to neutralize the negative impact, maintaining energy efficiency funding. Then, the Governor vetoed the bill, but the veto was overridden. 

Pesticidesmcv green checkmarkDefend Municipal Rights to Limit the Use of Pesticides – Reject LD 1543 Maine communities should be able to decide whether to limit the use of harmful pesticides to protect the public's health. LD 1543 attacks "home rule," and prevents towns from taking steps to reduce citizen exposure to harmful pesticides, invalidates current local ordinances, and requires the creation of costly new boards to oversee local ordinances. Sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake – Resolution: Success – The bill was tabled early in the session; it never received a hearing and died. 

LD 1600 Photox markProtect Private Property Rights & Preserve Economic Opportunities for Communities Statewide - Reject LD 1600 This bill seeks to prohibit the Federal government from acquiring any land in Maine that might be designated as a national monument. Not only does this interfere with the rights of property owners to sell or transfer their property as they see fit, but also blocks the economic benefits to communities throughout Maine that could result from such acquisition and designation. Additionally, the bill potentially conflicts with the "Supremacy Clause" of the US Constitution, and sets a dangerous precedent for future policy concerning private property. Governor's Bill - Resolution: the bill was passed and signed by the Governor.

vassalborospringbrook2smamcv green checkmarkProtect Maine’s Oil Spill Reporting System – Reject LD 1494 Maine has an excellent oil spill reporting incentive in place that encourages people to call DEP to report spills before it’s too late to prevent environmental damage. LD 1494 would get rid of Maine’s simple and effective spill reporting incentive and replace it with a complex set of exemptions favored by the oil industry. Sponsored by Rep. Robert Duchesne – Resolution: Success – The bill received an 11-2 Ought Not to Pass vote in committee and died.