George Smith's blog

Turtle Escapes From Car Wreck

Blog Showcase Image: 

As I head to the legislature this morning for the final Senate vote on DIF&W’s Constitutional amendment, this newspaper story made my day, from the Associated Press.

 “A woman was driving on a rural road in Levant is OK with only minor injuries after rolling her car over when she swerved to avoid a turtle.

 “State Police told the Bangor Daily News that Ashley Savoy, 21, of Levant saw the turtle on Horseback Road early Sunday morning. Police say she swerved, lost control of her car and rolled over.

 “Savoy got a scrape on her hand and did not require a trip to the hospital. The vehicle’s back window was smashed.

 “The turtle got away.”

 Good to know. Must have been a fast turtle.

Paul Doiron's New Novel Compelling and Real

Blog Showcase Image: 

Some of my favorite mystery authors started out with a good book, then got better as they went along. Maine’s Gerry Boyle did that. I liked his initial books but his last two are terrific.

Paul Doiron wrote a great first novel, superb really. Not only did he start right out of the novelist’s box with an unusual three-book contract, but his first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, heady territory for any mystery writer.

I enjoyed Paul’s first novel and wrote a favorable review. But his second book, Trespasser (Minotaur Books, 2011), is much better. It was a “kept-me-up-late” mystery, compelling, suspenseful, and very true-to-life.

Intense Lobbying Wins DIF&W Constitutional Amendment

Blog Showcase Image: 

After an intense up-to-the-very-last-minute lobbying effort, the Maine House and Senate provided the necessary 2/3 vote in favor of a Constitutional amendment that would give the Departments of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Marine Resources 1.2 percent of sales tax revenue. DMR would get 10 percent of that money and DIF&W the rest.

The amendment now goes to the referendum ballot in the fall, for a decision by the people of Maine.

When I managed the 1992 campaign that placed Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the Constitution and protected its revenue, I never imagined that this important agency would receive no public funding for the next 30 years. That campaign was launched to prevent the governor and legislature from using DIF&W revenue for other state programs.

DIF&W Constitutional Amendment Wins!

Blog Showcase Image: 

The Maine House of Representatives finally gave our Constitutional amendment to give DIF&W 1.2 percent of the sales tax revenue a victory today, but it didn’t come easy. Early this afternoon we fell 5 votes short of the two-thirds we needed.

But the House Republican leadership came through to keep the bill alive, table it, and give us more time to round up votes. We worked on that for a couple of hours, they pushed it hard in the Republican caucus, and at the end of the afternoon, when we were pretty sure we had the votes, they interrupted work on the budget to cast a roll call vote on the amendment

The vote was 99 in favor and 47 opposed, giving us the two-thirds we needed. What a great victory!

 The amendment got the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate last week.

DIF&W Constitutional Amendment Awaits House Vote

Blog Showcase Image: 

Our work over the last five months on a Constitutional amendment that would give the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife a small percentage of sales tax revenue will come to and end either today or tomorrow.

We’ve never been this close, and the wait is excruciating. I’ve been at the legislature every day, lobbying for this along with a coalition of groups and our leader, Senator David Trahan, the sponsor of the bill.

The last few weeks, the effort to win the required two-thirds vote in the House and Senate has been intense. I plan to write the entire story soon.

But here’s where we are at this moment, 4 pm, Monday afternoon. In the last Senate vote on the Constitutional amendment we increased our support to 28 yes votes, four more than we needed. We’re looking really good there.

ATV Bill Enacted Without Governor's Signature

Blog Showcase Image: 

A controversial bill that allows game wardens to stop and question ATV riders without suspecting them of violating a law has been enacted without the Governor’s signature.

Tom Doak over at the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine must be doing a jig around his office today. Mission accomplished. This bill has been a top priority for SWOAM for three years.

Last year game wardens sited only 56 ATV riders for operating on private land without permission. That could change now that wardens have the authority they sought to stop ATV riders anywhere anytime without suspecting they are violating any laws.

DIF&W Constitutional amendment Hits Roadblock

Blog Showcase Image: 

Six votes. That’s how close we were in the House today to enacting the Constitutional amendment that would give the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife a small percentage of the sales tax.

This is the most important piece of legislation for DIF&W in decades. You can read my newspaper editorial column about it here.

To get on the ballot, a Constitutional amendment must garner a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. We did that last week in the Senate, getting exactly the 24 votes needed.

But today, House members cast 92 votes in favor, and 54 votes against. Ninety eight yes votes were needed. If the entire House is present, 101 votes are necessary.

Site by Fieldstone Media