AUGUSTA – Sen. Justin Chenette has introduced a measure to protect Maine’s coastal environment from offshore oil and gas production infrastructure.
States can’t prevent the federal government from opening up drilling in federal waters, but states can prevent the infrastructure necessary to transport oil and gas production through state waters. The bill would also ban any land-based support structures aiding in the offshore oil drilling process.
“An Act to Protect Maine's Coastal Environment from Offshore Oil and Gas Production Infrastructure” is working its way through the drafting phase and will soon be ready to be sent to committee for a public hearing. If other legislators introduced similar measures, the bills will be combined into one joint effort.
“It is clear we can’t trust the federal government when it comes to protecting our most precious resources along Maine’s coast,” said Sen. Chenette, who is a member of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee. “It would take only one oil spill to send our tourism and marine-based economy into a tailspin.”
New Jersey became the first state to ban offshore drilling within state waters last year, followed shortly by actions in Delaware, Maryland, California and Florida. This legislation is modeled after efforts in those states.
Sen. Chenette is serving his second term in the Maine Senate, representing the communities of Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington and Buxton.
Augusta – Aside from Chairing the Government Oversight Committee, Senator Chenette was also appointed by the Senate President to serve on the Environment & Natural Resources Committee.
Like the name suggests, this committee oversees the Department of Environmental Protection and handles legislation pertaining to air and water quality, mining rules, hydropower and sets overall environmental policy for the state.
“Having consistently earned high marks from environmental groups for my voting record, I look forward to the opportunity to set a new, positive direction to protecting what makes Maine a wonderful place to visit and to live,” says Senator Chenette. “Our economy, personal health, and quality of life are all dependent on how we treat our natural resources.”
AUGUSTA — Sen. Justin Chenette (D-Saco) has been appointed by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, as Chair of the Legislature’s bipartisan Government Oversight Committee for the 129th Maine Legislature.
The Government Oversight Committee directs the nonpartisan legislative Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) to perform independent performance reviews of state government operations. This could include investigating agencies and departments, conducting hearings with officials, and reviewing reports.
“My entire legislative service has centered on making government more accountable and transparent to the public,” says Sen. Chenette. “This appointment means I can help lead the effort to ensure government is operating at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness, protecting taxpayer’s best interests, while expecting core ethical standards to be met.”
AUGUSTA—Senator Justin Chenette, D-Saco, was sworn into the Maine Senate at the State House in Augusta today as it’s youngest member at age 27. He also has the distinction of being the only openly gay member of the Senate.
Sen. Chenette was re-elected to his second term in the State Senate in November. He previously served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives.
“Public service is about a commitment to the people and trying to make a brighter future of our state and our community,” said Sen. Chenette. “This is an opportunity to make government more ethical, utility companies more accountable, and tackle some of the most important issues facing Mainers from student loan debt to affordable healthcare.”
AUGUSTA — Sens. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, and Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford, made the “2017-18 Honor Roll” from the Maine Conservation Voters for their consistent support for the state’s environment, as well as policies that protect public health from toxic chemicals and advance the development and adoption of clean, renewable energy.
Maine Conservation Voters scored nine key environmental votes during this year’s legislative session. Sens. Chenette and Deschambault both received a 100 percent score for their votes.
“Whether it is protecting Maine’s coast from the hazards of offshore drilling or advocating for solar energy, I will always be a strong voice for our environment,” said Sen. Chenette. “I’m proud of my record and look forward to making sure Maine continues to be known for its clean air, clean water and beautiful natural landscape.”
During the 128th Legislature, Sen. Chenette also introduced a resolution to direct the federal government to fix the erosion issues caused by the jetty at Camp Ellis in Saco.
AUGUSTA — Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, will be holding town hall forums in every corner of State Senate District 31 to provide an opportunity for constituents to ask questions and make their voices heard. Sen. Chenette will recap this past legislative session and provide the latest updates from the State House.
"I work for you," said Sen. Chenette. "You deserve to have direct access to your elected officials to ensure governmental transparency. My hope is that these forums will continue my tradition of being accessible and accountable to you."
Starting Tuesday, September 4th in Hollis through Saturday, September 8th in Old Orchard Beach, Sen. Chenette will be in a different community each day. Those who can't make their own community forum are encouraged to attend one of the other forums at their convenience.
RSVPs are not necessary and all are welcome. Individuals who cannot attend the town halls can call Sen. Chenette's office at 207-287-1515 or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 4 from 6:30 - 8pm
WHERE: Hollis Elementary School on 554 River Rd in Hollis
WHEN: Wednesday, September 5 from 5:30 - 7pm
WHERE: Salmon Falls Library on 18 Hollis Road in Hollis
WHEN: Thursday, September 6 from 6:30 - 8pm
WHERE: University College on 4 Scamman Street #18 in Saco (next to Shaws)
WHEN: Friday, September 7 from 6 - 8pm
WHERE: Old Town Hall on 297 Sokokis Avenue in Limington
(Also a pot luck, feel free to bring a dish)
OLD ORCHARD BEACH
WHEN: Saturday, September 8 from 10:30am - Noon
WHERE: Libby Memorial Library on 27 Staples Street in Old Orchard Beach
Veterans will now be eligible to receive a free lifetime pass to the State Museum because of passage of L.D. 1656 - An Act To Allow Veterans Free Admission to the Maine State Museum.
The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services has updated information on their website to reflect the change.
If a Maine veteran would like to apply for their free park pass, they may do so by completing the application on the state website.
AUGUSTA — Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco earned a 100 percent rating from the Maine Education Association for his voting records on education issues during the second regular session of the 128th Legislature.
The Maine Education Association is an organization representing 24,000 Maine teachers and is dedicated to supporting policies and laws to improve public education.
“Maine’s teachers deserve to have legislators they can count on to support them in Augusta,” said Sen. Chenette. “I am proud of my record supporting teachers and students and will continue to push for the state to fully fund their share of public education, just as voters demanded at the ballot box in 2016.”
The Thornton Academy Boys Lacrosse team have been honored by the legislature recognizing their undefeated season, first regional title, and recent first state championship win.
Senator Justin Chenette presented the sentiment, which was passed by the Maine House & Senate, at one of their last team meetings of the season Monday. Aside from their winning streak, the entire team conducted over 700 hours of community service since March.
"They have made not only TA proud, but our entire community proud," says Senator Chenette.
Government is at its best when it is responsive to the people not special interests and lobbyists. However, the continued influx of dark money into politics from shady corporations and a handful of wealthy – often anonymous donors – is elevating the role of outside influence and shutting out the voice of hardworking people. It’s not right, and it’s why I have consistently fought for a more transparent, accountable, and ethical political system.
Hello, this is Senator Justin Chenette of Saco. Thank you for tuning in.
Rep. Justin Chenette
Press Releases and News Stories about the work being done in the local community and in the state legislature.