Maine residents, your voice is needed today! The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Maine Federation of Dog Clubs continue to advocate for the passage of LD 1885, as amended. The bill seeks to increase Maine’s veterinary workforce through updates to the state’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Program. The program provides competitive, need-based, forgivable loans for Maine students pursuing careers as veterinarians.
Last week, on motion by Senator Breen of Cumberland, amended LD 1885 was placed on the Special Appropriations Table prior to passage. This postponement of consideration is the normal legislative procedure, but ONLY those bills that the Joint Appropriations Committee agrees to be funded will pass before the April 20 deadline.
AKC and the Maine Federation recognize the serious shortage of veterinarians practicing in Maine. The inability to secure veterinary care when needed negatively impacts the health and welfare of all animals, including dogs. For these reasons, both AKC and the Maine Federation strongly support the enactment of LD 1885.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY:
If you live in any of the Maine Districts listed below, we strongly encourage you to contact the Joint Appropriations Committee members today to express full support for LD 1885; and encourage other dog owners in your district to do the same. In urging passage of LD 1885, share your experience trying to get timely veterinary services in Maine. Be certain to provide your name and address. It is vitally important that Republican members of the committee should be contacted to urge support for LD 1885.
Representative Sawin Millett of Waterford (R) – House District 71
IMPORTANT CONTACT: Rep. Sawin is the House Committee Lead
Senator Cathy Breen of Cumberland, Committee Senate Chair (D) – Senate District 25
Senator Donna Bailey of York/Saco (D) – Senate District 31
Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis/Sangerville (R) – Senate District 4
Representative Teresa Pierce of Falmouth (D), Committee House Chair – House District 44
Representative Amy Arata of New Gloucester (R) – House District 65
Representative Barbara Cardone of Bangor (D) – House District 127
Representative Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston (D) – House District 60
Representative Patrick Corey of Windham (R) – House District 25
Representative Jack Ducharme of Madison (R) – House District 111
Representative Jessica Fay of Raymond (D) – House District 66
Representative Patty Hymanson of York (D) – House District 4
Representative John Martin of Eagle Lake (D) – House District 151
AKC Government Relations (GR) will continue to provide updates on LD 1885 as developments warrant. For more information on these or other legislative issues in Maine, contact AKC GR at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.