Legislative Update – February 23, 2024

This week was a bit slower for the Council in Augusta, but we still had the opportunity to participate in committee meetings on a few bills. The first was LD 2207, “An Act to Establish Municipal Cost Components for Unorganized Territory Services to Be Rendered in Fiscal Year 2024-25.” Our team was unable to review the draft report that was presented to the TAX Committee before the public hearing, so we weighed in under the ‘Neither For Nor Against’ category to let the committee know that we would like the opportunity to review the specifics of the proposal.

The “Unorganized Territory Municipal Cost Components” report is available here on our website for our members to review. As you will see, costs have increased in a number of areas, such as education. The overall proposed budget increase is 6%. Upon review, if you have any observations or comments on the draft budget proposal, please let me know so that we can highlight member concerns as the bill continues to be worked.


The second bill we engaged on was LD 2101, “An Act to Strengthen Shoreland Zoning Enforcement.” As presented, the Council was strongly opposed to the legislation, however, we would like to thank the bill sponsor, Senator Nangle, and the State and Local Government Committee, for allowing us to be a part of the discussion during the work session.

As a result, the Committee voted 8-1 in support of an amendment that addressed our concerns. Our team will continue to monitor this legislation at the language review, but we are happy with the outcome.


Next week, we will continue to engage on and monitor a few bills, but specifically, we would like to bring your attention to one that has been scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, LD 2007, “An Act to Advance Self-determination for Wabanaki Nations.”

While the Judiciary Committee has had possession of this bill since last year, it has been scheduled on the abbreviated timeframe committees are now operating under, giving this hearing less than the standard two-weeks notice. Additionally, as a concept draft, the language did not become available until February 21st, and it is not linked on the Legislature’s website (we have linked the Sponsor’s Amendment here).

As we have seen with countless other concept drafts, this process makes it nearly impossible for meaningful public input at hearings, which are often the only opportunity for the public to weigh in. As stated in the 41-page Sponsors’ Amendment, this bill seeks to “make substantial changes” to the “Maine Indian claims Settlement”, and these changes represent “a significant change from current law.”

As we stated last year during the public hearing for similar legislation, LD 2004, the Council is opposed to dismantling a carefully constructed system designed to provide regulatory uniformity for natural resources (air, water, wildlife) that flow freely between land ownerships. We continue to fundamentally protest the short notice on an issue of such importance for Maine citizens, especially on a bill that was printed almost a year ago.

Unfortunately, the Sponsors’ Amendment for LD 2007 has not addressed our previously stated concerns, so we will have to again testify in opposition.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


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