Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in favor of LD 616, “An Act To Clarify Landowner Liability for Environmental Damage Caused by Others”

As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. We believe this bill fits that description. The viability of the natural resource sector is a priority for GrowSmart Maine. Our working farms, forests, and waterfront contribute to our economy and to Maine’s unique sense of place. This legislation, in removing an unreasonable risk associated with land ownership, addresses a significant challenge to profitably running a natural-resource sector business come with land ownership.

GrowSmart Maine Receives Grant

GrowSmart Maine has received a $25,000 grant from The Old Bug Light Charitable Fund to update their web site and communications software and to expand its ReEnvisioning the Highway Strip project to include a demonstration site.

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 922, “Resolve, To Streamline the Laws Governing Small Slaughterhouses

GSM supports this legislation because, if improvements can be made in this area of regulation, we will be making great strides in value-added processing for Maine farmers. This is key to the viability of our farms across the state. Demand for local meats and poultry is strong and growing, and this line of products can be profitable for farmers.

Testimony of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 738, “An Act To Require Disclosure of the Origin of Certain Products Sold at Farm Stands”

This bill brings farms stands to the same standard required of vendors at farmers’ markets. People assume they are buying from local farmers, and make the extra effort to shop at both farmers’ markets and farm stands for this reason. While the quality of the product may be evident at the point of sale, the origin is not. Disclosure of the origin of products offered for sale ensures the credibility of all farm stands, allowing customers to be confident that they are indeed supporting Maine’s farmers when they buy at a farm stand.

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 363, “An Act To Facilitate Local Food Production”

In particular, GSM strongly supports the directive to the Department of Agriculture to pursue ways of reducing the regulatory barriers to small scale food production in Maine. We realize that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources is, in many instances, accountable to the USDA, and in this process we want to ensure that the state agriculture department’s authority to oversee and enforce federal regulations is not put at risk.

Testimony of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 673, “An Act To Expand Fiscally Responsible Transportation through Increased ZOOM Bus Service”

In short, we strongly support the more efficient use of existing resources to promote smart growth transportation policies and programs which reduce wear and tear and our existing highways, reduce commuting costs and promote alternative modes of transportation.

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine on LD 465, “An Act To Provide Efficient Delivery of Economic Development Services”

As we seek efficiency in government, outlined in the recently published study “Reinventing Maine Government”, which was commissioned by GrowSmart Maine, the focus must be on effective outcomes; i.e. results. While the variety of resources available may seem overwhelming at first glance, it is important to note that a coordinated effort already exists among the different economic development tools available.

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 323

As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. Based on my experiences as a farmer and a former legislator that served on the Agriculture, Forestry & Conservation and the Business, Research & Economic Development committees, in addition to several Joint Select Committees, I believe this bill fits that description.

PRESS RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 742, “An Act To Eliminate the Sunset Date of the Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credit”

Because this tax credit is most often used within our downtowns, as these buildings are rehabilitated for reuse, developers tie in to existing sewer, water, and utilities, along with sidewalks, roads, and public transit. These projects, made possible by this tax credit, lead to the very efficient use of public resources.