Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Hearings for the biennial budget started yesterday, Monday, March 11th. The hearings will run for 4 weeks. I’ve included the schedule for some key hearing dates below if you would like to listen in or testify in person or in writing:

Suspension of Revenue Sharing, Cuts to Circuit Breaker and Homestead Exemption: Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. in Appropriations and Financial Services Committee

Cuts to Education, including the shift in teacher retirement costs to municipalities: Monday, March 18 at 1 p.m. in Appropriations and Financial Services Committee

Cuts to Maine's Drugs for the Elderly Program: Thursday, April 4 at 1 p.m in Appropriations and Financial Services Committee
This budget will affect all Maine people in ways large and small.  Your opinions and suggestions are greatly valued. The hearings matter a lot, and the Appropriations Committee will do its best to find alternatives to unacceptable proposals.  

With newborn lambs at Sunrise Farm in Woodland

Members of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee (ACF) on which I serve visited Aroostook County this past weekend for a tour of 8 farms and food producers as far up as Limestone. The weather was perfect, the hospitality generous, and the farmers were excited to see us. The weekend underscored just how vital the family farm is to economic development and prosperity in rural Maine.


I will present LD 409, “An Act To Establish a Veteran-Farmer Training Pilot Program” on Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. to Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and next Tuesday, March 19 at 1 p.m., I will present two bills to ACF: LD 475, “An Act To Increase Food Sovereignty in Local Communities” and LD476,Resolve, Directing the Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry To Reduce Food Waste in State-Funded Institutions.”


I am humbled to serve you. It’s quite an adventure and I am enjoying myself immensely. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns or if you need assistance with an issue. You can reach me by email at craighickman@rocketmail.com, by phone either at home (377-3276) or at the State Capitol message line (1-800-423-2900).

Take care of your blessings,

Craig Hickman


Peggy said...

Craig, did you visit Lilley Farms in Smyrna? Paula and Perry are good friends. They produce milk for Houlton Farms Dairy as well as providing shares in excellent beef cows.

Craig Hickman said...

Yes, Peggy, we did. Here's the write up in the Bangor Daily News about the legislative tour:


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