Maine Food Policy News
#4 Mar 5, 2021
Published weekly with support from
a Elmina B. Sewall Foundation grant to Maine Farm to Institution
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.

Federal Bills will be listed towards the bottom of this email

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Key Bills with Hearings Coming Up

Click on titles to go to published PDFs for the Bills

LD 489: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to a Healthy Environment Sponsored by Senator Chloe Maxmin A public hearing will take place on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in the Joint Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Summary: Creates a Constitutional Right to Pure Water, Clean Air, a Stable Climate and Healthy Environments. Vulnerable communities, including the elderly, Indigenous and people of color, across our great State of Maine continue to be seriously harmed by pollution and environmental degradation. Given that we all depend upon pure water, clean air, a stable climate & a healthy environment to support and sustain our healthy lives and our healthy economy, it is right and appropriate that they should be protected with the same legal strength that we protect the other political, civil, property and human rights we hold dear. If you support this bill, please sign this Green Amendment petition here.

LD 362 - Resolve, To Require the Department of Education To Form a Family Income Data Collection Working Group, Sponsor Rep Brennan. A hearing will be held Mar 8 at 10am before Joint Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. This resolve directs the Dept of Education to form a working group to explore and recommend changes to how schools collect family income data, including data this is collected to secure funding for school nutrition programs.

LD 602: An Act To Prevent Pollution from Single-use Plastic Straws, Splash Sticks and Beverage Lid Plugs, sponsored by Rep. Miramant A hearing will be held Mar 15 at 10am before Joint Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

LD568: An Act To Establish a Working Farmland Access and Protection Program within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and a Working Farmland Access and Protection Fund within the Land for Maine's Future Program, sponsored by Rep. Pluecker A hearing will be held Mar 18 at 9am before Joint Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee

LD 485: An Act To Continue Funding for Home-delivered Meals for Homebound Seniors and To Address Growing Demand sponsored by Sen Claxton. A hearing will be held on Mar. 17 before the Joint Health and Human Services Committee

LD 262: An Act To Combat Hunger by Creating a Tax Credit of 10 Percent of Wholesale Market Prices up to $5,000 Annually for Businesses Engaged in Food Production for Donations of Food to Tax-exempt Organizations sponsored by Rep Roberts-Lovell. Hearing Mar 18, 1pm before the Joint Taxation Committee
Federal Food and Agriculture Bills

Rep. Pingree and others introduced 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.

Key Event:

Register Here:

Other Events:

Maine Farmland Trust Lunch & Learn
March 8th @ noon - RSVP at link below

Bills Published but do not yet have Hearings Scheduled:
click on LD# to read Bill
LD87: An Act To Implement the State Climate Action Plan, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Enhance Maine's Economy
LD 636: An Act To Encourage the Purchase of Local Foods for Public Schools
LD 655: An Act to Require at Least 30-minute Lunch Period for Public Schools
LD585: An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010
LD174 An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Ending Hunger by 2030 Advisory Group
For more information, contact Ken Morse, Coordinator of the Maine Food Policy Work Group