Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) has a new leader to help advance the future of farming…
The Maine Legislature adjourned on June 20, 2019. Here is how MFT’s policy priorities fared this legislative session:
- LD 797: An Act to Limit Greenhouse Gas Pollution and Effectively Use Maine’s Natural Resources; LD 1679: An Act to Establish the Maine Climate Change Council to Assist Maine to Mitigate, Prepare for, and Adapt to Climate Change. MFT supported these bills because they call for an inclusive process with input from various stakeholders, including the agriculture sector, to update the state’s climate action plan and encourage natural climate solutions like healthy soils practices and farmland protection. The Legislature passed and Governor Mills signed LD 1679 into law on June 26, 2019.
- LD 911: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access, and Outdoor Recreation; LD 1836: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Infrastructure, Economic Development, Workforce Development and Energy and Environmental Investment. MFT supported these bills because they would establish a bond measure on the November ballot to provide funding for the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program, Maine’s primary source of funding for conservation. Unfortunately, the Legislature adjourned without a resolution on any of the bond measures. It is likely that Governor Mills will call the Legislature back for a special session later this summer to address the bond proposals.
- LD 920: An Act to Establish the Fund to Support Local Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing. MFT supported this legislation 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, help all kinds of Maine farms gain new customers and build sales, thereby keeping more dollars in Maine’s food economy. The bill was carried over to the next legislative session.