We need your help urging Governor Mills to sign some critical bills that the Legislature passed and sent to her desk.
- LD 125 – An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture.
- LD 1549 – An Act To Establish the Maine Forest Advisory Board.
Here’s a progress report on the many bills that MOFGA is working on in the Maine Legislature. Please note that changes are happening by the minute. You can check the status of bills on the Legislature’s website:
Members of Maine’s Legislature are working tirelessly to wrap their voting on bills from this session. There is a LOT of good news and Governor Mills has already signed many of our bills including our top priority – LD 437 – An Act To Establish the Maine Healthy Soils Program, sponsored by our fearless MOFGA Board President, Senator Stacy Brenner. Hooray!!!
Here is the current list of our priority bills that Governor Mills has signed (as of 6/21/21).
- LD 2 – An Act To Require the Inclusion of Racial Impact Statements in the Legislative Process.
- LD 99 – An Act To Require the State To Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry.
- LD 155 – Resolve, Directing the Board of Pesticides Control To Prohibit the Use of Certain Neonicotinoids for Outdoor Residential Use.
- LD 204 – An Act To Amend the Law Regarding the Interest Rate for State Loans under the Potato Marketing Improvement Fund.
- LD 264 – An Act To Prohibit Aerial Application of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Note: Upon discovery of information that flourinated containers were the likely source of PFAS-contamination of pesticides, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) Committee changed this bill to Resolve, Directing the Board of Pesticides Control To Gather Information Relating to Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the State. The resolve requires pesticide manufacturers and distributors to provide affidavits stating whether their pesticides have ever been stored, distributed or packaged in a fluorinated high-density polyethylene container and requires manufacturers to provide an affidavit stating whether PFAS is in the formulation of the registered pesticide. The amendment directs the Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) to report back to the ACF in January 2022 with: information on the extent of fluorinated adjuvants being used or sold in the State; a determination on how to regulate fluorinated adjuvants in the State; a plan for prohibiting pesticides with PFAS as part of the formulation; and a definition of PFAS contamination in pesticides. The ACF has the authority to create emergency legislation based on those findings.
- LD 316 – An Act To Prohibit the Use of Chlorpyrifos. Sponsored by Representative Victoria Doudera.
- LD 437 – An Act To Establish the Maine Healthy Soils Program.
- LD 519 – An Act To Protect Children from Exposure to Toxic Chemicals (bans glyphosate and dicamba on school grounds).
- LD 558 – Resolve, Directing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry To Study Alternative Cropping Systems for Farmers Affected by Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Contamination.
- LD 820 – Resolve, To Convene a Working Group To Develop Plans To Protect Maine’s Agricultural Lands When Siting Solar Arrays.
- LD 937 – Resolve, To Facilitate the Provision of Incentives for Soil Carbon Storage.
- LD 1159 – An Act To Amend the Membership Requirements of the Board of Pesticides Control (restore environmental interest credentials and no conflict of interest for two seats).
- LD 1572 – Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea Level Rise. Sponsored by Representative Lydia Blume.
- LD 1682 – An Act To Require Consideration of Climate and Equity Impacts by the Public Utilities Commission.
Here’s what’s still in play:
- LD 95 – RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to Food. Sponsored by Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham. The bill is finally passed in the House, and is under consideration by the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA). If approved and funded by the AFA, the bill will go back to the Senate to be finally passed. A constitutional amendment requires support from 2/3 of the members in both the House and the Senate, the signature of the Governor, and approval from voters on Election Day.
- LD 125 – An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture. Sponsored by Senator Troy Jackson. The House and Senate have enacted this landmark bill. It awaits Governor Mills’ signature.
- LD 151 – An Act To Protect Farm Workers by Allowing Them To Organize for the Purpose of Collective Bargaining. Sponsored by Representative Thom Harnett. The House and Senate have voted in support of this bill, though additional procedural votes still need to happen before enactment.
- LD 363 – An Act Regarding the Statute of Limitations for Injuries or Harm Resulting from Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (changes action period from within 6 years of harm or injury to within 6 years of discovery of harm). Sponsored by Representative Bill Pluecker. The House has voted in support of this bill. The Senate has yet to vote.
- LD 489 – RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to a Healthy Environment. Sponsored by Senator Chloe Maxmin. The Senate has finally passed this bill. A House vote is imminent.
- LD 691 – An Act To Support Farms and Address Food Insecurity (fund to address food insecurity and provide nutrition incentives for local foods purchasing, matching contributions up to $250,000 annually). Sponsored by Representative William Pluecker. The bill has been enacted in the House, and is under consideration by the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA). If approved and funded by the AFA, the bill will go back to the Senate to be enacted.
- LD 966 – Resolve, Establishing the Commission To Study Fair, Equitable and Competitive Tax Policy for Maine’s Working Families and Small Businesses. Sponsored by Representative Denise Tepler. The bill has been finally passed in the House, and is under consideration by the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA). If approved and funded by the AFA, the bill will go back to the Senate to be finally passed.
- LD 983 – An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access and Outdoor Recreation ($80M for the Land for Maine’s Future Program). Sponsored by Senator Catherine Breen. The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is still working on this bill.
- LD 1094 – An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Reduce Homeowner and Municipal Energy Bills through Increased Efficiency and Weatherization Projects. Sponsored by Senator Matthew Pouliot. The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee continues to work on this bill.
- LD 1242 – An Act To Ensure Appropriate Oversight of Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program. Sponsored by Representative Lynne Williams. The House has voted in support of this bill. It awaits a vote in the Senate.
- LD 1319 – An Act Regarding Registered Dispensaries and Rules under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act and the Definition of “Resident” in the Marijuana Legalization Act. Sponsored by Senator Matthew Pouliot. The Senate has voted in support of this bill. It awaits a vote from the House.
- LD 1475 – An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Targeted Food Processing Infrastructure ($5M bond for food processing infrastructure). Sponsored by Representative Rachel Talbot Ross. The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is working on this bill.
- LD 1503 – An Act To Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Pollution. Sponsored by Representative Lori Gramlich. Enacted in House. Under consideration in Appropriations. If funded will go back to the Senate for enactment.
- LD 1541 – An Act To Support and Improve Municipal Recycling Programs and Save Taxpayer Money (packaging stewardship). Sponsored by Representative Nicole Grohoski. The House and Senate have cast initial votes in support of this bill, though, as this alert goes out, an unnecessary amendment from the Senate is confusing the process. Stay tuned…
- LD 1549 – An Act To Establish the Maine Forest Advisory Board. Sponsored by Representative Margaret O’Neil. The House had a neck and neck vote on this bill and it failed (70-72). However, the Senate passed the bill decisively. The bill will go back to the House this week for another vote. We are hopeful that the House will follow come into concurrence with the Senate and that the bill will be enacted and go to Governor Mills for signature.
- LD 1565 – An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Agriculture, Food and Forest Economy (investment fund for infrastructure, small businesses, inclusivity, advisory board). Sponsored by Representative Rachel Talbot Ross. Enacted in House. Under consideration in Appropriations. If funded will go back to the Senate for enactment.
- LD 1599 – An Act To Establish A Maine Pesticide Sales and Use Registry. Sponsored by Representative Laurie Osher. Maine has a policy of minimizing reliance on pesticides but it can’t begin to measure progress toward this goal because it doesn’t track sales and use. Technology should make this easy for all stakeholders at minimal expense. We hope the Legislature will reassess this effort and carry it over to the next session.
- LD 1659 – An Act To Create the Maine Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator (Green Bank). Sponsored by Representative Stanley Zeigler. This bill would provide financing for clean energy and sustainability projects and infrastructure. The House and Senate have voted in support of this bill. Procedural votes remain.
- LD 1708 – An Act To Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a Nonprofit Utility, To Deliver Lower Rates, Reliability and Local Control for Maine Energy Independence. Sponsored by Representative Seth Berry. The House voted to support this bill. The Senate initially voted in support but on a subsequent vote reversed its position. The Senate will have another vote on the bill in late June. Governor Mills had indicated that she intends to veto this. We encourage the Legislature and the Governor to support the bill and send it to the public for a vote in November.
- LD 1733 – An Act To Provide Allocations for the Distribution of State Fiscal Recovery Funds. Sponsored by Senator Catherine Breen. This emergency funding bill includes $20M for food processing and food system infrastructure. The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is working on this bill.
- LD 1022 – An Act To Make Agricultural Workers and Other Workers Employees under the Wage and Hour Laws (eligible for minimum wage and overtime). Sponsored by Representative Thom Harnett.
- LD 33 – An Act To Improve the Laws Governing Hemp by Bringing Them into Compliance with Federal Law. The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee changed this bill to Resolve, Directing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry To Seek Input from Stakeholders on the State’s Hemp Program.
- LD 174 – An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Ending Hunger by 2030 Advisory Group. Sponsored by Representative William Pluecker.
- LD 1626 – An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act.
- LD 1639 – An Act To Protect the Health and Welfare of Maine Communities and Reduce Harmful Solid Waste. Sponsored by Senator Anne Carney.
- LD 832 – An Act To Promote Immigrant Workforce Development and Community Integration. Sponsored by Representative Michael Brennan. This sought to assist immigrants in need of housing, job training, language skills and transportation.
- LD 1029 – An Act To Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act and the Laws Governing the Taxation of Marijuana. Sponsored by Louis Luchini. This bill sought to medical marijuana caregivers to sell unlimited amounts of product (flower, trim, etc.) to adult use cultivators. Although MOFGA doesn’t have a clear indication that our growers regularly have excess product, we are aware that it does happen from time to time and we feel that this could be a good business development opportunity.
- LD 1279 – An Act To Increase the Minimum Wage. Sponsored by Representative Benjamin Collings. This bill sought to increase the minimum hourly wage, starting January 1, 2022, from its present $12.00 per hour to $13.00 per hour and by an additional $1.00 per hour each year until the minimum wage on January 1, 2025 is $16.00 per hour. Beginning January 1, 2026 and every year after, the minimum wage would rise by the increase, if any, in the cost of living.
- LD 1410 – An Act To Incentivize the Development of the Labor Force in the Green Jobs Sector through Assistance in Repaying Student Loan Debt. Sponsored by Senator Stacy Brenner. This bill sought to provide a tax credit to farmers working to pay off student loans.
- LD 1540 – An Act To Reduce Hunger and Use Food Scraps in Farming and Energy Production. Sponsored by Representative Stanley Zeigler. The bill sought to: collect edible food that would otherwise become solid waste and distribute it to hunger relief organizations for human consumption; divert excess food from the waste stream toward consumption by humans, then divert for agricultural use, including for consumption by animals, then subject the food scraps to composting or anaerobic digestion with subsequent soil application, and finally subject the food scraps to anaerobic digestion for energy production.