Small towns go their own way

{youtube}3ghPlnW8Ur8&list{/youtube} ELLSWORTH — At first glance, raw milk and concealed weapons might not seem to have much in common.

In Hancock County, however, there is a connection between the two seemingly disparate topics: local governments declaring themselves exempt from certain state or federal regulations pertaining to one or the other.

Five local towns have passed food sovereignty ordinances, which exempt residents from state and federal food regulations when they sell products directly to consumers.

Other local communities, meanwhile, have considered an ordinance this year that would essentially exempt them from any state and federal gun laws that the governing body deemed unconstitutional.

Can towns do that, though? The answer depends on who you ask, but even proponents of the ordinances acknowledge the main value may be in making a statement.

Whether that statement is heard and what effect it might have remains to be seen. It has garnered some attention in Augusta, however, as a bill is now under consideration in the Legislature relating to the discussion over food rules.

A public hearing was held last week for LD 475, “An Act To Increase Food Sovereignty in Local Communities.” Of the 19 people who spoke at the hearing, at least seven were from Hancock County.

On the firearms front, meanwhile, a Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance was approved in Franklin, tabled in Osborn and may be voted on in Sedgwick next year.

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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