A short addition to our list of bills we're working on…
L.D. 742, S.P. 235
An Act To Eliminate the Sunset Date of the Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credit. (Presented by Senator RECTOR of Knox) This bill eliminates the current sunset date for the Maine historic preservation tax credit and requires the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to report to the Legislature in 2013 and every 4 years thereafter with an analysis on the use of the credit. The historic preservation tax credit, originally passed in 1999 and significantly improved in 2008, provides critical support for investments in our downtowns. The original legislation includes a sunset provision, terminating the program at the close of 2013. We will be supporting efforts to remove the sunset provision, providing predictability for developers and for the tenants of these refurbished buildings.
L.D. 738, S.P. 230
An Act To Require Disclosure of the Origin of Certain Products Sold at Farm Stands. (EMERGENCY) (Presented by Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin. This bill defines "farm stand" and requires that any product that was not grown by the person operating the farm stand must be labelled in such a way as to identify the product's origin. This bill provides clarity for those shopping at farm stands. As with farmers’ markets, it is important to disclose the origin of farm products. Farm stand owners can supplement their own products with those of other farms but this fact must be disclosed to customers.
L.D. 769, H.P. 576
An Act To Review the Functions of the State Planning Office. (Presented by Representative MOULTON of York) This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.
This bill proposes to restructure the Executive Department, State Planning Office. This bill will retain within the State Planning Office those functions that are best performed by that office, and will remove to other offices and entities those functions that will be best performed by organizations other than the State Planning Office. As part of the restructuring, the roles of the regional planning commissions established pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 30A, chapter 119 will be more clearly defined, as will the role of the State Planning Office in the review of comprehensive plans developed pursuant to Title 30A. GSM supports this effort to reaffirm the value of the state planning office as a central entity overseeing and supporting planning efforts throughout Maine. We support the concept of refocusing SPO on these essential issues, while reallocating other work to appropriate state agencies. We also agree that reviewing and defining the role of the regional planning commissioners is appropriate, particularly within the context of defining the most effective relationship between these commissions and the state.