Maine Food Policy News
#7 Mar 29, 2021
Published weekly with support from
an Elmina B. Sewall Foundation grant to Maine Farm to Institution

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.
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.

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Key Bills Schedules 3/29 - 4/9

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

Abbreviations used for Committees:

Hunger and Student Hunger Bills

LD 636: An Act To Encourage the Purchase of Local Foods for Public Schools, sponsored by Sen. Eloise Vitelli, Work Session April 2, 10am before EDU Committee, EDU Youtube link

LD 655: An Act to Require at Least 30-minute Lunch Period for Public Schools, sponsored by Rep. Jan Dodge, Work Session April 2, 10am before EDU Committee EDU Youtube link

LD 1046 An Act To Create an Income Tax Return Checkoff for Hunger Prevention  sponsored by Rep. Maureen Terry, Hearing Mar. 31 9am before Tax Committee This bill requires the inclusion of a check-off provision on Maine income tax forms for taxpayers who wish to contribute to support the emergency food assistance program. Tax YouTube.

AG Bills

LD 264 An Act To Prohibit Aerial Application of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances sponsor Rep. Pluecker, Hearing Apr 1, 9am before ACF Committee ACF Youtube link

LD 820 Resolve, To Convene a Working Group To Develop Plans To Protect Maine's Agricultural Lands When Siting Solar Arrays
sponsored by Sen. Claxton, Hearing Apr 1, 9am before ACF Committee ACF Youtube link

LD 870 Resolve, Directing the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations To Study the Impact of Policies Regarding Agricultu... sponsor Rep. Pluecker, Hearing Apr 1, 9am before ACF Committee ACF Youtube link.

LD 937 Resolve, To Facilitate the Provision of Incentives for Soil Carbon Storage sponsor Rep. Osher, Hearing Apr 1, 9am before ACF Committee ACF Youtube link

LD 80 An Act To Provide Critical Communications for Family Farms, Businesses and Residences by Strategic Public Investment in High-speed Internet and Broadband Infrastructure, sponsor Rep. McCrea, Hearing Apr 1, 9am before TAX Committee TAX Youtube link

LD 574 An Act To Clarify the Maine Food Sovereignty Act sponsored by Rep Bill Pluecker, Hearing Apr 6, 9:15 am before ACF Committee ACF Youtube link

LD 151 An Act To Protect Farm Workers by Allowing Them To Organize for the Purpose of Collective Bargaining sponsored by Rep. Thom Harnett, referred to Labor and Housing Comm. This bill proposes to allow persons working in agriculture to organize for the purposes of collectively bargaining for wages, hours, other working conditions and benefits without fear of reprisal. The bill would exempt farms under a certain size with a limited number of employees. LBHS YouTube

Newly Published Bills
LD 1118 An Act To Promote Reliable Rural High-speed Internet Sponsored by Sen. Lawrence, referred to TAX Committee, TAX Youtube link

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, referred to MARINE Comm.

LD 1159 An Act To Amend the Membership Requirements of the Board of Pesticides Control Sponsored by Representative Laurie Osher, referred to ACF Committee ACF Youtube link

LD 1163 An Act To Reduce Pollution by Prohibiting Metallic Mineral Mining Sponsored by Rep. O'Neil, referred to ENR 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.

USDA AMS has set up a listening session for stakeholders to provide feedback on implementing the additional funding for food purchases and distribution. There is also an opportunity to submit written comments. Here are the details: March 22, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET Register in advance for this webinar.


Farm-Based Education Network
3-4:30pm, April 1, 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