Review of legislative session

June 26th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »


Posted: 12:00 AM

Review of legislative session

Regulatory reform

A keystone measure for this session was L.D. 1, sponsored by House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, and Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry. The wide-ranging bill was the product of a Republican campaign promise to make Maine more business-friendly.

After some proposals by Gov. Paul LePage drew public opposition, a bipartisan group of lawmakers crafted a package of reforms that passed unanimously in the Senate and with just three dissenting votes in the House. The bill was signed into law by LePage on June 13.

Among other things, it will provide more support for small businesses that must negotiate state regulations, loosen environmental rules to allow beneficial reuse of hazardous materials, and offer incentives for companies to self-report environmental violations.

It also will create an advocate to assist small-business people who feel they have been treated inappropriately by any state agency.

Turnpike authority overhaul 

Lawmakers approved measures to restructure the quasi-governmental Maine Turnpike Authority.

In January, the Legislature’s accountability office issued a report on the turnpike authority that uncovered lavish spending for travel and nearly $200,000 for gift cards that couldn’t be documented. The findings led to the resignation the turnpike authority’s longtime director, Paul Violette, in March.
The changes:

• Make the turnpike authority’s executive director subject to confirmation by the Senate.

• Allow members of the board of directors to be removed for

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