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.

PRESS RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 644, “ An Act To Add Transit Services to the Growth Management Program Comprehensive Plan. ”

When Maine municipalities prepare their comprehensive plan, citizens are laying the foundation needed to chart their own future by thinking through the assets and identifying challenges in their community.
By amending the growth management program comprehensive plan elements to include transit services in the list of existing transportation systems, Representative Cotta’s bill will allow a town or city to evaluate transportation more broadly than currently provided in the comprehensive plan process.

Your Voice is needed to preserve the Historic Preservation Tax Credit

The old mill buildings along Saco Falls in Biddeford are now filled with Maine families enjoying solar-powered hot water, a playground and bike and kayak storage. The historic windows and brick façade of the Baxter Library on Congress Street in Portland are now restored to their 1800’s glamour. In Bangor, the 1830 Maine Hall historic…

Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Favor of LD 587: “An Act to Reduce the Cost of Delivering Certain State Services”

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our government is a key component of this effort. GrowSmart Maine commissioned Charting Maine’s Future in 2006, and in 2010, sponsored Re-inventing Maine Government as a companion report, expanding on the recommendation within Charting Maine’s Future to trim government.

Press Release: GrowSmart Maine testifies in opposition to LD135; “An Act to Allow the Placement of Certain Road Signs that Advertise a Small Business”

Although we appreciate the intent of the sponsor, we believe LD 135 would not significantly help business owners, while it has the potential to adversely impact Maine’s distinctive character, in both our downtowns and rural areas. This bill is focused on businesses of ten or fewer employees. As we all know, this constitutes the vast majority of all businesses here; Maine is a small business state.