Brooklin News

Three new public officers were sworn in. The people voted to have a Hancock County Sheriff patrol the town and passed a land use ordinance that will restrict the construction of cell towers and wind turbines.

via The town of Brooklin gets a new start | wcsh6.com.

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Smoking Ban Goes Statewide

“Maine smokers lost one of their last public refuges today when Gov. John Baldacci signed into law a bill prohibiting smoking in outdoor eating areas. The bill is modeled after last year’s Portland ordinance that bans smoking on cafe patios, decks and other outdoor dining areas.”

via MPBN.

Tax Reform Bill Signed

“Gov. John Baldacci has signed a measure that will make big changes to the state’s tax code. The bill, reworked at the Governor’s insistence, will lower the top income tax rate, and expand the state’s five percent sales tax to make up the difference.  …Under Baldacci’s revision, the top income tax rate would drop to 6.85 percent for those who make more than $250,000 a year, and 6.5 percent for everyone else. The Governor’s version would also eliminate sales taxes proposed for some outdoor recreational activities and keep the real estate transfer tax at the current rate.”

via MPBN.

State passes emergency bill for truckers

PressHerald:

An emergency bill to help truckers in Maine’s forest products industry was signed today by Gov. John Baldacci, just hours after it was passed by the House and Senate.

The bill temporarily allows truckers hauling forest products to increase the weight of their loads by 5 percent. It is effective immediately and will expire April 1.

“We know that our forest product industry and Maine’s truckers are being hurt by record high diesel prices,” Baldacci said. “They are struggling right now, and they need help. With the quick action on this legislation, they’ll get some relief right now.”