- Maine legislators are considering how to alter energy efficiency legislation enacted two years ago which accidentally opened the door for lower levels of funding approved by the state's utility regulators.
- A missing word —"and" — combined with a literal reading of the law, led the Public Utilities Commission in March to cap efficiency funding at $22 million, as opposed to the $60 million legislators intended.
- The Portland Press Herald reports that lawmakers are now debating how to fix the law, with Republicans wanting to attach provisions which would expand the power of Gov. Paul LePage (R).
Are three letters really worth $38 million?
Portland Press Herald reports on Maine's battle to fix energy legislation passed in 2013 which inadvertently left out the word "and," leading state regulators to cap efficiency spending well short of the intended target.
While Democrats in the state want to simply re-insert the word, Rep. Kenneth Fredette, the Republican House Minority Leader, has introduced a measure which would also expand the governor's powers.
The proposal would elevate the commissioner of energy position to a cabinet-level appointment.
“I think it’s important for me to put forward a piece of legislation that I actually think can get enacted," Fredette told the Press Herald. "That means it has to get through a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and then to have a bill that the governor can sign off on."
Democrats oppose the bill, which they see as tying an expansion of gubernatorial power to what should be as simple as fixing a typo.