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Rep. Kerri Prescott (R-Topsham)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/27/12

Rep. Prescott's permit-posting bill gets committee nod

House Republican Office

January 27, 2012

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445


Rep. Prescott's permit-posting bill gets committee nod

AUGUSTA - A business-friendly bill sponsored by State Rep. Kerri Prescott sailed through committee with unanimous consent on January 19, setting the stage for consideration by the full Legislature.

Rep. Prescott (R-Topsham) spoke in support of the bill, LD 1695, before the committee vote. The legislation is titled, "An Act To Provide Additional In-store Space for Maine's Businesses by Removing License and Permit Posting Requirements."

She explained that the number of permits and licenses that must be posted has exploded over the years and, as a result, many retailers are required to cover their walls with the documents rather than with merchandise and advertising. This poses an especially big problem for smaller retailers, like convenience stores, that have limited space to display merchandise, she said.

The bill remedies that problem by allowing retailers to keep the documents available for review upon request at their place of business. "Essentially, we are simply moving the permits and licenses from a wall to a drawer," Rep. Prescott said.

The legislation was supported by the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and convenience store operators.

"This bill is an example of what I like to think of as a no-brainer," Rep. Prescott told the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, on which she serves as House chair. "It alters the existing, ineffective requirement that retailers post numerous licenses and permits on a high-visibility area of their stores.

"The intent behind the posting requirement was one of public notice," she added. "But like so many well-intended statutory requirements, this intent was lost in practice. The reality is that posted permits and licenses are often out of date because the retailer has not received an updated document from the department despite having renewed their license or permit."

Rep. Prescott wrapped up her testimony by pointing out that in this tough economy, "we need to do everything we can to give Maine businesses an edge by reducing unnecessary and ineffective regulation and red tape." ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445