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March Legislation Update

March Legislation Update

Act to Establish the Fund to Support Local Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing

On Tuesday, March 12th, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry will hold a hearing on LD 920: An Act to Establish the Fund to Support Local Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing. MFT supports this legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. Bill Pluecker (I-Warren), because it would create a fund to provide incentives to recipients of federal food and nutrition assistance programs to buy more locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. These types of programs, like MFT’s Farm Fresh Rewards program, not only increase access to healthy locally-grown foods for low-income shoppers, but they also help all kinds of Maine farms gain new customers and build sales, thereby keeping more dollars in Maine’s food economy. The hearing will take place at 1pm in Room 214 of the Cross Building.

 

An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access, and Outdoor Recreation

On Tuesday, March 5th the Land Conservation Task Force, a group of diverse individuals and organizations representing agricultural, municipal, sportman’s and conservation interests, released their recommendations for the next generation of land conservation in Maine. Adam Bishop, MFT’s Farmland Protection Manager, participated on the Task Force. These recommendations included having LMF, Maine’s primary source of funding for conservation in Maine, place a high priority on conserving lands that support Maine’s vibrant farming sector. They also included a request for $75 million in bond funding to support the LMF program and $20 million to support state parks. Please contact your representatives in Augusta and ask them to support LD 911: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access and Outdoor Recreation, the bond measure based on the Task Force’s recommendations. You can find your representatives HERE.

 

An Act to Limit Greenhouse Gas Pollution and Effectively Use Maine’s Natural Resources

On Wednesday, March 13th, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on LD 797: An Act to Limit Greenhouse Gas Pollution and Effectively Use Maine’s Natural Resources. MFT supports this legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. Ralph Tucker (D-Brunswick), because in addition to setting long-term and short-term emissions reductions goals, the bill calls for an inclusive process with input from various stakeholders, including the agriculture sector, to update the state’s climate action plan. In creating the updated plan, the legislation also requires that consideration be given to encouraging natural climate solutions like healthy soils practices and farmland protection. The hearing will take place at 10am in Room 216 of the Cross Building.

 

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