Update on Bad Bills!

It’s a tough time in the legislative session to offer a meaningful advocacy update as bills are moving very quickly between the House and Senate.  There are still numerous “bad bills” in play, and we encourage you to contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to vote “ought not to pass” on these bills:

LD 309, “the takings bill” demonstrates 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”, says GrowSmart Maine Executive Director Nancy Smith in her testimony to the committee, “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.” We are very pleased to report that the “ought not to pass” report on LD 309 prevailed today in the House.  The bill now heads back to the Senate in non-concurrance.

LD 1191, “the MUBEC bill” would further weaken the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, which establishes minimum standards for safety and energy efficiency in residential construction by allowing towns of 4,000-10,000 residents to “opt out” of enforcing the code.  This bill is opposed by a broad coalition including builders, code enforcement officers, realtors and developers, environmentalists and more because MUBEC keeps uniformity and predictability for builders, contractors, and others in order to make economic development easier and investment in Maine more attractive. This bill sits in Unfinished Business in the Senate.

LD 161, “the anti-Agenda 21” bill is equally misguided in that it limits Mainers from engaging with a broad variety of national organizations in a misguided attempt to dampen smart growth concepts.  Smart growth is quite simply an effort and a set of principles to allow for more choices in how communities grow, so that we are making most effective use of existing infrastructure and encouraging demand away from rural lands for which the “highest and best use” truly is NOT development, but rather farming, forestry, and rural living.   We want Mainers to continue what we’ve been doing for generations; working together to find common, unifying values that are important to their communities and help direct us in how to effectively manage, plan, and invest in making our community and economy vibrant and successful.  This bill has not yet been reported out of committee.

Please contact your legislators today to ask them to vote “ought not to pass” on these bills. Here's how to determine Who your Senator or Representative is! Contact the Senate at 207.287.1540 and the House at 207.287.1400.

Thank you.