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 Description||Summary||State or Federal||Maine Audubon Position||Latest Update|
|Offshore Wind Bill||Sets procurement schedule and other commitments to ensure safe and responsible wind development.||State||Support||Portland Press Herald story on rollout, 1/25|
|Protecting Loons from Lead Poisoning – LD 958||Phases out the sale of small-sized painted lead tackle.||State||Support|
|Expanding Endangered & Threatened Species Habitat Conservation – LD 1246||Expands the circumstances in which state agencies consult on strategies to avoid and minimize impacts to endangered and threatened species habitat.||State||Support||Public hearing 4/5/2023|
|Developing Thoughtful Renewable Energy Siting Policies – LD 1227||Funds dual-use agriculture/solar pilot projects.||State||Support|
|Updating Maine’s Endangered Species Act – LD 57||Proposes 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.||State||Support||Public hearing Feb. 6, 2023 – Maine Audubon Testimony.|
|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.||State||Support|
|Supporting Tribal Sovereignty||Restores self-determination and self-governance for the Wabanaki Nations.||State||Support||The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Feb. 15 – watch here. Read a statement from the Wabanaki Nations here.|
|Blue Hill Falls Waterfowl Sanctuary||Would increase protections for waterfowl south of Blue Hill Falls.||State||Support|
|BirdSafe Bill – LD 670||Would require the state to develop guidelines to reduce bird collisions on state buildings.||State||Support||Public hearing on March 31, 2023.|
|Northern Maine Transmission Infrastructure – LD 924||Re: a badly-needed new transmission line in northern Maine that utilizes existing right-of-ways.||State||Support||Public hearing on March 21, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony|
|Plastic Bag Ban Repeal – LD 425 and LD 572||Propose weaken or repeal Maine’s nation-leading, strong plastic bag policy.||State||Oppose||Public hearing on March 1, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony|
|Pine Tree Amendment – LD 928||Proposes an amendment to the Maine Constitution to establish a right to a clean and healthy environment||State||Support||Public hearing on March 22, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony|
|Forest Advisory Board – LD 993||Establishes stakeholder process to review the state of our forests, develop public policies, and provide|
input the State Forest Action Plan.
|State||Support||Public hearing on March 20, 2023. Maine Audubon Testimony|