for potential new bills have been submitted for the Second Session of the
current legislature and boy are there a lot of them.
Hello, I am
State Senator Scott Cyrway of Senate District 16, which includes communities in
Kennebec and Somerset Counties.
the Constitutional principle of focusing on budgetary and emergency bills in
the second session, lawmakers have just submitted 399 new requests for
consideration in January. Any of these measures that are accepted as new bills
will compete for legislative time with 410 existing bills that were held over
from the last session and still require legislative action.
Here are a
In order to
allow people to enter and leave Maine from space, there is a bill to create the
“Maine Spaceport Complex.”
fact that Mainers voted to raise the minimum wage beginning in 2017 and it is
in the process of going up incrementally, an additional increase is of an
emergency nature as a bill to do so has been submitted.
Just a few
months ago the legislature killed the “Red Flag” bill, which would have allowed
law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from people they feel are a
threat. Two new bills have been submitted that would go much further than the
Red Flag bill. One bill would ban assault-style weapons and another would ban
“trafficking” in firearms altogether.
It is no
secret that government programs are most likely to succeed when they are guided
by a detailed plan and each action leads toward accomplishing the goals of that
August when Republicans voted against borrowing money via bonds for land
conservation through the Land for Maine’s Future program, we expressed a
concern that there is no statewide plan for conserving land.
Department of Transportation has such a plan with tremendous detail covering
the next three years.
This is how
large government investments should be handled with funding directed toward the
highest priorities based on a detailed survey and assessment of statewide
presented such a plan and Republicans voted overwhelming to fund it.
Unfortunately, state government does not have such a plan for land conservation
or broadband Internet. After the concerns expressed by Republicans in August,
neither Democrat leaders in the Legislature nor the Mills administration have
taken steps to create such a statewide plan for either program.
this, there are now two different bills submitted to spend millions on land
conservation in Maine without a statewide plan on how that money can accomplish
whatever goals have been identified.
broadband, the same “forge ahead without a plan” seems to still be the goal.
While Democrats have submitted “An Act to Provide Funding for Broadband
Internet Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Areas,” they do not appear
to have submitted any bills calling for a detailed plan that lays out statewide
goals and how this funding will accomplish these goals.
recognize the value of connecting rural parts of Maine via high-speed Internet.
We also believe in getting every bit of value we can out of every taxpayer
dollar that state government spends.
intent of the Maine Constitution and state statutes to limit the length and
expense of Second Session legislative deliberations, it is looking as if the
work that will begin in January may take a long time.
Again, I am
State Senator Scott Cyrway of Senate District 16.
Get outside during this long weekend and enjoy the Maine foliage.