September 27, 2019

New laws championed by Sen. Diamond take effect

AUGUSTA — A number of new laws sponsored and supported by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, took effect on Sept. 19. Maine people will begin to benefit from new laws that keep our roads safer, support veterans and help farmers.

“I’m proud of the work we were able to accomplish this year,” said Sen. Diamond. “There’s always more to be done, but we have made great progress toward a safer, more prosperous Maine.”

An overview of laws sponsored and supported by Sen. Diamond is available below:

Sen. Diamond, who serves as chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, introduced several new laws to make Maine roads safer for everyone:

Hands-free electronic devices: A new law from Sen. Diamond prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving, ensuring that drivers’ attention stays on the road. The new law allows for devices to be used in hands-free mode, while attached to the dash of the car, or to call emergency services.

“Move Over” law strengthened: Another new law from Sen. Diamond strengthens the “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to slow down and move over when passing a police, emergency or public service vehicle that is pulled over with its lights on.

Mainers Feeding Mainers: This new law from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, renews the Mainers Feeding Mainers program, which funds a partnership between local farms and food banks to reduce food insecurity.

Local food for schools: This new law from Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, will encourage public schools in Maine to buy and serve more local produce. It’s good for farmers and the economy, providing markets for Maine growers and producers, reducing transportation costs and keeping more Maine food dollars in our own communities. It is also good for kids: It exposes them to a variety of new, fresh, healthy, nutritious food; connects them to local farmers and expands their understanding of where food comes from before it hits their plate.

Providing new opportunities to honor vets: A new law from Senate President Jackson allows Maine people to donate moose-hunting permits to servicemen and women.

Creating veteran-friendly workplaces: Another new law allows veterans to take time off from work to attend medical appointments.

Working to reduce veteran homelessness: Lawmakers passed funding for organizations working in our communities to give veterans the tools they need to get back on their feet.

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