On March 1, Brad Moulton, R-York, and other members of the Judiciary Committee will determine the fate of LD 1810, the “Takings Bill.”
This bill would compensate landowners, developers and corporations for environmental and other regulations that they claim would adversely affect their ability to use their land in ways that violate these regulations. LD 1810 would affect claims involving new regulations going forward. And since there is no funding to compensate these claimants, those who are successful in court could receive a waiver to allow them to ignore environmental protections.
Who would stand to benefit from this legislation? At last Tuesday’s hearing, LD 1810 was called a “full employment” bill for lawyers. It would also benefit developers and those who want to exploit Maine’s natural resources.
And who wrote the bill? It was none other than Attorney Catherine Connors of Pierce Atwood (who specializes in regulatory “takings”).
We all remember her Pierce Atwood colleague who “helped write” the water extraction ordinance that, had it passed, would have brought Nestlé’s large-scale water extraction and 24/7 tanker trucks into our community.
Pierce Atwood’s Catherine Connors drafted the bill, led the study commission and testified as an expert on its behalf (without revealing which of her clients were paying for her time). Her clients include Nestle Waters North America, Casella Waste Systems, Horizon Wind Energy, and the Maine Real Estate and Development Association.
Excuse me, but when did we start ignoring blatant conflicts of interest? How is it that a Pierce Atwood attorney is allowed to write legislation that will benefit her clients and will line the pockets of her law firm? I forgot to mention that there is a clause in LD 1810 that would reimburse attorneys’ fees.
Do we do the bidding of a Pierce Atwood takings attorney and close the door on all future environmental protection? Or do we kill this bill in committee?
Please urge Brad Moulton and other members of the Judiciary Committee to vote “ought not to pass” on LD 1810.
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