May 13, 2017

ME Legis' Marine Resources Comm May 10, 2017 worksession on LD 1438 AUDIO MP3

On May 10, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee approved an amended version of LD1438 "An Act To Improve the Aquaculture Leasing and Licensing Laws."   Listen to the 5/10/17 work session on LD 1438 (47min)  
Or in parts: Pt 1 12min  **  Part 2. 8min54sec  **Part 3. 9min 44sec  ** Part 4. 8min 50sect **  Part  5  to end    Listen to May 1, 2017 public hearing on 1438. (46min)

Read Official summary of LD1438 below links to filed comments 

Belle, Sebastian
Maine Aquaculture Association
Crimp, JamesIsland Institute
de Koning, FionaAcadia Aqua Farms, LLC
Devin, MichaelMaine State Legislature
Dobbins, PaulOcean Approved, Inc.
Gilbert, DeirdreDepartment of Marine Resources
Steverlynck, ValyFreeport

"This bill amends the aquaculture leasing and licensing laws. 

* It removes the prohibition on the provision by the Department of Marine Resources of promotional and marketing assistance to the aquaculture industry. 

* It extends the potential term of an aquaculture lease from 10 to 20 years. 

It changes the order of preference for lease applications to include in the 2nd position an individual who currently holds a limited-purpose aquaculture license for the area. 

It provides a process by which a holder of a standard lease could seek an expansion of the lease area by up to 10% once during the duration of the lease without having to apply for a new lease. 

It places the licensed activities and criteria for limited-purpose aquaculture licenses in separate statutory provisions. 

It requires a limited-purpose aquaculture license holder to specify if the license is for commercial or personal use and to identify the growing area and current classification of the area. 

It adds consideration of any risk to public health to the criteria used in determining whether to grant a limited-purpose aquaculture license. 

It adds to the eligibility criteria for a limited-purpose aquaculture license the completion of any educational courses that may be required by the Commissioner of Marine Resources.


ME Legislature to vote on tightening restrictions on creating new category of political parties

Important Changes to Mainers'  political and civic rights  happened at the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee  of the legislature on May 10, 2017.  Listen to the recorded discussions then the committee votes in approval of bills LD 1591 and LD 1571. 

May 10, 2017  Meeting introduction 2min

LD 1591   Lobbying by Former Legislators and Former Executive Branch Officials"  Imposes a one year no-paid-lobbying minimum after leaving office. Listen to LD1591's worksession and vote. 14min 36sec 

During the work session both the secretary of state and a professional lobbyist spoke at length in favor of the bill.

 LD 1571  "An Act To Amend the Election Laws Relating to Party Qualification" creates a new category of political party in Maine: the "Minor Party"   Listen to LD 1571 worksession 51min      Key Points: 

Minor parties to have 2 major differences from majors
1.Need minimum 5,000  enrolled voters to qualify as a legitimate political party, 
2. Select candidates at conventions.

 Major Parties (Ds and Rs) 
1. Need minimum o\50,000 enrolled voters to qualify 
2. Select candidates via primaries. 

May 8, 2017

Me legislators hold hearing & worksession on bill to revamp state laws on archives & records-keeping. Vote OTP.

A bill changing  the state of Maine's archives and records management laws had both its public hearing and worksession  on May 8, 2017, and was then reported out with an Ought To Pass

The bill is  LD 1567 "An Act To Amend the Archives and Records Management Law"

Submitted testimony:
Matthew Dunlap testimony, Secretary of State
Roger Katz, Maine State Legislature 

Official summary of the changes the bill brings to state and local records management
"This bill makes the following changes to the archives and records management laws:
1. Adds language to specify that it is the policy of the State to ensure that nonpermanent records are preserved for the time required by an approved records retention schedule;
2. Adds language to include the advice from the Archives Advisory Board in the State Archivist's consideration of what constitutes an archival record, to change the definition of state agency or agency to include all government agencies that transmit records to the Maine State Archives and to change the definition of electronic records;
3. Adds language to specify the 2nd organizational unit within the Maine State Archives is records management and adds language to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 94 that was stricken from Title 5, section 95 regarding powers and duties of the State Archivist;
4. Changes the laws governing the State Archivist to reflect the 2 organizational units of the Maine State Archives: archives services and records management. It adds language to strengthen the records management practices for all state and local government agencies by using 4 criteria in the development of a guiding records retention schedule: administrative use, legal requirements, fiscal and audit requirements and historical and research value;
5. Specifies when local government records may be destroyed;
6. Repeals and replaces the laws governing the Archives Advisory Board to change the expertise required of members, to provide that members are appointed by the Secretary of State and to provide 3-year terms for members; and
7. Removes the requirement that the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs but retains the requirement that the board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters, which is the committee of oversight for the Maine State Archives. It also removes a reference to funding a full-time position that was eliminated in Public Law 2015, 
End of summary

Maine bill to ban towns from having pesticide ordinances fails!

AUGUSTA.  LD 1505: “An Act To Create Consistency in the Regulation of Pesticides“ had a public hearing on May first, followed by two work sessions by the Maine Legislature's State and Local Government committee on  May 8th and May 15th.

The May 15th worksession  lasted only 90 seconds but that  was long enough for the committee to give LD 1505l an Ought Not To Pass

Listen to the May 8th Worksession  in which they ponder the info they'd gotten 
Part 1. Introduction; summary of public hearing comments. 9min 19sec

Part 2, Gary Corbin ME Municipal Assoc 8min 24sec

Part 3. Lebelle Hicks, State Toxicologist 6min 25sec

Part 4. Deven Morrill, chair Board of Pesticides Control  12min 12sec

Part 5. Mary Ann Nahf, Harpswell Conservation Commission. 6min 11sec

Part 6. Discussion and decision to hold another mtg 5/10/17. 3min 51sec

The bill would both kill all existing town pesticide related ordinances in Maine, and forbid  creation of new ones. The state offered an amendment that would still kill the ordinances but would allow towns to apply  to the Board of Pesticides Control for approval of new plans. 

Many in the committee remain opposed to the bill, especially as an infringment on municipal Home Rule which allows towns to pass ordinances that are strong than certain state laws.

The committee voted to hold another worksession Wednesday before voting on the controversial bill. 

Three Penobscot Bay towns have pesticide ordinances Rockland, Owls Head and Castine  Twenty six other Maine towns also have such ordinances.

May 6, 2017

Supporters of the MAV floating wind turbines plan have yet to take seriously (let alone discuss) the predicted effects of the project on the hydrodynamics of the Gulf of Maine off Penobscot Bay.

Yet the scientific consensus is that the wind shadow of reduced wind velocity (-25%) immediately downwind of an ocean windbturbine continues well into the water column below. The reduced velocity of those waters, compared to the water outside the windfarm's shadow, results in creation of an upwelling of waters from the lower water column to the surface.
As Norwegian expert Goran Brostrom, who's familiar with Maine's offshore wind plans, puts it, a wind decrease of 25% corresponds to a 50% decrease in wind stress at the surface. By the time 20 years have blown past, the two floating turbines chugging away will have earned hundreds of million dollars or more selling electricity. This money will then be used to set up more of them further offshore Focusing on whether the project saves carbon providing provide electricity for Monheganians

May 2, 2017

Me Legis Committee hears testimony for and against bill challenging Monhegan floating wind farm siting.

On May 2, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Energy Utilities and Technology  Committee heard testimony for and against LD 1262  An Act To Protect Monhegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines.   Below, listen to mp3s of each speaker

Full hearing 3hr 31min  (hearing was already underway)

Intro by Maine Senator Dana Dow Lincoln County  5min (in progress)

Travis Dow 4min 46sec 

Kathie Ianicelli. 3min 10sec  Monhegan

Angela Monroe Governor's Energy Office & QA 12min

Jessica Stevens 3min30sec

Tara Heyer 4min38sec

Cole Lord  2min30sec

John Murdoch 2min 54sec

Marian Joffee  5min45sec

Angela Ianicelli  3min 40sec

Chris Oneill  3min 15sec

Don Lathrop 3min 35sec

Winnie Murdoch, 3min 25sec

Mary Webber, 2min 35sec

George Hart, Tenants Hbr 2min35sec

Jackie Boegal 4min 15sec

Andrew Fennemann friends of Muscongus Bay. 4min 15sec

Julie Eaton MLU 3min 40sec

Kim Ervin Tucker  6min 50sec

Doug Boynton_Tenants Harbor. 1min32sec

Lucas Chaffee  3min 17sec

Speaker from__plantation. 2min30sec

David Edson of James Sewall Co 3min 18sec

Jay Morancy (?) 5min25sec

Mal Carey 3min 43sec

Jeff Thaler UMaine Counsel 15min

Waldo Wales, 3min 38sec

Paul Hitchcox_birder 3min 31sec

Chris Smith Monhegan power district. 1 min 25sec

Peabody Consultant 2min 5sec


Jim Belanyea_METF 

Group of UME students & profs 12min 43sec

Anthony Viselli UME  3min 50sec

Robin McCoy 3min 30sec

Alison Hill 1min30sec

Joyce Blakeney 2min 45sec

Pamela Rollinger 3min

Barbara Hitchcock 2min 45sec

Haley MacDougal  2min 32sec

Habib Dagher & QA 7min

Dylan Vorhees NRCM  3min 30sec

Derek Lovitch 3min 13sec

Kathy Leeman 3min_45sec

Doug Hitchcox  3min22sec

Dan Reilly 4min 28sec

James Monroe 2min18sec

Jake Ward 5min 45sec

Susanne McDonald to end 3min 4sec



Maine Legislature's Agriculture Conservation & Forestry Mommittee hears pesticide bill LD 1505