Legislative Priorities

Each legislative session, Maine Audubon closely follows bills related to our mission of protecting Maine wildlife and habitat.  Below is a list of Maine Audubon’s 2023 Legislative Priorities, including both state and federal bills, with updates, important dates, and other information.

As always, we need the help of our members and supports to pass legislation. Reaching out to your state or federal representatives to let them know that their constituents support these bills is essential to gaining support and votes. Emails, phone calls, letters to the editor, oral testimony, and member meetings are all ways to get involved and make your voice heard. Stay up to date with the latest news by subscribing to our Action Alert system here, and learn some tips for effective citizen advocacy here. We’re so glad to have you involved.

Legislative Priorities for 2023

Bill DescriptionSummaryState or FederalMaine Audubon PositionLatest Update
Offshore Wind BillLD 1895Sets procurement schedule and other commitments to ensure safe and responsible wind development.StateSupportReported favorably out of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee on 6/7
“Bringing Nature Home” BillLD 649An Act to Promote Water Conservation and Water Quality and Create Habitat for Wildlife, Including Pollinator Species, by Protecting Low-impact Landscaping
StateSupport Public hearing 5/8/2023 – Maine Audubon Testimony.
“Renewable Energy Mitigation Bill” LD 1881The bill would create a compensation program to account for impacts to high value natural resources from renewable energy infrastructure
StateSupport Public hearing 5/10/23 before the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. – Maine Audubon Testimony.
Protecting Loons from Lead Poisoning – LD 958Phases out the sale of small-sized painted lead tackle. StateSupportPublic Hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on 5/4. Read our op-ed in the Press Herald, and coverage in the Bangor Daily News.
Expanding Endangered & Threatened Species Habitat Conservation – LD 1246Expands the circumstances in which state agencies consult on strategies to avoid and minimize impacts to endangered and threatened species habitat.StateSupport Passed on 6/6! – Read more here.
Developing Thoughtful Renewable Energy Siting Policies – LD 1227Funds dual-use agriculture/solar pilot projects.StateSupport Public hearing 4/19/2023 – Maine Audubon Testimony.
Updating Maine’s Endangered Species Act – LD 57Proposes to add 8 species to be listed under Maine’s Endangered Species Act: Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Bicknell’s Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Tricolored Bat, Ashton’s Cuckoo Bumble Bee, and Marginated Tiger Beetle. StateSupportSigned into law on May 8!
Maine Trail Bond – LD 1156 Would provide a boost in funding, up to $30M over four years, for non-motorized, motorized, and diverse-use trails utilized for recreation and/or active transportation across the state.StateSupport
Supporting Tribal SovereigntyRestores self-determination and self-governance for the Wabanaki Nations.StateSupportThe Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Feb. 15 – watch here. Read a statement from the Wabanaki Nations here.
Blue Hill Falls Waterfowl SanctuaryLD 1919 Would increase protections for waterfowl south of Blue Hill Falls.StateSupport
BirdSafe Bill – LD 670 Would require the state to develop guidelines to reduce bird collisions on state buildings.StateSupportPassed on 6/6! – Read more here.
Northern Maine Transmission Infrastructure – LD 924 Re: a badly-needed new transmission line in northern Maine that utilizes existing right-of-ways.StateSupportPublic hearing on March 21, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Plastic Bag Ban Repeal – LD 425 and LD 572Propose weaken or repeal Maine’s nation-leading, strong plastic bag policy.StateOpposePublic hearing on March 1, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony. The Committee voted to not move this bill forward. Victory!
Pine Tree Amendment – LD 928Proposes an amendment to the Maine Constitution to establish a right to a clean and healthy environmentStateSupportPublic hearing on March 22, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Bottle Redemption Bill – LD 972Would develop recommendations to improve Maine’s popular 40-year-old bottle redemption bill.StateSupportPublic hearing on March 29, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Forest Advisory Board – LD 993Establishes stakeholder process to review the state of our forests, develop public policies, and provide
input the State Forest Action Plan.
StateSupportPublic hearing on March 20, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Siting Renewables on Contaminated Land – LD 1591Encourages the siting of renewable energy projects on contaminated land, including brownfields and areas contaminated by PFAS.StateSupportPublic hearing on April 20, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
State Butterfly Bill – LD 239Bill would establish the Pink-edged Sulfur as the Maine State Butterfly.StateSupportSigned into law in May 2023! Maine Audubon Testimony
Funding LMF – LD 1285Extends funding for the popular Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) programStateSupportPublic hearing on April 10, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Studying Wake Boat Impacts – LD 379Directs the state to study the impacts of wake boats on shoreline property (and not on wildlife impacts)StateOpposePublic hearing on March 22, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony
Protecting Wildlife from Wake Boat Impacts – LD 693Bill would expand the existing no-wake zone to 500 feet for boats designed to create large wakes.StateSupportPublic hearing on March 22, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony