From a press release sent out by the Maine Fair Trade Campaign:
"The Maine legislature has given its approval to a bill that requires cities and towns to evaluate the impact of large-scale retail development on jobs, local businesses, and municipal finances, and to approve only those projects that will not adversely affect the local economy. The legislation is the first of its kind in the nation.
Late Friday afternoon, the Maine Senate passed the Informed Growth Act, LD 1810, 19-16. This follows earlier passage of the bill in the House 82–49. The legislation will go for final enactment votes in each body later today and then onto the Governor's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law."
This must be great news for local author Stacy Mitchell, who sat down last November with former Phoenix staff writer Sara Donnelly to talk about her book, Big Box Swindle.
In that book, she writes: “There is nothing inevitable about the decline of locally owned businesses. Public policy and our own, often shortsighted, shopping choices have undermined their survival and propelled the proliferation of mega-retailers. But trends are not destiny. The future is open.”
Looks like Maine's taking control of its future.
Check out this week's Phoenix (hits the streets Wednesday) to read about other first-in-the-nation moves by our state legislature.