Maine Food Policy News
#10 April 19, 2021
Published weekly with support from
an Elmina B. Sewall Foundation grant to Maine Farm to Institution

The Maine Food Policy Website is now live. It includes an archive of all Newsletters, along with complete listings of all Bills we are tracking sorted by topics, tips on Taking Action and more. We continue to build this site as a toolbox for Food Justice and Democracy.

Please encourage others to subscribe to the Maine Food Policy News, by sharing this Op-In Subscription Link
Key Committee Schedules 4/19 - 4/30

Note: 1535 Bills have been published as of 4/19. We continue to monitor over 75 Bills. As this # continues to grow, its harder to present Committee dynamics. We urge you to subscribe to Take Action Alerts from various stakeholder groups to learn more (see links below).

Note: Each Bill listed has 3 clickable links:
  • LD # link takes you to PDF text for the Bill
  • Committee links takes you to Committee Page
  • YouTube links takes you to present and past hearings

We urge you to consider viewing Committee work and submit testimony for Bills that are important to you. Here is info on participating in Committees.
Abbreviations used for Committees:

Featured Bills

LD1475  An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Targeted Food Processing Infrastructure Sponsored by RepTalbot Ross, Hearing Apr. 20, 1pm before AFA Committee. The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $5,000,000, will be used to provide funding to pursue targeted and appropriately scaled food processing infrastructure projects in the State as determined by the agricultural resources development division within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Projects may include the support of meat and poultry processing, including mobile processing infrastructure, specialty grain milling, malting and storage facilities, cheesemaking equipment and storage, and organic dairy processing infrastructure. AFA YouTube.

LD 961 An Act To Provide Equity in Access to Applications for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program sponsored by Rep Millett, Hearing 4/26 10 am before EDU Committee. Create a statewide school meal benefit online application, housed on the Department of Education’s website, so families can easily apply for school meals online. The data submitted via the application would not be visible to the Department of Education, but would be transferred directly to local districts.  EDU YouTube

Food Sovereignty & Equity Bills

LD 574 An Act To Clarify the Maine Food Sovereignty Act  sponsored by Rep Bill Pluecker, Work Session 4/22 9:30 am before AFC Committee. The bill amends the definition of "direct producer-to-consumer transaction" to mean any exchange of food or food products directly between a producer and a consumer in a manner mutually agreed upon by the producer and consumer of the food or food products rather than face-to-face transactions at the site of production. ACF YouTube

LD 954  An Act To Provide Equal Access to the Benefits of the Maine Food Sovereignty Act sponsored by Sen. Keim, Work Session 4/22 9:30 am before  ACF committee   ACF YouTube

LD 1034 An Act To Provide Funding To Support the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations  sponsored by Rep. Sylvester Work Session 4/21 10 am before State & Local Govt. Comm.   SLG YouTube

Pollution/Pesticide Bills
LD 226 An Act To Limit the Use of Hydrofluorocarbons To Fight Climate Change sponsored by Rep. Tucker, Work Session 4/21 10am before ENR Committee This bill prohibits the sale, lease, rent, installation, use or entering into commerce of any product or equipment that uses or will use a substance that is a hydrofluorocarbon with high global warming potential intended for any air conditioning, refrigeration, foam or aerosol propellant end use. ENR YouTube

LD 316 An Act To Prohibit the Use of Chlorpyrifos sponsored by Rep. Doudera, Work Session 4/20 9am before ACF Committee  ACF YouTube

LD 1505  An Act to Restrict the Use of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Firefighting Foam, sponsored by Rep Gramlich  Hearing May 3, 9am in the ENR Committee.  ENR YouTube

LD 1467  An Act To Promote a Circular Economy through Increased Post-consumer Recycled Plastic Content in Plastic Beverage Containers,  sponsored by Rep. Doudera  Hearing Apr. 26, 9am before  ENR Committee.  ENR YouTube

LD 1158 An Act Regarding the Application of Certain Pesticides for Nonagricultural Use Sponsored by Rep Benjamin Collings  Work Session Apr. 20, 9am before AFC Committee.  ACF YouTube

LD 1146  An Act To Protect Maine's Ocean Waters and Support Regulatory Oversight and the Long-term Health of the Aquaculture Industry  Sponsored by Rep Alley Work Session 4/20 9 am before Marine Resources Committee.  MAR YouTube

LD 1163  An Act To Reduce Pollution by Prohibiting Metallic Mineral Mining Sponsored by Rep O'Neil Hearing 4/26 9 am before ENR Committee.  ENR YouTube

Other Bills

LD 1231  An Act Concerning Climate and Community Investment Projects Sponsored by Rep. Cuddy, Work Session 4/23 12:30 pm before Labor and Housing Comm. L&H Youtube

LD 1299   An Act To Permit Emergency Funding for Food Banks When a State of Emergency is Declared
Sponsored by Rep Paulhus, referred to AFC Committee. This bill authorizes the Governor to distribute up to $400,000 from the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund during a state of emergency to nonprofit entities, including food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens, that provide or distribute food to low-income, indigent or unemployed individuals or households without charge. ACF YouTube

LD 1389  An Act to Improve Maritime Education in Maine, sponsored by Rep. Cuddy Hearing Apr. 22, 10am before EDU Committee.  EDU YouTube
Federal Food and Agriculture Bills
The News is beginning to expand coverage of national legislation. Bills listed below have links to PDFs for each.

HR 7554, American Farmers, Food Banks, and Families Act

HR 5861: Agricullture Resilience Act.

HR 5845: Break Free from Plastic Pollutions Act

HR 5841: Food Recovery Act

Rep. Pingree and others introduced HR 1258: The Strengthening Local Processing Act will increase options for local livestock and poultry producers and assist smaller facilities as they adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and expand to meet consumer demand. See the 2/23 Press Release for more information.

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) introduced the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act (H.R. 8096), and it will help meet the needs of farmers who've been left out during the pandemic. Here are THREE big reasons to support this bill:
  • It offers direct support for producers selling into local and regional markets based on the losses they've experienced. 
  • It prioritizes funding for BIPOC farmers and low-income communities of color and includes robust outreach, technical assistance, and data collection to ensure that aid is distributed equitably. 
  • It provides emergency response grants for farmers markets and local food enterprises to allow those operations to adapt to new market conditions, implement public health and safety protections, and further support communities experiencing food insecurity.

Farm-Based Education Network
3-4:30pm, April 15, and 29, 2021

Hosted by Food Tank
April 28, 2021
For more information, contact Ken Morse, Coordinator of the Maine Food Policy Work Group