AUGUSTA – State Sen. Justin Chenette, D –Saco, and State Rep. Kent Ackley, I-Monmouth have started the Democracy Reform Caucus.
The caucus will be a platform for fellow lawmakers to discuss, debate, and collaborate on a range of topics related to strengthening our Democratic institutions. Speakers will also be brought in to elevate the awareness and the need for solutions.
AUGUSTA – State Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, has introduced a package of bills to reduce the influence of lobbyists and help get money out of politics.
Chenette, who chairs the Government Oversight Committee and serves on the Senate Ethics Committee, unveiled the legislation to be brought before the Veterans & Legal Affairs Committee in the coming weeks.
“There is a revolving door of legislators becoming lobbyists which blurs the lines of who is fighting for the best interest of Maine people,” said Sen. Chenette. “No legislator should be taking money from the very corporations, industries, and special interests we regulate. These bills aim to make government more transparent and accountable.”
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.