While the supplemental budget addresses all aspects of state government and would ordinarily not be included in this Scorecard, this year we included it because it uniquely benefits environmental protection, climate action, and voting rights.
- For the first time, the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program, typically funded through bonding, received a $40 million appropriation to be spent over four years in the supplemental budget. LMF secures public access to beloved mountains, lakes, rivers, and shorelines in all 16 counties. LMF also supports Maine’s traditional industries, as the program has conserved 315,000 acres of working forest, 9,700 acres of productive farmland, and two dozen working waterfront sites from York to Lubec. Conserving forests, open space, waterfronts, and farmland is an effective way to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration and is in line with goals included in Maine’s Climate Action Plan calls such as conserving 30% of Maine’s land by 2030. Additionally, every dollar of LMF funding is matched by other funds. Notably, The Great American Outdoors Act passed by Congress last year made $900 million available to conserve working forests and ensure access to outdoor recreation for every American, and Maine stands to draw as much as $40 million per year from this federal fund.
Other LD 221 budget highlights:
- Nineteen positions are funded to address PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) contamination across the state, and an additional $30 million is allocated for cleanup and the identification of PFAS contaminated sites.
- Over $5 million is allocated for emissions reductions planning, community climate projects, municipal resilience planning, and grants.
- Four positions are funded to support partnerships and plan for sea level rise.
- Five new positions in the Governor’s Energy Office will be funded to address climate change and advance clean energy solutions, including offshore wind.
- With three new positions, the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future will develop programs to help communities reduce emissions, build climate resilience, and advance innovation in the clean energy sector.
- The budget also includes funding for a state forest carbon project that will map carbon uptake and storage provided by Maine’s forest ecosystems.
- Ensured that seniors and disabled Mainers can automatically sign up to receive absentee ballots for every election.
Status: SUCCESS! LMF will be funded through the State Budget, with $40 million to be invested over 4 years.
Votes / Roll Calls: