Senator Patrick, Representative Herbig and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character, and enhance our state's quality places.
As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well-grounded 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.
I bring two distinct perspectives to this legislation. First, the legislation creating MUBEC and determining the population threshold for enforcement came through the former BRED committee during my eight-year tenure on the committee. I believe we found the right balance for Maine. This was an intense process, but the final outcome was a good solid piece of legislation, and I am proud to have been a part of its creation.
It was so significant, as a matter of fact, that an article authored by myself and my then co-chair Sen. Lynn Bromley appeared in a national trade magazine for retail lumber dealers, attached here.
Second, in my current role with GrowSmart Maine, I’ll point out that a statewide building code is a priority recommendation of ChartingMaine's Future, our 2006 report by the Brookings Institute. Pages 119-122 are devoted to this issue.
From both of these viewpoints, I support the original implementation plan of MUBEC, with the population threshold of 2,000 and both energy and building codes harmonized into a single set of codes. I’m attaching to this testimony GrowSmart Maine’s 2011 testimony in opposition to the bill that would have repealed MUBEC as I believe it provides appropriate context for today’s hearing.
The original strategy was effective in reducing the cost of doing business in Maine by setting a single, consistent performance standard for building contractors throughout the state, with a harmonized set of applicable codes. It just makes sense.
Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks.