|What you can do:
Attend a public hearing and testify as an individual.
If your senator or representative serves on the committee hearing the bill, contact her directly.
Contact each committee member directly.
If the bill goes to the floor, contact your legislators.
How to find your legislator and get contact information: www.maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy or www.maine.gov/legis/
How to track a bill: go to www.maine.gov/legis/ and type in the bill LD # in the upper right of the screen. Click on "committee info" to find out the bill’s status.
Questions or comments, please contact Jo Ann Myers, MOFGA Public Policy Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Update - April 12, 2013
The following bills may be of interest to MOFGA members. These bills are being reviewed by MOFGA’s public policy committee. MOFGA’s position on a bill is noted.
LD 365. Defines Contaminants in Laws Governing Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products. Defines a contaminant, in part, as a trace element incidental to manufacturing. Sen. James Hamper. Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. A public hearing is scheduled for April 11.
LD 373. Provide Clarity to Priority Chemical Reporting Requirements. This amends existing required reporting requirements to Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection for covered products sold in Maine. Sen. James Hamper. Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. A public hearing is scheduled for April 2.
LD 1181. Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals. Amends the laws governing toxic chemicals in children’s products, the “Kid-Safe Products Act” and requires the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to name 2 additional priority chemicals annually beginning 1/1/2014. Additional requirements include reporting of high concern chemicals in children’s products, assessments of safer alternatives, addresses nonylphenol ethoxylates and requires reporting of bisphenol A use in food can packaging. Sen. Seth Goodall. Environment and Natural Resources. A public hearing is scheduled for April 11.
LD 902. A Resolve - Chapter 882 would designate Bisphenol A as a Priority Chemical. Rep. Joan Welsh. Environment and Natural Resources. A public hearing is scheduled for April 10.
LD 844. A Resolve - Requires a Study of Availability of Food Packaging without Bisphenol A. Requires DEP to determine practical and economically feasible food packaging alternatives and submit a report to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee for the 2nd Regular Session of the 126th Legislature. Rep. Sara Gideon. Environment and Natural Resources. A public hearing is scheduled for April 10.
LD 1050. Requires Labeling of Food Packaging which Contains Bisphenol A. This bill applies to any food for human consumption. Rep. Michael Devin. Environment and Natural Resources. A public hearing is scheduled for April 10.
LD 898. Requires labeling of Genetically Engineered Marine Organisms. Requires labels at wholesale and retail sales of raw fish and sales in processed form and on menus when for sals in restaurants or take-outs. Rep. Ralph Chapman. Marine Resources. No public hearing has been scheduled.
LD 1059. Protect Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources Jeopardized by Mining. Repeals the mining bill passed in 2012. Rep. Benjamin Chapman. Environment and Natural Resources.
LD 475. Increase Food Sovereignty in Local Communities. This concept bill would preserve the ability of local communities to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods and would preserve family farms and enhance the wealth of local communities. Rep. Craig Hickman. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. Public hearing is scheduled for April 2.
LD 745. Promote Sustainable Food Policies. Proposes a pilot sustainable food project with ongoing funding for grants to local government. President Justin Alfond. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. A public hearing is scheduled for April 2.
LD 1282. Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk and Homemade Food Products. Exempts from state licensing and inspection , homestead food operations and raw milk producers who sell small quantities of certain foods or raw milk products made or produced at the residence or farm, farm stand or a within state farmer’s market. Sen. Thomas Saviello. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. No public hearing has been scheduled.
LD 1287. Deregulate Face-to-Face Transactions between the People and Small Farms and Small Food Producers. Facilitates direct sales between Maine farmers and consumers. It allows persons preparing food in their own homes to sell directly to consumers or to offer homemade food at certain events without being licensed as food establishments. Rep. Craig Hickman. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. No public hearing has been scheduled.
LD 1254. Increase consumption of Maine Foods in All State Institutions. Existing law requires such purchases and this bill would require increasing percentages of consumption of Maine foods in state institutions with target dates. Rep. Craig Hickman. State and Local Government. No public hearing has been scheduled.
LD 1185. Enhance Efforts to Use Locally Produced Food in Schools. Requires school administrative units to annually report the percent of local food used and the Department of Education will establish a scoring system and post reports on their web. Rep. Jeff McCabe. Education and Cultural Affairs.
LD 668. Make Agriculture Studies a Part of the Maine Curriculum. Requires a comprehensive agriculture curriculum in Maine’s schools. Matthea Daughty. Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. Public hearing occurred on March 14 with one testimony against and four supporting. The committee has not yet acted on this bill.
LD 271. Facilitates Processing Livestock Not for Resale. This defines and clarifies a “custom slaughterhouse” and would permit a custom slaughterhouse to slaughter meat without an inspection or license if the meat would not be resold. Sen. Troy Jackson. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. A public hearing occurred on Feb. 26 with one neutral testimony and two supporting testimony. Work session was held March 5 and the committee has not yet acted on this bill.
LD 836. Use of Mobile Poultry Processing Units. Defines a mobile poultry processing unit and adds mobile poultry processing unit operators to those required to be licensed and permits a poultry producer to sell products exempt from inspection to locally owned restaurants and grocery stores. Matthea Daughty. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. No public hearing has been set yet.
LD 218. Promotes Small Scale Poultry Processing. This bill eliminates existing licensing and inspection requirements for on-farm poultry processing of small scale poultry farms. Rep. Walter Kumiega. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. The public hearing was held on Feb. 19 and the work session on March 5. MOFGA supports his bill assuming it meets certain federal conditions. The Committee has not yet taken action.
LD 259. Allows a person who owns a slaughterhouse to slaughter poultry for other people. This bill removes some requirements currently in place affecting the contracting relationships between poultry producers and slaughterhouses for intrastate commerce only. Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake. Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. The public hearing was held on Feb. 19 and the work session on March 5. MOFGA supports this bill assuming it meets certain federal requirements. The Committee has not yet taken action.
LD 961. Ensures Safe School Grounds. This bill would restrict the use of pesticides on school grounds except when there is a public nuisance. Rep. Mary Nelson. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. A public hearing was held April 2. MOFGA supports this bill.
LD 292. Protects the Public Health from Mosquito Borne Disease. This bill provides for emergency spraying and other provisions to control mosquitoes. Rep. Jeffrey Gifford. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The Public Hearing was held on March 7. MOFGA opposes this bill. The Committee has not yet taken action.
LD 903. Enhance the Development and Implementation of Integrated Pest Management. Takes a portion of annual pesticide registration fees for use in a fund for support of IPM including grants. Raises annual pesticide registration fee. Rep. Dean Cray. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. A public hearing was held on April 2.
LD 368. Ensures Continuation of Dairy Farming. This concept bill would provide financial and technical assistance to help farms adapt to the high cost of farming overhead including feed costs. Sen. Roger Sherman. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Comnittee. A public hearing is scheduled for April 10.
LD 789. Lessens the Impact of High Feed and Fuel Costs on Maine Dairy Farms. This concept bill would adjust price levels in the dairy stabilization program. Rep. Russell Black. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. A public hearing has been scheduled for April 10.
LD 525. Promotes Industrial Hemp. This bill removes existing licensure requirements including application to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Rep. Lance Harvell. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. A public hearing was held on March 28. MOFGA supports this bill.