An Act To Reestablish the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources and the Department of Conservation
CONCEPT DRAFT SUMMARY
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.
This emergency bill proposes to reestablish the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources and the Department of Conservation, or "the departments," which were merged into the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry pursuant to Public Law 2011, chapter 657. In addition to reestablishing the departments as separate entities with separate commissioners, this bill would:
1. Reestablish the original missions of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources and the Department of Conservation;
2. Reestablish critical administrative and program positions in the departments, including positions charged with responsibilities associated with economic development;
3. Address deficiencies in the departments in staffing and funding;
4. Address stagnation in the departments in program development and planning;
5. Allow the reestablished Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources the ability to devote resources to aid farmers and to devise solutions to present-day challenges facing agricultural industries in the State;
6. Establish new goals for promoting and protecting Maine's natural beauty and the unique character of its land, waterways, wildlife habitats and wilderness resources;
7. Establish new goals for improving the agricultural economy in Maine, maintaining and strengthening rural life and values and enhancing the preservation of the rural skills, food supply, health and nutrition of the people of the State; and
8. Demonstrate Maine's commitment to its goal of becoming the "bread basket" for New England.