Maine Food Policy News
#9 April 12, 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 4/12 - 4/23

Note: 1470 Bills have been published as of 4/12. 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:

Pollution/Pesticide Bills
LD 1158 An Act Regarding the Application of Certain Pesticides for Nonagricultural Use Sponsored by Rep Collings Hearing Apr 13, 9am before AFC Committee. This bill prohibits the use of persistent synthetic pesticides except pesticides that are used in the production of agricultural products. The bill also directs the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to convene a working group to review the composition of the Board of Pesticides Control with respect to whether the board equitably represents public, environmental and industry interests and to identify whether the service of any of the board members gives the appearance of a financial conflict of interest.  ACF YouTube
LD 1159   An Act To Amend the Membership Requirements of the Board of Pesticides Control Sponsored by Rep. Osher, Hearing Apr 13, 9am before AFC CommitteeACF YouTube
LD 264 An Act To Prohibit Aerial Application of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, sponsored by Rep. Pluecker, Hearing April 15, 9am before ACF Committee ACF YouTube

LD 1388 An Act To Require Testing of Public Drinking Water Supplies for Toxic Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and To Establish Maximum Contaminant Levels, sponsored by Rep. Pluecker Hearing April 13, 9am before HHS Committee.  HHS YouTube

LD 640  An Act To Ban Single-serving, Disposable Plastic Water Bottles sponsored by Rep Gramlich, Hearing April 14, 10am before ENR Committee This bill prohibits the sale, offering for sale and distribution for promotional purposes of uncarbonated, unflavored drinking water in containers of one liter or less that are made of plastic except during proclaimed a emergency.  ENR YouTube
Bills before ACF Committee

LD 95 Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Establish a Right to Food, sponsored by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, Hearing April 15, 9am before ACF Committee This constitutional resolution declares that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being.  ACF YouTube

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 April 15, 9am before ACF Committee ACF YouTube
LD 870 Resolve, Directing the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations To Study the Impact of Agricultural Policy, Land Access Structures, Grant Access Programs and Access to Financing on Dispossessed African-American and Indigenous Farmers in the State sponsored by Rep. Bill Pluecker, Hearing April 15, 9am before ACF Committee  ACF YouTube

LD 937  Resolve, To Facilitate the Provision of Incentives for Soil Carbon Storage, sponsored by Rep. Laurie Osher, Hearing April 15, 9am before ACF Committee Convenes a stakeholder group to develop recommendations for the establishment of programs and policies designed to incentivize the effective sequestration of carbon in soils by landowners and land managers in the State  ACF YouTube

LD 1299   An Act To Permit Emergency Funding for Food Banks When a State of Emergency is Declared
Sponsored by Rep Paulhus, Hearing Apr 22, 9am before 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

Maritime Bills
LD 1182 An Act To Allow Commercial Lobster License Holders To Possess a Marine Harvesting Demonstration License  Sponsored by Rep. Faulkingham Hearing April 13, 9am before Marine Resources Comm MAR 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 Robert Alley Hearing April 13, 9 am before Marine Resources Comm.  MAR YouTube

Climate Bills
LD 815  An Act to Support School Decarbonization, sponsored by Sen. Maxmin, Hearing April 6, 9 am before EUT Committee. Current law requires the Efficiency Maine Trust to develop and administer a school energy savings program. This bill changes the program to a school decarbonization program and requires the trust to provide technical and financial support to help kindergarten to grade 12 schools become carbon neutral. EUT YouTube

LD 1100 An Act To Support the Continued Access to Solar Energy and Battery Storage by Maine Homes and Businesses  Sponsored by Sen. Woodsome, Hearing April 13, 9 am before EUT CommitteeEUT YouTube

Other Bills
LD 1118 An Act To Promote Reliable Rural High-speed Internet Sponsored by Sen. Lawrence, Hearing Apr 15, 9am TAX Committee, TAX Youtube link

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