‘Sec. 1. 7 MRSA §306-A, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 72, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 2. 7 MRSA §306-A, sub-§3, as amended by PL 2013, c. 64, §1, is further amended to read:
(1) The person to whom the information belongs or pertains has requested that certain information be designated as confidential; and
(2) The commissioner has determined that the information gives the person making the request opportunity to obtain business or competitive advantage over another person who does not have access to the information or will result in loss of business or other significant detriment to the person making the request if access is provided to others; and
Sec. 3. 7 MRSA c. 10-C is enacted to read:
LOCAL FOOD HUB PROGRAM
§ 320-A. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 320-B. Local food hub program; grants and loans
The commissioner shall issue grants under section 306-A for the purpose of conducting market feasibility studies and developing business plans for local food hubs in this State to connect and enhance relationships between fresh food producers in the State and aggregated and institutional markets, including school food service programs. The commissioner shall issue low-interest loans under subsection 2 and section 435 for the development and operation of local food hubs in this State based on how well the local food hubs' business plans, as reflected in competitive applications, serve to connect and enhance relationships between fresh food producers in the State and aggregated and institutional markets, including school food service programs.
The intent of a market feasibility study and business planning process supported by grant funds must be to serve local farms. A business plan must be crafted to maximize the benefits to farms that supply the local food hub and to minimize, if not remove, any negative effects of a new local food hub on existing farm operations. The commissioner may not award a grant under this subsection to an applicant unless matching funds from the applicant are available in an amount that is no less than 50% of the grant amount.
The commissioner shall, where applicable, consult with the Department of Marine Resources and the Department of Education regarding the awarding of grants and loans under this section.
Sec. 4. 7 MRSA §434, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2001, c. 152, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 7 MRSA §435, sub-§2, ¶A, as amended by PL 2003, c. 168, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 6. 7 MRSA §435, sub-§2, ¶B, as amended by PL 2003, c. 168, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 7. 7 MRSA §435, sub-§2, ¶J is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 10 MRSA §1023-J, first ¶, as amended by PL 2011, c. 380, Pt. OOO, §1 and c. 657, Pt. W, §6, is further amended to read:
The Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, referred to in this section as the "fund," is created. The fund must be deposited with and maintained by the Finance Authority of Maine. The fund must be administered by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in accordance with Title 7, chapter 101, subchapter 1-D. All money received by the Finance Authority of Maine from any source for the development and implementation of an improved agricultural marketing loan program must be credited to the fund. Any money credited to the fund from the issuance of bonds on behalf of the State for financing loans for agricultural enterprises may be used only for the following purposes: to provide assistance to agricultural enterprises in this State for the design, construction or improvement of commodity and storage buildings and packing and marketing facilities; for the purchase, construction or renovation of buildings, equipment, docks, wharves, piers or vessels used in connection with a commercial agricultural enterprise; for the purchase of land in connection with development of new cranberry acreage; for the purchase of land for irrigation reservoirs or to provide direct access to water for irrigation; for the purchase of land necessary for the start-up of a new agricultural enterprise; for the expansion of an existing agricultural enterprise when the land acquisition is necessary to comply with land use regulations; for the development of a business plan in accordance with the provisions of Title 7, section 436-A establishing local food hubs pursuant to Title 7, chapter 10-C; for improvements to pastureland, including seeding and actions to promote rotational grazing; or, if the commissioner so approves at the time of loan insurance commitment, to pledge money in the fund as security for, and to apply money in the fund to, payment of principal, interest and other amounts due on any term loans insured by the Finance Authority of Maine to an eligible dairy farmer. Repayment of these loans and interest on these loans must be credited to the fund and may be used for the purposes stated in this section or Title 7, section 436. Interest earned on money in the fund and interest earned on loans made from the fund may be used to pay the administrative costs of processing loan applications and servicing and administering the fund and loans and grants made from the fund since the inception of the agricultural marketing loan program, to the extent that these costs exceed the fee for administrative costs established by Title 7, section 435, subsection 4.
Sec. 9. 20-A MRSA §6602, sub-§12, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 447, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 10. 20-A MRSA §6602, sub-§§13 to 15 are enacted to read:
The Maine Food Hub Advisory Committee, established under Title 7, section 320-B, subsection 3, shall advise the department on the design and evaluation of the program under this subsection.
Sec. 11. Advisory committee; pilot program. The Maine Food Hub Advisory Committee established in accordance with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 320-B, subsection 3 must include to the extent possible, but is not limited to, representatives of the member entities of the farm-to-school work group established by Resolve 2009, chapter 106. The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may establish a local food hub pilot program if insufficient funding is available from the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund under Title 10, section 1023-J for the local food hub program under Title 7, chapter 10-C. The Maine Food Hub Advisory Committee shall prepare and submit an evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the pilot program to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Department of Education and the Department of Marine Resources within 90 days following the completion of the pilot program.
Sec. 12. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION AND FORESTRY, DEPARTMENT OF
Division of Agricultural Resource Development 0833
Initiative: Provides an allocation in fiscal year 2014-15 for rule-making costs related to local foods grants. These costs will later be reimbursed by the Finance Authority of Maine.
|OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS||2013-14||2014-15|
|OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS TOTAL||$0||$3,893|
|AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION AND FORESTRY, DEPARTMENT OF|
OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS
|DEPARTMENT TOTAL - ALL FUNDS||$0||$3,893|
EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF
Local Foods Training Fund N171
Initiative: Provides one-time funds to support competitive training grants for regional training programs for local food service program providers to encourage and expand the use of local foods in school food service programs.
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$0||$30,000|
Local Produce Fund N148
Initiative: Provides ongoing funds to increase the cap on the amount that the State matches for the acquisition of local foods by a school administrative district if the district sends a food service employee for training in the acquisition and use of local foods.
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$0||$120,000|
|EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF|
|DEPARTMENT TOTAL - ALL FUNDS||$0||$150,000|
OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS
|SECTION TOTAL - ALL FUNDS||$0||$153,893|