February 5, 2024

LD 780 – RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Protect Personal Reproductive Autonomy was voted out of the Judiciary Committee with a divided report. Democrats on the committee supported the bill and Republicans opposed it. The bill will go to the floor of the House and Senate but is not expected to move as an amendment to the Maine constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote. This is the testimony of the Maine Council of Churches in support of the resolution.

LD 1432An Act to Improve Housing Affordability by Amending the Definition of “Subdivision” Under the Site Location of Development Laws would have withdrawn a significant subset of subdivisions from the DEP’s long-standing and effective Site Location of Development Act review. That is the intention of this bill. It exacerbates an existing problem where developers are building subdivisions right up to the thresholds that would trigger Site Law review and this bill just made that problem worse by increasing the size of subdivisions in terms of acreage and lots amongst other changes.  This is a bad bill. Even worse: the Committee unanimously voted Ought to Pass. The PH was in November and the Committee took it up without discussion last Friday — DEP (who opposed the bill) missed the WS and in my conversations with members afterward, it became clear that they didn’t fully understand the impacts that this bill would have. The Maine Council of Churches was asked to partner with GrowSmart, Build Maine, and Maine Audubon and drafted a MEMO to share with Housing Committee members to request that they reconsider.  Good news: The Housing Committee reconsidered its vote and unanimously switched to Ought Not to Pass.

LD 2001 – An Act to Establish the African American Studies Advisory Council and Require Funding for African American Studies was also voted out of the Education Committee with a divided report. Sen. Jim Libby, (R – Cumberland) joined the Democrats in supporting the bill while House Republicans opposed it.

  • This is the testimony of the Maine Council of Churches in support of the bill.

LD 2167 – An Act to Develop Maine’s Economy and Strengthen Its Workforce by Establishing an Office of New Americans is being worked on in the State and Local Government Committee tomorrow.

  • This is the testimony from our Racial Justice Council here.