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Maine governor seeks repeal of big-box law

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, along with business groups and other supporters, are trying to repeal a 2007 law that requires communities to consider the economic impact of "big-box" stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart before issuing building permits. 

According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, Republican legislator Tyler Clark has introduced a bill, LD 322, that would repeal the Informed Growth Act of 2007, which opponents believe is inherently biased against larger retail operations.

"We as a government are telling communities what we think is best for them, which apparently is that all large retail stores are bad for the economy and should not be built," Clark argued before the legislature. 

The Informed Growth Act requires, among other things, that an economic impact study be conducted to determine the number and location of existing retail establishments where there is overlap of goods and services; projected net job creation and loss as a result of the new retail development; and impacts on local roads, utilities and emergency service providers.

 

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