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.
06/21/2018 - Legislative Policy Committee Ballots Due
MMA is currently in the process of electing the 2018-2020 Legislative Policy Committee (LPC). Ballots were mailed to the key municipal official (manager or chair of Selectboard) on June 14 with a return deadline of August 2. Copies of the Ballot Memo and Ballots for each of the LPC/Senate Districts can be found here. Please note that each municipality gets one ballot for voting. Also of note, there is space on each ballot for a write-in candidate.
06/15/2018 - MMA Publishes 2018 Municipal Issues Paper
The State & Federal Relations staff at Maine Municipal Association recently produced a 24-page Municipal Issues Paper, which MMA hopes will serve as conversation starter among local government officials and candidates for state and local offices in the November 2018 elections. The paper addresses many important topics, including the history of Municipal Revenue Sharing, unfunded state mandates, broadband connectivity, recreational marijuana use – and much more.
06/08/2018 - Environmental, Public Health Assistance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Environmental Protection are collaborating to provide free technical assistance to municipalities and businesses in an array of project areas, from Brownfields cleanups to energy efficiency to food waste. The deadline to express interest is July 31.
06/05/2018 - MMA Ethel N. Kelley Memorial Award Nominations Sought
Maine Municipal Association is seeking nominations for its most prestigious annual award, the MMA Ethel N. Kelley Memorial Award. The award recognizes distinguished service at the municipal government and community level, and will be presented at MMA’s Annual Convention, on Oct. 3.
05/29/2018 - MMA Fiscal Survey Due Aug. 30
The 2017 Fiscal Survey request mailed on April 30 to key municipal officials asks for important financial information about Maine’s communities. The data request is for municipal fiscal year 2016, which, depending on your municipal budget process, could be the fiscal year ending December 2016 or June 2017 for mid-year cycles. The information gathered in this survey is beneficial for federal, state and local government officials, as it is used to generate reports such as the U.S. Census Bureau’s State and Local Government Finance Report and MMA’s Fiscal Survey Report.