Friday, January 26, 2024

Tim Nangle: Back to the State House, focused on community

By State Senator Tim Nangle

The Maine State Legislature reconvened for the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature on Jan. 3. Being back in the State House is a reminder of our collective responsibility and privilege to serve the people of our great state. The opening of the session — particularly solemn this year as we honored the victims of the Lewiston mass shootings — was a stark reminder of the weight of the decisions we make in Augusta.

State Sen. Tim Nangle
We are tackling a wide array of critical issues this year, from expanding affordable housing and childcare to strengthening support for our working families. We're also focused on implementing pragmatic safety measures to prevent future tragedies. Rest assured, I will keep you informed of our progress and how these initiatives will impact our communities.

As the Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government, I am especially devoted to preserving the autonomy of our local governments and protecting the rich environmental resources of Maine.

In that spirit, I’ve sponsored a bill this session that will be critical to providing local towns the resources they need to fight against shoreland zoning violations. This bill was born out of the ongoing struggle the town of Raymond is facing, but the legislation would be a positive enforcement tool for every municipality in the state. LD 2101, "An Act to Strengthen Shoreland Zoning Enforcement," aims to address a critical gap in cities and towns’ ability to enforce shoreland zoning laws effectively and, ultimately, protect our natural resources.

The bill does two key things. First, it would allow for the restriction of permits to property owners who violate shoreland zoning ordinances. This measure is essential because, under current law, even with ongoing violations, municipalities are required to issue permits, limiting their ability to ensure compliance with state and locally established regulations.

Additionally, the bill permits the placement of a lien on properties to recover costs related to violations. This change is crucial in giving municipalities the financial support they need to enforce the laws that protect our shorelands.

Most shoreland zone violations are accidents, and towns work with the property owners to correct any mistakes. However, some of these incidents can lead to costly legal battles for towns, burdening local taxpayers and putting vital resources at risk. Maine's shorelands are not only aesthetically valuable but also vital to our ecosystem and community health. Your awareness and input are invaluable as this bill moves through the legislative process. I will be sure to update you once the public hearing for this bill is scheduled.

Staying actively involved in the legislative process is crucial. You can access comprehensive information about our schedules, public hearings, and ways to participate on the Legislature's website. For weekly updates on the Legislature's activities, including House and Senate sessions, committee briefings, public hearings, work sessions, and special events at the State House’s Hall of Flags, visit the Legislature’s calendar at

To delve deeper into a particular committee, navigate to Once there, select a committee from the drop-down menu to view its public hearings, work sessions, and weekly schedules. You can also subscribe to updates by clicking “Mailing List” on the top right of the committee page.

Your participation in public hearings is invaluable. If you're considering testifying on a bill, get in touch with me and I can help guide you through the process. Public input is essential in shaping legislation to accurately reflect the views and needs of our community. Remember, the State House, including the Senate Chamber, is open to all. For State House Tour reservations, please visit

For young individuals interested in experiencing the legislative process up close, the Maine Senate’s Honorary Page Program is a fantastic opportunity. Pages help distribute amendments and deliver messages between Senators in the Senate Chamber. To learn more or apply, reach out to the Senate Secretary’s Office or email With the start of the New Year, I am energized and ready to face the challenges ahead. I am here to listen, to serve, and to act on your behalf. Your input is invaluable. Reach out to me at or call 207-287-1515. For the latest updates, follow me on Facebook at, and sign up for my e-newsletter at <

No comments:

Post a Comment