Testimony in Opposition to LD 309 and 162

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
in opposition to LD 309,
“An Act To Connect the Citizens of the State to the State's Natural
Resources by Establishing Standards for Relief from Regulatory
And LD 162
 “An Act To Protect the Rights of Property Owners”
February 26, 2015

Senator Burns, Representative Hobbins and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary, my name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine.
I regret that I cannot attend this hearing today.  We are a statewide non-profit, membership-based organization working to improve Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character and communities, and enhance our state's quality places. I believe this bill will work in direct conflict with those objectives.  We testified in opposition to very similar proposals in 2012.
I say this, acknowledging the real concerns from landowners.  But this is not the solution.  

These bills demonstrate unworkable overreaches in an attempt to fix all complaints tied to all future legislation in a single misguided, unfunded process.  In my eight years of service in the Legislature, I know that a key component of reviewing each piece of legislation is to consider the intent of the bill as well as its potential unintended consequences.  You look in the direction the bill is pointed, and then broaden your view to look for other implications.  Hearing from the “winners and losers” if you will, is part of the legislative process for each bill.  This is why we have public hearings and work sessions, and why the bill is never really done until it is signed into law.  

I ask you to reject this legislation, focus on increasing use of the existing mediation program and I thank you for the opportunity to share these remarks.