Establish a Fund for the Operations and Outreach Activities of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Animal and Plant Disease and Insect Control Laboratory

Last updated: Apr 17, 2016

Details about this bill
Category: Environmental
Status: Defeated
Sponsor: Representative Russell Black, House 90
Session: 127
Bill #: LD 1099

Position:

Opposed as originally drafted. We now support the amended compromise of 2016.

UPDATE 4/16/15: This bill ended up being killed in a most curious way. Reportedly, the funding has been secured in next year's budget cycle. One of the proponents of the bill, Senator Dill, asked for the bill to be killed because the bill was threatened by environmental groups who were not happy with his vote on the Katahdin national park issue. Instead, Senator Dill cut a deal with Governor LePage to fund the program.

UPDATE 3/17/16: The committee reviewed the language regarding the funding. Progress continues.

UPDATE 2/27/16: Good news! The committee reached agreement on an alternative funding source. They are recommending Appropriations use $250,000 from the Board of Pesticides Control and $150,000 of UMaine funding to fund the laboratory. The committee voted unanimously.

UPDATE 2/7/16: The committee tabled this bill as they seek alternative funding sources.

UPDATE 7/16/15: After an outpouring of calls from membership, the legislature sent this bill back to committee and carried it over to 2016. Thank you for all the calls, emails and letters.

UPDATE 6/30/15: The Senate voted 24-10 to Engross the bill. The bill awaits final enactment in the House and Senate. We are urging our membership to strongly OPPOSE enactment of LD 1099.

UPDATE 6/21/15: This bill has passed the House with a vote of 88-53. We expect a close vote in the Senate.

UPDATE 5/31/15: We learned that there are more than 11,000 products that are registered pesticides with the state including pet products and pool cleaning products.

SEE THE LIST OF PRODUCTS

UPDATE 5/10/15: Senator Dill unveiled an amendment at the work session proposing a $.20 fee on consumer pesticides. The bill includes a $.03 collection allowance for retailers but the definition of pesticides is quite broad. It would include items like household cleaners, pool cleaners, specific pet products and more. The bill received a unanimous Ought to Pass as Amended vote from the committee after Governor LePage quietly indicated he would not oppose the bill if it reached his desk.

The Amended Language is HERE.

Our letter to Governor LePage is HERE.

UPDATE 4/20/15: RAM testified in opposition to the bill on the premise that despite the worthiness of the program being funded, retailers should not be burdened with the collection responsibility. Any program worth funding should come from the general fund.

Summary:

This bill creates the Animal and Plant Disease and Insect Control Fund to pay for pest management and pesticide safety outreach and education and for operating costs relating to pesticide management and insect control of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension's animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. The Animal and Plant Disease and Insect Control Fund is funded by a 20¢ fee on every container of consumer packaged pesticides, with some exceptions.