I was very pleased to learn of Rep. Seth Berry’s upcoming bill, L.D. 1373, An Act To Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine. At a Waldo County candidates’ forum in Belfast’s Hutchinson Center last fall, many of the candidates voiced their support for solar power, including Rep. Stanley Zeigler, Rep. Erin Herbig and Rep. Maryanne Kinney.

When a similar bill, L.D. 1649, was passed last year, it was squelched with a veto by Gov. Paul LePage. Rep. James Gillway and Sen. Michael Thibodeau were among the supporters of this bill. During two attempts in the Maine House to override the veto, it failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority on the second round by three votes. Reportedly, a number of opposing Republican representatives left to wait out the vote in an office. One of those who was absent for the second vote was Rep. Maryanne Kinney, although she had voted to override the veto the first time around.

Having voiced her support for solar power in Maine on both her Facebook page and at the candidate’s forum, she took issue with subsequent criticism that she had intentionally ducked out during the final vote. As she explained on Facebook, she had received a text from her mother to “CALL HOME IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!” She then said, “Yes, six exclamation marks. What would you do?”

With the introduction of L.D. 1373, she will have another chance to show her constituents that she truly does support solar power for Maine. This bill is a chance to create jobs, lower energy costs and catch up with other states in our region. I am proud of our Waldo County elected officials and hope the rest of the state will follow suit.

Bernice Nadler


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