01/26/2021 - Maine DEP Offers Online Training for Erosion Control
Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Nonpoint Source Training Center has released eight hour-long online training modules qualifying for credits for individuals certified in erosion control practices (aka “certified contractors”). Although the trainings are intended for use by certified individuals, they can be equally valuable to other interested parties such as municipal officials, code enforcement officers, consultants and inspectors. The program is no longer limited to just earthwork contractors. There is an updated process for the certification of inspectors under the program.
01/25/2021 - Delinquent Property Tax Interest Rate Sets Record
Maine State Treasurer Henry Beck said the interest rate charged to Maine residents on delinquent property taxes will be no more than 6% for taxable year 2021, the lowest rate on record, in consideration for economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a reduction of more than two points from taxable year 2020.
01/22/2021 - MMA Supports Municipal Internships
The Maine Municipal Association’s Executive Committee is pleased to announce the 2021 Summer Municipal Intern Award Grant program. The association will award four $2,000 grants to member municipalities that commit to hire a summer intern through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center’s Government Summer Internship Program. In August 2020, MMA made four awards to Saco, Rockport, Vassalboro and Winthrop.
01/21/2021 - MMA Publishes Municipal Fiscal Survey Results
The Maine Municipal Associations State and Federal Relations staff today released the results of its annual fiscal survey, a large, joint undertaking that began with cooperation between MMA, its members and the U.S. Census Bureau nine years ago. Among many other things, the survey found that property and person real estate taxes comprised nearly 64% of the revenue that cities and towns in Maine receive. Total annual municipal expenditures were estimated at $4 billion in the state, providing critical services to Maine residents, seasonal residents and visitors. The cost for public education is the largest share of that total.
01/20/2021 - Project Canopy Grants
Up to $100,000 is available to Maine's local governments, municipalities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations through Project Canopy's community assistance grant program. Project Canopy, Maine's community forestry program, run by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's (DACF) Maine Forest Service, has awarded community forestry project grants totaling more than $600,000 since 2015.
01/13/2021 - Maine Updates Vaccine Strategy
In light of changes announced at the federal level this week, the Mills Administration today said it will expand the pool of people eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations to include Mainers 70 years of age and older, as well as people with “high-risk” medical conditions. Gov. Janet Mills’ statement also said immediate efforts will include those who work for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, firefighters, police officers and corrections officers. Maine vaccination efforts are under way. These new groups of people will be part of current vaccination plans and those extending through February.
01/12/2021 - Summary of Federal COVID Relief, Response Provisions
The National League of Cities today issued a summary of the provisions in the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2021 (budget), which provides for emergency coronavirus relief and authorizes other items. President Trump signed the measure on Dec. 27, 2020 . The budget’s COVID-related items affect municipalities throughout the U.S.
01/08/2021 - Gov. Mills’ Proposed Budget: A Municipal Summary
MMA’s Kate Dufour, director of State & Federal Relations, issued a summary today of the most salient municipal programs and funding levels in Gov. Janet Mills’ proposed FY 22 – FY 23 General Fund budget. A detailed examination will be included in MMA’s first Legislative Bulletin of 2021, which will come out on Friday, Jan. 15.
01/04/2021 - OMP Posts Marijuana Draft Rules
The state Office of Marijuana Policy today released preliminary draft rules meant to bring the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program regulations into congruence with state law. Administrative rulemaking is a standard process within government and, in this case, is needed due to significant changes that have been made to state law since rules were last revised, in February 2018. In addition to better reflecting the structure of Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program, one notable change is the introduction of a process by which medical marijuana establishments are regulated at the local level prior to state review, as is currently mandated by law.
01/04/2021 - List of Submitted Bill Titles
On Dec. 28, 2020, the Maine Revisor of Statutes published the list of bill titles submitted by state agencies and members of the 130th Maine State Legislature. That list can be found at the link below. Although one cannot evaluate the impacts of the proposals on the basis of a title, the list provides insight into legislative priorities for 2021 and 2022. As soon as bills are printed, MMA’s State & Federal Relations staff will publish an LD list summarizing legislation of municipal interest. Each Friday, an updated LD list is posted on the website and a link is emailed to Legislative Bulletin subscribers. MMA’s first 2021 Legislative Bulletin will be published on Friday, Jan. 15. If you are interested in receiving LD List updates, please contact Laura Ellis at: firstname.lastname@example.org.