Rebuilding Maine’s economy is the most important issue of our time. It can be done while continuing to protect and enhance our natural and built environments. Maine’s history is in the asset-based economies of farming, fisheries, and forestry. This heritage, still important in today’s economy, has become “the Maine brand” and is vital to other economic sectors as diverse as tourism and information technology.
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 .
The proposal outlined in LD 61 to establish a permit bank of Federal fishing permits and to allow the Department of Marine Resources to lease fishing allocations to members of the Maine fishing industry both sustains local fisheries levels and maximizes the ability of Maine fisherman to land additional catch in allowable numbers. This common sense proposal represented by Senator Rector will sustain and grow Maine’s fishing heritage and coastal economy with no significant additional costs.
GrowSmart Maine is geared up and engaging in the 125th legislative session! As we weigh in on key issues, we will post our progress and views here on our site. We hope you too will engage in the process, sharing your thoughts with us, and with your elected officials.
As a part of our on-going effort to help grow Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about common sense 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. Our understanding of the situation that LD 49 is seeking to address is that DEP is interpreting current Maine law to require the department to prohibit in certain instances the storage of lobster traps on coastal docks.
On Thursday, January 20th, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, along with a number of other natural resource organizations, sponsored a forum on the environment with Governor Paul LePage. At the Governor’s suggestion, the event was titled “Roundtable on Maine People & the Environment”. Modeled after a similar roundtable for members of the business community in Maine, 28 different speakers from all walks of life in Maine with an interest in the environment were invited to make a brief, focused presentation of their primary concern for the Governor to listen to. Over 500 people attended this event at the Augusta Civic Center.
In endorsing this bill which seeks to improve an already innovative economic development program, GrowSmart Maine wished to emphasize that despite its past record of success in providing much-needed start-up capital for businesses in Maine, the Seed Capital Investment Tax Credit Program needs to be expanded to effectively impact the current economic downturn which has resulted in a dearth of new investment capital in Maine. In other words, like most successful programs, this program needs to be adjusted and expanded in a manner which effectively addresses Maine’s intention to promote innovative approaches to improving Maine’s economy.
Now that the 125th Maine Legislature is geared up and moving forward, have you called and introduced yourself to your State Representative and State Senator? As a former legislator, I can tell you that one individual really can make a difference, if you choose to engage with your elected officials.
GrowSmart Maine is pleased to announce that Executive Director Nancy E. Smith has been accepted into the Maine Association of Non-Profit’s (MANP) 2011 Nonprofit Leadership Institute. MANP states “The Nonprofit Leadership Institute is created specifically for Executive Directors working in economically depressed areas, and focuses on developing the essential skills needed by nonprofit leaders to capture creative opportunities in order to effectively meet their missions.”
Election Day. While emotions have run high as this day came closer, let’s hope that reasoned discussion prevailed, and voters go to the polls and make their choices based on thoughtful reflection. As we prepare for a new administration and legislature in Maine, GrowSmart Maine continues to promote sustainable prosperity for all Mainers by integrating working and natural landscape conservation, economic growth, and community revitalization.