Good afternoon, Senator Collins, Representative McLean, and members of the Transportation Committee. My name is Eliza Donoghue and I am the North Woods Policy Advocate and Outreach Coordinator for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. I am speaking today on behalf of NRCM’s 16,000 members and supporters in support of L.D. 506.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine was deeply involved in the adoption of the Sensible Transportation Act in 1990 and we believe it has served our state well. This law ensures that investments in our transportation infrastructure are well thought out, have been developed in an open and transparent manner, and have had the benefit of public involvement in their planning.
L.D. 506 would ensure that transportation decisions made under the Public-Private Partnership Act also benefit from the provisions of the Sensible Transportation Policy Act and are made in an open and transparent way.
L.D. 506 would also ensure that transportation projects created under the Public-Private Partnership Act are initiated by the Maine Department of Transportation, and are therefore consistent with state findings regarding public need, state planning, and existing laws. State taxpayer money should not be spent on DOT staff working on unsolicited proposals that are not grounded in State planning.
While the need for this bill became apparent as a result of the proposed East-West Highway project, the changes proposed in this law is good policy that should and would apply to other, yet unknown projects.
We urge you to Vote Ought To Pass on L.D. 506.