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Governor LePage Calls Legislature in for Special Session
September 29, 2017
For Immediate Release: Friday, September 29, 2017
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA —Governor Paul R. LePage issued a proclamation today calling the full Legislature to Augusta for a special session on October 23, 2017.
“I am calling a special legislative session to address two time sensitive issues,” stated Governor LePage. “First we must amend the recently passed ‘food sovereignty’ law to ensure compliance with federal requirements. The second critical issue is the need to fund the Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems, which was left out of the final version of the budget by the Legislature.”
Maine’s food sovereignty law needs to be amended to make it clear that local food sales subject to inspection under federal jurisdiction remain so, and any food products intended for wholesale or retail distribution outside of the local municipality must be in compliance with all food safety laws. These changes will permit the state to continue its system of local inspection, rather than compelling federal inspectors to take over.
“We will not be able to continue growing the local food sector of our rural economy by subjecting Maine farms and businesses to inspectors and regulations based in Washington. If the state program is eliminated, small farms will lose the most,” stated the Governor.
In final budget negotiations, the Legislature failed to restore funding to operate the Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems. MEGIS is currently operating on funds that were carried forward from the previous fiscal year.
Governor LePage added, “If the Legislature does not appropriate money to State agencies to properly fund MEGIS, funding will dry up before November. If this happens, the future of MEGIS and the State's ability to adequately provide GIS services will be in extreme jeopardy.”
A copy of the proclamation is available here: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/news/news_display.shtml?id=767767 .