AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee heard testimony Wednesday on two competing bills that would restore funding to Efficiency Maine.
The word “and” was left out of the 2013 law in a drafting error. That error allowed regulators to slash $38 million dollars for energy efficiency programs.
A bill put forward by the assistant Democratic leader in the House, Sara Gideon, would restore the word “and” to the omnibus energy law.
A competing bill put forward by Republican House Leader Ken Fredette would fix the error and also change the governor’s energy office into a cabinet-level state department and allow the governor to appoint a director of Efficiency Maine.
“We need nothing more that this simple bill and the insertion of that three letter word to fix this problem,” said Gideon
“The work before you today should be within the context of routine cleanup and technical changes to a very large complex piece of legislation and, yes, enhancement of the energy bill, it should not be fodder for political interests that would seek to exploit political gains from criticizing other branches of government or the PUC itself,” said Fredette.
Fredette said his bill is designed to win support of the Governor and Republicans while Gideon’s bill is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.