Bills and Testimony
The MAP Legislative Policy Committee held a kick-off meeting on January 22, 2016, to review the short session, identify 2016 bills of interest (carry overs and introduced bills), and discuss MAP’s legislative agenda for this year. This was followed by a summary discussion with MAP members during the MAP General Membership Meeting, also held on January 22nd.
Given the short session’s abbreviated timeframe and shorter list of bills, and the anecdotally noted likelihood that not much will get accomplished this year by the legislature, MAP’s LPC identified only a few bills to follow. If the LPC elects to provide testimony for any bill hearings this session, they will be posted on the MAP website. MAP’s LPC continues to coordinate with affiliate organizations, including MMA, and currently has the NNECAPA Maine Legislative Liaison on the committee (co-chair Jamie Francomano).
Bills of Interest
Links are provided below for each bill, where information on bill sponsors, hearing dates, committee status, and the complete bill text can be found.
Carry Over. MAP provided testimony on this bill in 2015. The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $13,871,389, would be used for design and construction of 50 approved bicycle and pedestrian projects currently awaiting funding. The bill was approved, but is currently sitting with the Appropriations Committees.
Carry Over. MAP provided testimony on this bill in 2015. This is a bill attempting to “streamline” the judicial process for development projects taken to court in order to “kill” the project. MEREDA has been the lead organization on this effort. MAP will continue to track this bill and advocate for an appropriate solution to land use projects being derailed by lawsuits.
This bill proposes to exempt shooting ranges from amendments to local land use ordinances. Concerns with the bill are that it interferes with home rule and towns’ rights and capabilities to regulate this land use locally. MMA staff have expressed a desire for MAP LPC provide comment on this bill at the hearing.
This bill proposes to exempt agriculture uses and golf courses, from local ordinances otherwise applicable to pesticide storage, distribution and use. As with LD 1500, this bill is also seen as an unnecessary infringement on local land use control. MMA also expressed a desire for MAP LPC provide comment on this bill at the hearing.
This bill allows members of a body (e.g. committee) subject to the Freedom of Access Act to participate in meetings of the body through telephonic, video, electronic or other similar means of communication under certain conditions. However, the bill does not allow members of publicly elected bodies to participate in public proceedings unless physically present; initial concerns with the bill surround this exemption of publicly elected bodies. MMA staff have expressed a desire for MAP LPC provide comment on this bill at the hearing.
With the light legislative session, the LPC will likely meet (conference calls) very infrequently. Any member interested in following LPC’s work this year or be included on our emails can contact either of the co-chairs, Amanda Bunker (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jamie Francomano (Planner@town.rockport.me.us).
- Agenda 21 (LD 220): Press Herald 2/20/2013, Sun Journal 3/4/2013, Sun Journal 3/7/2013
- Site Law Study Report [PDF]
- LURC Reform Study Report [PDF]
- 2010 Legislative Policy Committee Handbook [PDF]
- Legislative Tutorial (DVD Available on Request)
- Sen. Peter Mills Advice for Advocates [PDF]
- Brookings Report Charting Maine’s Future: An Action Plan For Promoting Sustainable Prosperity And Quality Places Released - Read the Recommendations at GrowSmartMaine.
- Palazzolo Findings [PDF]