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Preview: News from Senator Lynn Bromley-District 7

News from Senator Lynn Bromley-District 7

News from Senator Lynn Bromley

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Senator Bromley to Host Energy Conservation Workshop in South Portland

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 15:14:24 EDT

South Portland, Maine-The public is invited to an Energy Conservation Workshop at the South Portland Community Center on Wednesday, September 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

The workshop is hosted by State Senator Lynn Bromley (D-Cumberland County), and it will feature a panel including representatives from Maine State Housing Authority, Efficiency Maine, the South Portland Fire Department, PROP, banks and oil dealers. They will talk about a variety of resources and tips area residents may be able to take advantage of to lower their heating costs.

"With the high cost of heat this winter it is important that we make the most of the resources available," Senator Bromley said. "We will need to do all we can for ourselves and each other this winter."

What: Energy Conservation Workshop

When: Wednesday, September 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

Where: The Senior Wing at the South Portland Community Center, 21 Nelson Rd., South Portland, ME

Who: State Senator Lynn Bromley and a panel on Energy Conservation

Governor to Sign Drunk Driving Deterrence Measure

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:48:41 EDT

Ignition Interlock Device prevents repeat OUI offenders from driving if alcohol is detected on breath

AUGUSTA-Governor John Baldacci will ceremonially sign LD 856 "An Act to Reduce Drunk Driving" into law Thursday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Governor's office.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County, will require repeat OUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into their automobile. A vehicle equipped with the device will be on display in the short term parking area (where media park) just outside the main entrance of the State House from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

"This important tool has been shown to successfully reduce repeat drunk driving offenses in other states, and we hope to repeat those results here," said Senator Bromley. "It is time we took advantage of the improvements in technology to keep drunk drivers off the road, yet allow offenders to return to jobs or school as soon as possible."

The analyzer monitors the concentration of alcohol in the breath of any person who attempts to start the motor vehicle by using the ignition system. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the person provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol that is below a preset level.

For more information, contact Senator Bromley's office at 287-1515.

Maine Legislature Passes Uniform Building and Energy Code

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 20:06:34 EDT

Legislation will improve business climate, help rehabilitate our downtowns and historic buildings, and provide consumers with the assurance that homes and businesses in Maine are well built and energy efficient.

AUGUSTA-The Maine State Legislature Friday enacted the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, which represents a huge step forward not only for consumers but for the building and development community in Maine.

For decades the patchwork of local codes differing from town to town have presented a complex and confusing process for builders and others. As a result of this legislation Maine will join 40 other states that have adopted uniform building and energy codes. It also creates a technical code board whose job it is to harmonize the entire array of codes including building and energy codes. To help municipalities comply with the uniform rules, all code enforcement personnel at the local level will be provided free training by the State.

LD 2257 has been carefully crafted to make code implementation work for small towns that may not as yet have adopted one. The 367 municipalities with less than 2,000 residents are exempted from any enforcement activity. Larger communities who may not have a code enforcement official may join with other communities, contract out the inspections or allow third party licensed inspections to be obtained by the builders or owners.

Senator Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County, who has worked on developing uniform building codes her entire career in the legislature pointed out that the new building codes will be applied to new construction and significant renovation projects. "Existing structures are not affected." She added that Maine has some of the oldest housing stock in the country and that the law would provide special flexibility for rehabilitating historic homes and downtown districts to preserve their historic character. "Adopting a uniform rehab code allows us to relax some of the standards that for the first time to make it possible to preserve some of our beautiful old buildings."

Senator Bromley concluded, "This legislation will improve Maine's business climate, help rehab our downtowns and historic buildings, and provide Maine people with the assurance that their homes and businesses are well built and energy efficient."

Senator Phil Bartlett, D-Cumberland County who submitted an energy efficient building code that was ultimately included with the uniform building code said, "Although Maine has a voluntary model building energy code in place, very few municipalities have adopted it. As a result, too few Maine people building new homes have benefited from codes that provide long-term savings in energy efficiency." The Maine Public Utilities Commission recently found that out of the thousands of homes built each year in Maine, only about 15 percent of them since 2005 would meet even the most basic energy efficiency standards. "This legislation will ultimately lower energy costs for people building new homes and making other substantial changes at a time when energy costs seem uncontrollable," added Senator Bartlett.

Prior to passage of this bill, Maine was the only Northeastern state, and one of only 10 nationally that did not have a statewide energy efficiency standard for new homes.

The Uniform Building and Energy Code is supported by a broad coalition of groups, including the Associated General Contractors of Maine, the Retail Lumber Dealers of Maine, and the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Maine and several environmental groups including GrowSmart and the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Senator Bromley Addresses Conference on Prescription Drugs

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 17:37:07 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Lynn Bromley (D-Cumberland County) recently spoke at a conference in Portland on the problems caused by unused prescription medicine.

The Fourth Annual Unused Drug Return Conference was held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay on October 31 and November 1, and had participants from across the country. Senator Bromley was the sponsor of the bill that makes Maine the first state in the nation to help consumers properly recycle unused medications.

"I am proud to have sponsored this bill," Senator Bromley said. "We are the leaders on this issue and we are the model that other states are looking to when dealing with the dangers of unused medications. We are keeping them out of the waste-stream and the medicine cabinet, and off the streets. This is a problem that can't be solved by the government or medical community alone. This conference brought all parties together to develop solutions to this serious issue."

Senator Bromley lives in South Portland, and is in her fourth term in the Senate.

Senator Bromley Applauds PUC Decision to Investigate Gas Company

Wed, 10 Oct 2007 10:47:22 EDT

AUGUSTA-Senator Lynn Bromley (D-Cumberland County) today said she is concerned about the recent problems experienced in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth with natural gas, and is pleased the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is working to discover the root causes of these accidents.

Senator Bromley said she asked the PUC to determine if there was anything seriously amiss with South Portland's gas system. Her inquiry was in response to the recent explosion, which leveled a house in South Portland, and a serious gas leak that led to the evacuation of a portion of Cape Elizabeth over the weekend,

"I applaud the PUC's action on this. The people in my neighborhood are, quite rightly, very worried," said Senator Bromley, who was herself evacuated Monday.

"The accident as serious as the one last week should warrant serious concerns, but two within as many weeks are enough to make one wonder about things like the management of Northern Utilities and the safety of the system's infrastructure. I spoke to PUC Chair Kurt Adams this morning and he agreed that we need to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong and that these remain isolated incidents," added Senator Bromley.

The PUC today ordered an investigation into the safety practices of Northern Utilities, as well as the way it manages operations and maintenance, and has also proposed fines for last week's house explosion.

Senator Bromley lives in South Portland, and is in her fourth term in the Senate. For more information, please call the Senate Majority Office at 287-1515.

Committee Sees First-Hand Demonstration of Ignition Interlock Device Used to Deter Drunk Driving

Wed, 25 Apr 2007 16:28:38 EDT

Augusta-The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, Wednesday, saw a demonstration of how a Ignition Interlock Device (IID) might work if the legislature approves a bill sponsored by Senator Lynn Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County.

Jack Dalton with National Interlock Service brought an IID to the committee and demonstrated how the device would work on Paul Gaspar, a law enforcement official with the Maine Association of Police who volunteered to test the device. Prior to the committee meeting, Gaspar consumed three alcoholic drinks under close supervision. When Gaspar blew into the IID before the committee, the device indicated that the user had a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher. If the device had been deployed in a real world scenario, then the IID would have prevented Gaspar's car from starting. Additionally, the device has the ability to record failure rates, which could be sent back to law enforcement officials.

While members of the Committee, Senator Bromley, and law enforcement officials continue to confer on what the final bill might look like, the basic goal of the bill would require certain OUI offenders to install an IID into their automobile. The duration of time the ignition interlock device would be required would depend on the number of OUIs.

The analyzer monitors the concentration of alcohol on the breath of any person who attempts to start the motor vehicle by using the ignition system. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the person provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol that is below a preset level.

The Criminal Justice Committee said it would meet again to determine how to move forward with the bill, LD 856, An Act To Reduce Drunk Driving.

More info about the bill available online at:

Committee to Consider Ignition Interlock Device as Drunk Driving Deterrence Measure

Tue, 24 Apr 2007 16:20:33 EDT

Augusta-The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, Wednesday, will continue its work on an amended version of a bill sponsored by Senator Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County, that could require OUI offenders to install an "ignition interlock device" into their automobile.

The duration of time the ignition interlock device would be required would depend on the number of OUIs.

The analyzer monitors the concentration of alcohol in the breath of any person who attempts to start the motor vehicle by using the ignition system. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the person provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol that is below a preset level.

Who: Criminal Justice Committee

What: Work Session: LD 856, An Act To Reduce Drunk Driving

When: Wednesday, April 25th @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee

More info about the bill available online at:

Listen to the hearing online at:

Senator Bromley Presents Bill to Deter Repeat Drunk Drivers

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:48:42 EDT

Augusta-State Senator Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County, Tuesday, presented a bill to the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which would require repeat OUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into their automobile if they would like their license re-instated. The duration of time the ignition interlock device would be required would depend on the number of OUIs the offender has on record.

The analyzer monitors the concentration of alcohol in the breath of any person who attempts to start the motor vehicle by using the ignition system. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the person provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol that is below a preset level.

Commenting on the bill, Senator Bromley said, "Alcohol was a factor in 35% of all fatal auto accidents in Maine in 2005, and these accidents claimed a total of 59 lives." Senator Bromley continued, "In that same year, there were 16,885 alcohol related traffic deaths nationally. These numbers are far too high. We need to do more, and the ignition interlock device is worth it if we can save a few lives."

Forty-one states have some sort of an IID program for those convicted of drunk driving. According to Senator Bromley, some of these programs have been on the books but not implemented, some are too new to evaluate, but a handful of states (Texas, Delaware, California Maryland, Arizona and others) have published detailed evaluations of various approaches to the use of IIDs. New Mexico's program reports significant positive outcome and can be held up as an example. They report a reduction in alcohol related crashes by 20% and alcohol related deaths by 12% since the implementation of their IID programs.

A work session on L.D. 856, An Act To Reduce Drunk Driving, has not been scheduled yet. Jack Dalton of National Interlock Systems will be present at the work session to respond to the some of the technical questions posed by the Criminal Justice Committee. Additional information on the bill can be found online at :

Senators Bartlett and Bromley to Host Forum on School District Consolidation Plans

Fri, 02 Feb 2007 16:09:57 EST

AUGUSTA-Senators Philip Bartlett (D-Cumberland County) and Lynn Bromley (D-Cumberland County) will be hosting an informational forum for the residents of Scarborough to discuss the various proposals for school consolidation. The forum will take place February 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the Technology Room at Scarborough High School. The public is encouraged to attend.

The Maine Legislature is in the process of considering several different school district consolidation plans designed to reduce administrative costs. Governor Baldacci, the Maine Children's Alliance, the Maine Municipal Association, and the State Board of Education are among those who have submitted plans.

"This is one of the most important issues we face this year," Senator Bartlett said. ‘It will impact all of our children and all of Maine's taxpayers, and we can't afford to make a mistake. I want to hear from as many people as possible and get their thoughts before voting."

"I'm looking forward to a discussion of the different ways we could improve Maine's education system," Senator Bromley stated. "There are many adjustments we could make in order to provide quality education for our children at lower costs. But any changes that we implement make must be based on input from the community, not merely imposed from above. I am looking forward to hearing what the people think should be done."

For more information, call the Senate Majority Office at 287-1515.

Senators Urge Favorable Ruling for Cabela's Retail Project

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:46:59 EST

AUGUSTA- Senators Phil Bartlett, D-Cumberland County, and Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County, are urging the Maine Revenue Services to support the request by Cabela's Retail, Inc. for a ruling that it's presence in Maine would not trigger an obligation on the part of separate companies, Cabela's Catalog, Inc. and, Inc. to collect sales tax from Maine customers.

"Maine is not currently collecting tax from these sales," said Bartlett. "Joining with many other states in interpreting federal law to maintain the status quo would allow Cabela's Retail, Inc. to bring hundreds of jobs to Maine and generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue."

Responding to criticism that Cabela's Retail, Inc. is seeking special treatment, Senator Bromley said, "Call it smart or call it clever, Cabela's has structured their business model to address the issue of sales tax collection. This ruling from the Maine Revenue Services would not be specific to Cabela's Retail, Inc., but would apply to any company that chose to structure its business in the same way.

Bartlett added, "We routinely provide tax exemptions and provide other incentives to bring businesses to Maine, so a reluctance to give up zero dollars to attract good paying jobs with outstanding benefits is hard for me to understand."

Bromley concluded, "Nineteen other states have ruled favorably and are in agreement with Cabela's position. I really don't want Maine hanging out there as the only New England State to say 'No'."

Senator Bromley Looks Forward to First Meeting of Committee on Research, Economic Development & the Innovative Economy

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:46:19 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Lynn Bromley of South Portland (D- Cumberland County) today announced that she is looking forward to the first meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Research, Economic Development & the Innovative Economy. The Committee will be meeting next Thursday, September 14th at 8:30 a.m. in room 209 of the Cross Building in Augusta. Senator Bromley was appointed to the committee by Senator President Beth Edmonds earlier this summer.

"Maine's research and development agenda has been in place for ten years and we've made great progress. This committee will be working on a new agenda, building on our successes and making Maine a significant player in the economy for the next ten years," commented Senator Bromley.

The committee will review Maine's list of targeted industries, evaluate our current efforts, and make recommendations for future action. It will also review the State's science and technology plan. Additional committee work will examine the role of education, government and the private sector in Maine's research and development strategy (R&D). It will also assess the extent of funding from potential bond issues and the state budget.

"Maine companies who have benefited from this R&D work will be a part of building the new agenda for the next ten years. It works and they are going to tell us how and why," said Senator Bromley regarding the line-up for the meeting. Panelists will include Professor George Jacobsen of the University of Maine, Peggy Schaffer (Policy/Program Coordinator for the Office of Innovation at DECD), Betsy Biemann (President, Maine Technology Institute), Chris Frank of Intelligent Spatial Technologies, William Harris of MariCal and Peter Cowan of SeaBait, LLC. Maine's R&D industry has helped to create high-skilled, high-wage jobs, bringing $310 million in payroll to Maine workers and securing $492 million in research funding since 2003, according to the Office of Innovation. The Committee on the Innovation Economy will work to build on that foundation. The committee is made up of 13 Legislators. It will submit its findings and recommendations along with any implementing legislation to the Legislature by December 6, 2006.

"We have a heritage of natural resources in the economy. It's the difference between selling a 2x4 for $2.50 and selling a skateboard made from high-tech composites for $40. That's the power of research and development," remarked Senator Bromley.

Senator Bromley Invited to Speak at International Conference

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:45:09 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Lynn Bromley of South Portland (D- Cumberland County) today announced that she will be speaking at the Fourth Annual Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group International Conference and Third Annual Unused Drug Return International Conference. Organized by the University of Southern Maine's Center on Aging, the conference will be held October 23rd and 24th at the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, Maine. Senator Bromley is speaking early Monday morning as part of the welcoming remarks.Senator Bromley first became involved in this issue back in the 121st Legislature with her bill, "An Act To Encourage the Proper Disposal of Expired Pharmaceuticals." This legislation passed successfully and was signed into law back in 2004. It established a program to ensure safe, effective and proper disposal of unused pharmaceuticals. "I initially became interested in this issue from the substance abuse angle when I learned of the significant role prescription medications play in drug abuse. The high school principle in my city sent a letter to parents asking us to be sure to clean out our medicine cabinets and dispose of any unused prescription medications. That of course begs the question "What do we do with them?" At the time Poison Control was suggesting to people that they flush medications to assure they were out of harms way," explained Senator Bromley.Bromley convened a group of stakeholders to develop a solution. The bill was introduced and passed with bi-partisan support. "We developed a model take-back program where we can accept unused medications and incinerate them at the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency just as we currently do with evidence and drugs seized by law enforcement."Doctor Stevan Gressitt of the Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group explained Senator Bromley's bold approach to the legislation: "A proposal to address the misuse of a class of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines was discussed at the first conference of the Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group. Just as the idea of cleaning out medicine cabinets as a way to address some of the abuse was taking form, it appeared that we would be too late to submit a piece of legislation for consideration in Augusta. Senator Lynn Bromley stepped up and said that it was not too late and that all that was needed was language for a bill title for her to begin work on it. I asked around and came up with a title and sent it over the night before cloture." Doctor Gressitt continued, "There was outright surprise from many of the attendees that we could do that, much less that there would be a vote that was successful to have the first mail-back of unused medication enabling legislation in the United States. It has been discussed nationally, articles written about it, and now the EPA is even offering a grant to study this approach which originated at that first conference." The grant application for the $150,000 needed to implement the medication-control measures was recently submitted by the Maine Center of Aging at the University of Maine on behalf of the Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group.However, the environmental impact is compelling and causing great concern nationwide. "Basically the message is: don't flush!" continued Senator Bromley. "What people don't realize is that these unused prescription drugs are ending up in our waterways. This not only creates a significant risk in the safety of our drinking water, it also affects wildlife." Recently Governing magazine did a piece titled, "Prozac in the Water." Senator Bromley's groundbreaking legislation was referenced as one of the ways states are attempting to combat this relatively new threat to drinking water safety. One of the examples given in the article explained that outside Las Vegas in Lake Mead, the male carp are[...]

Senator Bromley Urges Federal Government to Stop Suing Maine

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:44:15 EST

AUGUSTA-Senator Lynn Bromley of South Portland (D- Cumberland County) today announced that she was joining other legislators and signing on to a letter to United State Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The Federal Government is suing Verizon and the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to keep Verizon from affirming the truthfulness of statements contained in press releases from the company concerning possible wiretapping by the National Security Agency.

"Though I used to have a party line when I was young I assume that my private conversations are just that," remarked Senator Bromley. "Mainers have the right to know who's examining their phone records and when their rights have been compromised by our very own government."

Maine currently has consumer and privacy laws stating "Telephone subscribers have a right to privacy and protection of this right to privacy is of paramount concern to the State." It is Maine's PUC who is charged with protecting this right. The PUC asked Verizon to affirm under oath that its representations to the PUC and the public were true and not misleading.

"The primary question is; did Verizon share customer records with the NSA without their consent? And, was telephone equipment in Maine made available to the NSA without the appropriate court order? These are serious concerns that I share with my legislative colleagues and the people of Maine," commented Senator Bromley. "We all have a right to know."

The letter to Attorney General Gonzales concludes, "We support the Public Utilities Commission in its inquiries, and we urge the federal government to cease and desist in this challenge to state authority. Mainers deserve to know if their privacy rights were violated. Maine governmental authorities have not only the legal authority but also the responsibility to safeguard those rights."

Senator Bromley Urges Legislators to Embrace Research and Development Initiatives

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:43:11 EST

AUGUSTA -The Committee on Research, Economic Development & the Innovative Economy completed its initial meeting Thursday, September 14. Commenting on the meeting, Senator Lynn Bromley, Co-Chair said: "The most significant thing to take from today is the knowledge that we're already on the right track in so many ways. We may have plenty of room for improvement but there is wholehearted agreement to advance our economy by continuing to increase our R&D investment."Committee House Co-Chair Emily Cain spoke about R&D investment in Maine: "We need to get the people of Maine thinking about research and development, not as a way to spend state money, but as a way to invest for Maine's future. We know it works. We get a return on every dollar we spend; anywhere from four to seven dollars back. We get it in federal match money and private investments. We're seeing companies show up all over the state, in all sixteen counties." Cain concluded: "This is not about another way to spend money; this is about a way to guarantee that Maine will have a successful future." Additionally, Bromley added: "This is the only part of the state budget that you put money in and get much more back." Bromley pointed to Maine's need to increase R&D funds in the state budget: "The average nationwide expenditure on R&D is three percent of the gross state product. In Maine we're hovering around one percent. The goal of this committee is to help the Governor, the Legislature and the public understand how important it is for us to go from one percent to three percent - and that's just to keep up, that's not to get ahead."Bromley and Cain also stressed the bipartisan makeup of the group and its importance to crafting collaborative solutions. Legislators on the panel include Senators Dennis Damon and Dana Dow. Representatives include Walter Ash, William Browne, Jeremy Fischer, Patrick Flood, Christopher Rector, Kimberley C. Rosen, Nancy Smith, and Thom Watson. The committee will reconvene several times before submitting its conclusion early in the next Legislative session. Updated information about the Select Committee is available at .In recapping the meeting, Senator Bromley said: "We heard from legislators, business leaders and educators about how R&D contributes to the economy. Former Senate President Mark Lawrence and George Jacobson from the University of Maine explained how healthy economies always have a component of research and development as well as a robust higher education system. Ten years ago they put together an agenda to address this. What we're doing is taking a look at how far we've come and where we need to go."Bromley expanded on the session: "Professor Jacobsen helped us understand that currently tens of thousands of dollars are being spent on research and development. The Federal Government is passing money out to states and Maine is very near the bottom of the list. Part of our job is to increase the federal funding. Mark Lawrence talked about the capacity and potential of R&D; if we invested ten years ago to the extent that the legislature proposed we would have the equivalent today of two BIW's. We all know the new economy won't be based so much on paper mills and shipyards; the new economy and the global economy will be based on innovation and higher technology with higher wage jobs. Innovation is at the heart of all that. Economies that have moved themselves from tough times to robust times like North Carolina and even Ireland, have some of the components we're working on in this committee."Commenting on the many successful companies in Maine already benefiting from R&D, Senator Bromley said: "Many people have not heard about these[...]

"Maine has more than made the case that we can succeed."

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 11:41:54 EST

AUGUSTA - Senator Lynn Bromley (D -Cumberland) of South Portland stated today there is more to be gained by increasing investment in research and development in Maine. Strong evidence supporting this statement was contained in both the recently released Brookings report and the 2005-2006 Evaluation of Maine's Public Investment in Research and Development late last week.On the same day the Brookings report was released, Dr. Michael I. Luger and Brent Lane of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-Chapel Hill discussed their evaluation of R&D in Maine with the Select Committee on Research, Economic Development & the Innovation Economy. The panelists stressed the relevance of the North Carolina on-going evaluation and the Brookings report called "Charting Maine's Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places."Senator Bromley, the committee chair, commented; "With the release of the Brookings Institution report the timing couldn't be better to move forward with an aggressive and strategic action plan. The energy in the room was electric last week." The Brookings Institution report states that "economic restructuring is producing quality jobs in emerging innovation clusters." It went on to say that these clusters remain small and that Maine needs to support growth in these areas in order to generate a larger volume of high paying jobs. "Their findings dovetail perfectly with the work we are doing in our committee. With this report in hand and the recommendations from our North Carolina panelists we have a clear road map to prosperity. Now the challenge is to put these words into action," explained Senator Bromley. The Committee is charged to put forth a package of proposals for the 123rd Legislature to consider. "It will be bold, it will be well researched and it will deserve the support of every citizen in Maine," stated Senator Bromley. Brent Lane addressed Maine's progress to date, "You are outperforming the US and particularly New England. I think it's very safe to say that your investments have paid off in this level of increased performance in research and development. You are getting pay back." He continued by adding, "In general you have three sectors of R&D activity; your not-for-profits are strong and getting stronger, your academics are strengthening but they started from a weaker position, and your industrial base is already weak and getting weaker. Whether those trends continue, we'll have to see." Senator Bromley also said, "One new direction suggested by the North Carolina panelists was to encourage the Committee to consider focusing economic development activity on what are called "gazelle" companies. Maine currently has over 2000 such companies; they are embracing innovation, they've been around for at least five years, and they are heading towards future success."The Committee is now reviewing how their role would support these gazelle companies. In the past Maine has put forth exceptional effort toward investing in start-up businesses. Now the state needs to take the next logical step and address the gazelle companies' unique needs. According to Senator Bromley, "these new, fast and nimble companies ought to be the focus of our economic development efforts. They are here, they are already embracing innovation and it is critically important that we target our development efforts on what works for them. They may need help with patents, business expansion plans, or perhaps breaking into the international market." Senator Bromley continued, "Most importantly, the ‘gazelles' need Maine's help accessing investment[...]