08/20/2018 - New Sample Medical Marijuana Moratorium Available
MMA’s Legal Services staff has updated our sample Medical Marijuana Retail Store Moratorium Ordinance.
In addition to registered caregiver retail stores, this updated version temporarily prohibits the licensing, location, and operation of new medical marijuana registered dispensaries, testing facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Given the volume of questions we have received recently about proposals for these other types of medical marijuana establishments within municipalities, we thought that an expanded moratorium ordinance was warranted. Of course, municipalities may tailor this sample to address the type or types of establishments of particular interest to them.
08/06/2018 - USDA Seeks Broadband Comments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments about its planned $600 million rural broadband program, which was recently created by Congress. The result will be a one-time application process and grant program for communities with 20,000 residents or less. The comment period will end on Sept. 10.
08/01/2018 - Critical Investments for Maine
The Maine Development Foundation has released a report and executive summary about areas of investment that would help boost Maine’s economy. The report was done in conjunction with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Educate Maine.
07/27/2018 - MRWA's "Liens and Disconnections" Training
The Maine Rural Water Association is offering their "Liens and Disconnections: Real Life Instruction" training on September 11 in Bangor and September 13 in Portland.
07/26/2018 - Local Advocacy Toolkit for Municipal Leaders
The State & Federal Relations staff at Maine Municipal Association today is releasing an extensive set of tools to help municipal leaders – our most effective advocates – engage candidates for the Legislature and Governor’s Office during the crucial 2018 election season. Please check out this comprehensive package, use it, and feel free to contact MMA with any questions.
07/18/2018 - Medical Marijuana Retail Stores
Many municipalities have been struggling with how to regulate medical marijuana retail stores. See a summary of the issue and recommendations from MMA Legal Services, including a Sample Moratorium Ordinance, on our Marijuana Resources page.
07/17/2018 - MMA Issues FOAA Guidance
In light of a “blanket” Freedom of Access request that members are receiving today from a Florida-based organization, the Legal Services Department at Maine Municipal Association has produced guidelines on how to respond. Members can also contact MMA with follow-up questions.
07/11/2018 - Marijuana Workshop Presentations
Presentations from MMA’s “Legal Update on Recreational Marijuana” workshop help in Bangor on July 10 are now available for download on our Marijuana Resources page.
07/10/2018 - New Medical Marijuana Laws
Yesterday, the Maine Legislature finally enacted two bills that expressly recognize municipalities’ Home Rule authority to regulate medical marijuana operations. Descriptions of the legislation are now posted to MMA’s Marijuana Resources webpage, and an overview article is included in the July edition of the MMA Maine Town & City magazine.
06/28/2018 - U.S. Supreme Court Decision Impacts Municipal “Fair Share” Union Fees
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in Janus v. AFSCME. In Janus, the court held 5-4 that state statutes allowing public sector employers and unions to agree to impose “fair share” fees on employees who don’t join the union violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Maine is one of more than 20 states that authorize imposition of “fair share” service fees on public sector employees. The Janus decision overrules a 1977 decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, in which the Court allowed “agency shop” arrangements where public employees who do not join the union were still required to pay their “fair share” of union dues for collective-bargaining, contract administration, and grievance-adjustment. However, in this week’s Janus decision the Court concluded that the “First Amendment does not permit the government to compel a person to pay for another party’s speech just because the government thinks that the speech furthers the interests of the person who does not want to pay.” Municipal employers that have contract provisions relating to “fair share” service fees should immediately suspend deduction of those fees from employees who are mandated to pay them. Employers should also immediately consult their legal counsel to review applicable contract provisions and discuss next steps to comply with the Court’s decision.