Monday we shared with you the issues that GrowSmart Maine considers to be the priorities in protecting Maine’s quality of place and promoting sustainable prosperity in Maine. Here we list the specific bills that we are targeting within these issues. This list will evolve. Not all of the bills that will come before the Legislature are printed yet. As more bills are released, we will update them here. Click on the bill title to read the full text of the bill. We also plan to post the Public Hearings and Work Sessions for these bills on our calendar. For more information on the Legislative process in general, go to http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/path/path.htm .
LAND USE PLANNING AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS
L.D. 17, H.P. 9
An Act To Reform the Land Use and Planning Authority within the Unorganized Territories of the State. (Presented by Representative DAVIS of Sangerville) This bill eliminates the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, effective July 15, 2012, and directs the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission prior to its elimination to develop a plan to provide authority over land use planning in the unorganized territory to the counties in which the land is located. The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission is required to submit its proposal, together with implementing legislation necessary to effectuate the repeal of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission and the transfer of its duties, to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over agriculture, conservation and forestry matters by December 2, 2011. GrowSmart Maine intends to oppose.
L.D. 43, H.P. 36
An Act To Repeal the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. (Presented by Representative HARVELL of Farmington) This bill repeals the laws establishing the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code and makes adjustments to certain other laws to make them consistent with law that existed prior to the enactment of Public Law 2007, chapter 699, which created the uniform code. This bill does not reenact the Maine Model Building Code or the energy efficiency building standards that were repealed by Public Law 2007, chapter 699 and replaced by the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. GrowSmart Maine will work with interested parties to address issues related to implementation of the statewide building code, and we intend to oppose repealing the code.
L.D. 49, H.P. 42
An Act To Allow Storage of Lobster Traps on Docks. (Presented by Representative McKANE of Newcastle) This bill removes the Department of Environmental Protection's authority, under the Natural Resources Protection Act, to regulate lobster trap storage on docks. GrowSmart Maine supports this legislation, and has already sent a letter of support to the committee of jurisdiction.
L.D. 135, H.P. 117
An Act To Allow the Placement of Certain Road Signs That Advertise a Small Business. (Presented by Representative DAVIS of Sangerville) This bill allows a person or business that employs fewer than 10 persons to place a sign on private property within one mile of the place of business without a license or permit. GrowSmart Maine intends to oppose this legislation.
L.D. 159, S.P. 52
An Act To Foster Economic Development by Improving Administration of the Laws Governing Site Location of Development and Storm Water Management. (Presented by Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin) This bill revises the thresholds for review by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to the laws governing site location of development by changing the definitions of "subdivision" and "structure." It ensures consistency between the laws governing site location of development and the Natural Resources Protection Act in standards pertaining to a development's effects on existing uses, scenic character and protected natural resources. The bill also provides that rules adopted by the department after January 1, 2010 pursuant to the laws governing site location of development and storm water management are major substantive rules as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2A, with certain limited exceptions in the rules governing storm water management for minor clerical corrections and technical clarifications. GrowSmart Maine will engage in discussion related to changing the site location law to allow the Department to effectively fulfill its mission while providing greater potential for developers to meet market demand. We anticipate advocating for a tiered-system of regulation to replace the current single “cliff” of regulation.
L.D. 166, H.P. 143
An Act To Exempt Seasonally Restricted Cottages from the Newly Adopted Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. (Presented by Representative CHASE of Wells) This bill defines "seasonally restricted cottage" and exempts such cottages from the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. GrowSmart Maine will engage in discussions related to effective implementation of the MUBEC, including this bill.
L.D. 220, S.P. 71
An Act Relating to Maine Farm Wineries. (Presented by Senator RECTOR of Knox) This bill provides that the holder of a farm winery license from the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Liquor Enforcement may sell wine at farmers’ markets, permits the licensee to display up to 25 bottles of wine in a shop window and directs the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources to work with the Department of Transportation and a statewide organization representing farm wineries to develop a uniform system of signage identifying the locations of farm wineries. GrowSmart Maine supports this legislation and has already sent a letter of support to the committee of jurisdiction.
L.D. 260, H.P. 213
An Act to Extend the Historic Preservation Tax Credit (Presented by Representative HERBIG of Belfast) This bill extends the tax credit for rehabilitation of historic properties, currently scheduled to expire December 31, 2013, for 6 more years, until December 31, 2019. The bill also extends for the same length of time the reports that are required from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the Maine State Housing Authority. GrowSmart Maine supports legislation pending which will eliminate the sunset provision of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which we believe is more appropriate than the extension proposed in this bill.
L.D. 322, H.P. 255
An Act To Repeal the Informed Growth Act (Presented by Representative CLARK of Easton) This bill repeals the Informed Growth Act. GrowSmart Maine intends to oppose this legislation.
L.D. 280, S.P. 86
Resolve, Reauthorizing the Balance of the 2005 Maine Biomedical Research Fund and Marine Infrastructure and Technology Fund Bond Issues. (EMERGENCY) (Presented by Senator RECTOR of Knox) This resolve reauthorizes the balance of the 2005 Maine biomedical research and marine infrastructure and technology bond issues. GrowSmart Maine intends to support this legislation.
LAND CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCE SECTOR VIABILITY
L.D. 1, S.P. 10
An Act To Ensure Regulatory Fairness and Reform. (Presented by President RAYE of Washington)
CONCEPT DRAFT SUMMARY : This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.
This bill proposes to amend the laws to improve the business climate in the State and encourage job creation and retention and expand opportunities for Maine people. This will be accomplished by ensuring regulatory fairness and reform among departments and agencies of State Government by reviewing aspects of the regulatory process and reforming those processes as necessary to eliminate duplicate or unnecessary regulations and to ensure transparency, fairness, effectiveness and efficiency in the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of regulatory efforts. GrowSmart Maine intends to engage in the discussions related to this concept bill. We believe efficiencies can be found, while still maintaining department's ability to protect our natural resources.