The effort to replace Maine’s two investor-owned utility corporations with a consumer-owned utility goes back several years to 2018. Various experts and stakeholders weighed in and after significant vetting and revision, a bipartisan bill (LD 1708) passed the Maine Legislature in a historic vote in June 2021. Governor Janet Mills vetoed LD 1708 in July 2021, citing conceptual support but specific concerns.

Maine Power for Maine People coalition formed June 2018—Dec 2018 Rep. Berry initiates planning and research; consults with utility finance, management, labor and consumer experts
January 2019 LD 1646 announced with support of labor, businesses, consumers
May 2019Public Hearing on LD 1646 (98 testified; overwhelming support)
June 2019—Feb. 2020 Independent consultant LEI, selected by Maine PUC, finds LD 1646 to be fully constitutional and likely to save ratepayers money
March 2020 Work in State House on LD 1646 put on hold due to pandemic
May 2020 Peer review of LEI Report by Dr. Rich Silkman finds additional likely savings to ratepayers: $9 billion over 30 years
May 2020—Nov 2020 Expert policy advisors improve upon original proposal, based on above studies and public testimony
Aug 2020—Feb 2021 Improved proposal designed, based on above studies and testimony
November 2020 LD 1646 dies without a vote due to pandemic; 130th Maine Legislature elected
OUR POWER replaces MP4MP; grows to 35+ member organizations December 2020 Rep. Berry submits updated proposal to nonpartisan State House legal experts to draft bill language
January—April 2021 “Proposal language refined through drafting process
May 2021 Bipartisan group of legislators sponsor new bill, LD 1708
May 2021 Public Hearing on LD 1708 (168 testified; overwhelming support)
June 2021 Bipartisan majorities in Maine House and Senate
July 2021 LD 1708 vetoed; 2/3 override unsuccessful; LD 1708 dies
July 2021—Sept 2021 Expert policy advisors reconvene to further refine language in anticipation of a vote by Maine citizens via the citizen initiative process
Oct 2021—Dec 2021 Our Power receives final petitions; volunteers and coalition gathering signatures from 75k+ Maine voters
November 2023 Vote on ballot question by all Maine voters

Our Power has since refined the language further and is now taking the proposal directly to the voters as a Citizen Initiative. We’re gathering signatures now to put the measure on the ballot. Please join us!

We’re gearing up now to begin gathering signatures to put the measure on the ballot. Please join us!