National firm KPFF Consulting Engineers completed their reports on the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) in March, a culmination of 2 years of work collaborating with Island Institute, islanders, and the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT). This effort largely does two things: 1) gives a clear baseline of where the service is today in a format easily understood and publicly available and 2) opens the door to whole-systems thinking around where the service could go based on Maine islander needs and comparable systems.
As 2022 begins, much of our policy focus has shifted from making a case for why public funding is needed to supporting projects and communities in applying for the numerous new or enhanced funding opportunities. Over the next few months, we will be diving in deeply to help the communities we work with understand these… Read more »
We work collaboratively with communities to tackle challenges and build resiliency. While this often means spending time in the places where we live and work, it also means focusing on what’s happening further inland at the State House. This “long” session of the Maine Legislature lived up to its name this year as significant legislative work happened well into mid-July. The policy landscape shifted dramatically during this session, with more than $300 million available to support economic and climate resilience work.
We work collaboratively with communities to tackle challenges and build resiliency. While this often means spending time in the places where we live and work, it also means focusing on what’s happening further inland at the State House. This has been a busy legislative session so far with multiple bills and issues affecting our coast. In our latest policy update, we highlight some of the key issues we’re watching, what they mean for our communities, and the work that’s been done so far.
2021 started with our country, and our government, facing some significant challenges and issues of importance: the spread and increase in cases of COVID-19, rioting at the Capitol, and unprecedented attention being called to address issues of systemic racism and inequality. On January 20th, President Biden was inaugurated and control of the Senate agenda shifted… Read more »
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Governor Mills signed emergency legislation to help the state respond to the coronavirus crisis. The legislation included provisions for delaying town meetings and allowing remote meetings. A separate bill put a $15 million broadband bond on the June ballot. Learn more about the provisions relevant to Maine’s towns as well as all of the pieces recently passed.
Much has been written about why Maine needs to expand access to broadband, but less has been written about where the state has made investments and where they are likely to be made. In our latest policy update, Senior Policy Officer Nick Battista looks at why state funding is a critical piece in bringing broadband to the rural parts of our state and investing in infrastructure that is critical to their future.
Broadband has been receiving a lot of attention in Augusta lately due to the valuable role it plays in helping communities thrive. From K-12 and college education to health care, tourism, and even farming, access to high-speed internet is vital in ensuring that Maine communities can thrive in today’s national and global marketplace. What is the role of state leadership, and where do communities need support to drive action? Learn more in this latest policy update from Senior Policy Officer Nick Battista.
With the upcoming election and impending change in the Governor’s office, it seemed like a good moment to reflect on the current state of one of the most important policy areas the Island Institute is working on— broadband. Our broadband policy work starts with the idea that in order for coastal communities to be connected at speeds that are above the national average by 2025, we need at least three things from the policy realm—an effective statewide broadband authority, support for the community broadband process in the regulatory realm, and funding from beyond the community.