2021 Session in Review

Dear Friend of Maine’s Environment and Democracy,

During the past year, our lives and communities have been disrupted in ways we had never seen before.

Thankfully, lawmakers here in Maine and new leadership in Washington stepped up to tackle the real and urgent challenges facing our state and nation, and our resiliency and perseverance as Mainers have helped us weather some of the most difficult times.

As the pandemic continues to test us and the future remains uncertain, we are sure about one aspect of this year: our commitment to combating climate change, protecting our environment, creating a more equitable future, and strengthening our democracy remains stronger than ever.

As legislative champions followed through on their promises to put climate, environment, equity, and voting rights front and center, our environment and democracy saw victory after victory in Augusta this legislative session.

These victories include a first-in-the-nation public fossil fuel divestment order, progress on a number of climate solutions, phasing out toxic chemicals, protecting pollinators, and ensuring that every one of our democracy and voting rights priorities was signed into law. The wildly popular Land for Maine’s Future program received sizable and much overdue funding in Maine’s State Budget—with bipartisan support. And, recognizing that there is no environmental justice without racial justice, the legislature took important steps to address systematic racism and advance equity.

These wins—and future victories—hinge on our collective ability to hold our lawmakers accountable for theirvotes on the important environmental, equity, and democracy issues our members care so deeply about.

That's why we're honored to present to you Maine Conservation Voters’ Environmental Scorecard forthe 130th legislative session. This year's scorecard highlights the incredible progress our state has made to combat the climate crisis, reduce waste, improve public health infrastructure, protect public lands, and expand access to the ballot box.

We can't thank our leaders in Augusta enough for this year's successful legislative session, including Gov. Janet Mills, Senate President Troy Jackson, Speaker Ryan Fecteau, and all of the amazing conservation champions in the legislature.

But we cannot hold our lawmakers accountable without members like you, who, despite a global pandemic, were more active than ever this year—calling, emailing, and meeting with your representatives to ensure they know our priorities are popular and important to Maine voters.

Together, we tackled environmental degradation, the climate crisis, environmental injustice, and voting rights to create a healthier and safer future for all Maine people.

Thank you for your support and dedication this year to help secure so many victories for the Maine we all love.

With your help, we look forward to many more in the coming year.

With hope and gratitude,

Maureen Drouin
Executive Director

Adam Lee
Board President

Scored Legislation

Status: SUCCESS! Bill enacted into law with Gov.’s signature.

With the passage of LD 1541, big corporations that flood Maine with plastic and other excessive packaging will have to pay for the growing volume of waste they create. This new policy, Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging (EPR), incentivizes the design of less wasteful packaging that can be recycled. LD Continue...

Status: SUCCESS! Bill enacted into law with Gov. Mills' signature; adding climate to the PUC’s mandate and directing state agencies to examine and report back on environmental justice.

Through LD 1682, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been added to the statutory purposes of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), joining the current statutory mandates of ensuring safe and reasonable service and minimizing the cost of energy to consumers. This new mandate is critical to helping Maine reach Continue...

Status: SUCCESS! LMF will be funded through the State Budget, with $40 million to be invested over 4 years.

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 Continue...

Status: SUCCESS! Bill enacted into law with Gov.’s signature.

Within five years, LD 99 requires Maine’s Public Employee Retirement System (MainePERS) to divest itself of fossil fuel company assets that: are among the 200 publicly traded companies with the largest fossil fuel reserves in the world;are among the 30 largest publicly-traded company owners in the world of coal-fired power Continue...

Status: SUCCESS! Bill enacted into law with Gov.’s signature.

With the passage of LD 1126, Maine joins 40 other states in providing a system for eligible voters to register to vote online. Online voter registration increases voter access, provides for cost savings for the state and municipalities, and allows for more accurate voter rolls. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows Continue...

Status: Enacted by the Maine Legislature on June 14 but vetoed by Gov. Mills.

J.D. Irving and other large Maine forest landowners routinely spray hazardous chemicals from the air to manage their holdings. Glyphosate, the most commonly used herbicide in forest management, is linked to serious environmental harm and health impacts. It may cause chromosomal damage, harm fetal development, reduce liver and kidney function Continue...

Status: SUCCESS! Bill enacted into law with Gov.’s signature.

In 2019, the Maine Legislature created the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations. The twelve-member Commission was charged with studying the status of historically disadvantaged populations, reviewing legislation for disproportionate impacts, and making recommendations to advance racial equity in Maine. During the COVID-19 pandemic Continue...