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  I am not going to say "I told you so," but I did tell you so. As an attorney representing community residents, I fought every one of these projects in front of the BEP and, for some, in court. We lost every case because at that time the state was all hot on how wonderful these projects are! And the counties were at best complicit. None of them fought side by side with their residents against these projects. Now the cash is decreasing and, in my opinion, will disappear completely in a few years. What is not mentioned in this excellent article, is the fact that most of them were not required to have a decommissioning escrow fund set up. So as they become obsolete they could in fact be abandoned by the owners, who seem to have a penchant for "going out of business" (probably bankruptcy to avoid debt) and then creating a new entity to sell the project to at a bargain basement rate. Oh, and Stacey Fitts, Maine asset manager for Onward, the one that screwed Somerset Cou
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Business Posted Yesterday at 4:03 PM Updated 58 mins ago increase font size Maine lawmakers seek to pre-empt proposed rules for medical cannabis A bill co-sponsored by 2 Democrats would require the medical cannabis industry's input on any new regulations. By Hannah LaClaire Staff Writer Share Two Maine legislators are coming to the defense of Maine’s medical marijuana program with a bill that would place a moratorium on a set of proposed regulations and require greater input from the industry before any further rule changes are implemented.  Co-sponsored by Rep. Lynne Williams, D-Bar Harbor, and Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, the bill would require that in order to amend the rules governing the medical cannabis program, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy must consult “caregivers, registered caregivers and patients and physicians and certified nurse practitioners with significant knowledge
 As anyone who how knows me is aware of, I am NOT a late night person. But I was pleased and honored last night to stay up until about 2 am to help pass the Maine Supplemental Budget at the Augusta Civic Center, which passed unanimously less one vote. It had to pass by a 2/3 majority in order to qualify as an emergency and go into effect immediately. In short, the supplemental is an adjustment to the 2020-2021 budget, which is passed in order to make adjustments to the original budget that reflects situations that arose subsequent to passing that budget last year. The major situation that had to be addressed was the financial costs of the pandemic to the people of Maine. Following is what the supplemental passed last night includes: Critical relief for 160,000 Mainers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic: The supplemental budget includes $47M to exempt unemployment benefits from state income taxes. Without this relief, Mainers who relied on unemployment benefits at some point during
  Budgets are not everyone's cup of tea. But for those who want to know a bit more about Maine's current proposed supplemental budget, I've included some information below. First, a supplemental budget is a revision to the budget passed last year that make some changes in income and spending in order to make sure the budget is balanced at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2021). A balanced budget is required by our Constitution. So the Appropriations Committee has made such adjustments and following is a description of many of those changes, compliments of my friend and fellow State Representative Rebecca Millett. "Budgets are about priorities. Last week, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee passed a supplemental budget that targets relief where it’s most needed. Under this budget, 100% of Maine’s businesses do not pay any state tax on Paycheck Protection Program loans. Mainers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic will not pay tax on unemploymen
  As a member of the House Transportation Committee, I get some data, such as the following. It is not detailed as to what or where these jobs are, but it does suggest that jobs are coming to Maine on infrastructure projects. I am a big proponent of infrastructure projects, not just bridge and road repairs, but also new construction projects throughout the state. MaineDOT Bid Information: In the past two weeks, Maine DOT has opened 25 bids on six projects with a total construction value of $26,701,766. National estimates indicate these contracts will provide direct jobs for 347 people. Since the beginning of 2021, the department has opened 61 bids on 16 projects with a total construction value of $44,166,740. National estimates indicate these contracts will provide direct jobs for 574 persons.
  Viewpoint: Time to improve rural public transportation - Mount Dese... https://www.mdislander.com/opinions/commentary/viewpoint-time-t... (Printed from url=https://www.mdislander.com/opinions/commentary/viewpoint-time-to-improve-rural-public-transportation) Viewpoint: Time to improve rural public transportation January 5, 2021 on Commentary , Opinion  By Rep. Lynne Williams I am so pleased about my election to the Legislature, from House District 135, including the towns of Bar Harbor, Lamoine and Mount Desert. Thank you to everyone for giving me your trust and I will work hard to make that trust well-placed. I am pleased that I have been appointed to the Transportation Committee. I am a decades-long supporter of rail, and also of increasing and improving rural public transportation. During my campaign, I posted a short commercial on Facebook that had as its tagline: “What good is a

12/23/20 - RENTER RELIEF UNDER NEWLY PASSED STIMULUS BILL

WELCOME to State Representative Lynne Williams’ Blog. Using this medium to communicate, I hope to offer understandable information that will be useful in navigating many issues in the state, not the least of those issues being the pandemic. In this first blog post, I will focus on pandemic relief for Renters. As you may know, Congress FINALLY passed a CVOVID-19 Relief Bill. I certainly can’t say I read the 5500+ pages of this bill, but I have tried to gather information from groups and associations that support renters and have attempted to winnow the information down into an understandable and useful form. The CDC’s federal eviction moratorium has been extended through January 31, 2021. Yes, that is only about 6 weeks, so immediately after Congress returns to work, on or around January 3, 2021, they will need to extend this ban further. This short-term ban will provide much needed relief for renters, who are at risk of losing their homes. Emergency Rental Assistance, funded through th