Updates from the Portland Regional Cahmber of Commerce
Energy: As the Committee on Maine’s Energy Future meets this afternoon to discuss its bill to re-make the state’s energy policies several perspectives are being urged, including boosting LNG in Maine and using weatherization as a jobs creation plan. LSJ editors remind the Committee to create the work force we need to support new policies, and the PPH editors suggest that the Committee reject a bill to require utilities to pay for small generation projects’ power.
Other items: Real ID laws in Maine are under legislative scrutiny, and partial repeal is a possibility; a proposal to enhance economic opportunity through more attractive insurance rules for captive insurance companies is being proposed; and changes to the state’s foreclosure laws have received backing from the PPH editors.
Around the Region: Are you a small business that needs help getting access to capital? Check out this event at USM on Friday May 8th from 9 to 11 am. And in case you missed Good News Portland, hear the website’s founders talk about their project.
Portland: The Maine State Pier continues to generate public input – the PPH editors reflect the opinion of many in the City that it’s time to decide what policies will maximize the property’s potential. Elsewhere:
· Plans for the Franklin Arterial may include rotaries;
· The City’s budget continues to move through its process;
· A school facilities and programs study has caught folks’ attention – the PPH’s Greg Kesich comments;
· James Craig took over as the City’s new Police Chief on May 1st – congratulations!
· Martin’s Point Health Care is breaking ground on a new medical center today.
· For the latest check out Chris O’Neil’s Inside City Hall. Chris serves as a consultant to the Portland Community Chamber, working closely with members and staff to represent the Chamber before Portland City officials. Inside City Hall covers a host of Portland related issues. It’s something that everyone with an interest in Portland affairs will want to read.
Scarborough: The school budget is the subject of debate – the Council wants more cuts, while the school board doesn’t. Residents have weighed in against cuts too. Wal-Mart’s Gallery Boulevard opening drew big crowds.
Westbrook: The Spring Street zoning dispute now includes bus tours and subpoenas with an Appeals Board decision slated for May 6th.
Want to speak out? It’s easy to do, and believe it or not, it can really work. Notice that all the legislative committees mentioned above are linked – just click on them and you’ll get emails, phone numbers and everything you need to make your voice heard in the state house. If you need help, just email me!
By Chris Hall, PRC Senior VP, Government Relations