Rep. Peterson seeks evaluation of federal program dollars
AUGUSTA – State Rep. Matt Peterson, D-Rumford, introduced legislation that would require economic development officials to provide a one-time report to lawmakers evaluating federal initiatives and pending Congressional legislation that provide federal funding to create jobs in Maine. The report would be due by Dec. 1, 2011.
“I want to make sure that our state and local leaders in economic development have a systematic and formalized process to maximize our use of available federal resources, and that we are coordinating state investments, both existing and emerging, with federal opportunities,” said Peterson. “We need a thorough review of what tools exist to better inform policy decisions.”
The proposed legislation directs Department of Economic and Community Development to monitor and evaluate federal development incentives and analyze how state programs and resources, including tax policies and training programs coordinate with these federal initiatives to make sure that Maine is maximizing and taking advantage of all available resources to create quality jobs for Maine citizens.
This resolve would help identify new economic opportunities that would provide jobs for dislocated workers as well as jobs for people who are newly entering the workforce. “Jobs must be created by the private sector, but the state has a role to play in creating a climate for business to grow and for entrepreneurs to invest,” said Peterson.
Andrew Gilmore, President of ABG Strategies, a Yarmouth based businesses and consulting firm, spoke in support of this legislation at the public hearing. “In addition to utilizing federal programs and tools that perhaps we haven’t yet fully maximized or used at all, I think we can do a better job using some of our existing available incentives such as tax increment financing to help encourage business investment and job growth.”