BRUNSWICK, Maine — A bill that would have added two seats to the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors died Monday when neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate would budge in a legislative standoff.
LD 1476, An Act to Protect Local Input in Economic Development and Redevelopment Efforts, sponsored by Rep. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, passed the House on May 30 by an 88-55 vote. However, it was rejected 30-5 in the Senate a day later.
The House subsequently insisted on a report of ought to pass, setting up the bill’s eventual demise when Sen. Seth Goodall, D-Richmond, in turn moved to accept the Senate’s majority report of ought not to pass.
Without resolution or either side willing to budge, the bill died in legislative limbo.
Daughtry proposed LD 1476 as a solution to Brunswick and Topsham’s lack of dedicated municipal representation on the redevelopment agency’s controlling board. While five of the board’s roster are Brunswick residents, each was nominated by Maine’s governor and confirmed by the Legislature for his or her business acumen, not because of residency.
Opponents of the bill, including Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, and Rep. Charlie Priest, D-Brunswick, said its passage would have created a dangerous precedent by providing for direct appointment by the municipality and taking the Legislature out of the board’s oversight role.
She noted that neither today’s Senate vote to insist, nor the floor vote on May 30, involved any discussion.
“I’m disappointed to see that once again the Senate chose not to discuss the merits of LD 1476,” Daughtry said. “This was a piece of common sense legislation. Today’s vote took place with no discussion. In the House, we had a lovely discussion and were able to hear and consider all elements of this bill.”