(AUGUSTA, ME) - Maine Senate Republican leader Paul Davis (R-Sangerville) is lauding the initial passage of L.D. 787, "An Act to Clarify the Landowner Liability Law with Regard to Construction and Maintenance of Snowmobile and Other Trails for Recreational Use," after amending the bill to address concerns within the industry.
Northeast Insurance Company, the largest insurer of snowmobile clubs in the state, recently announced that it was ceasing to do business in Maine as a result of a pending lawsuit against a Maine snowmobile club. This meant that the entire snowmobile industry in Maine, and the $300 million it contributes annually to the state's economy, was is in trouble.
"The unanimous vote and the emergency status are both very important in that this clears the way for the bill to pass the House and Senate quickly in January. The Governor has indicated to me that he will sign the bill as soon as it is passed, and as an emergency it will go into effect immediately. I am glad that we are working to resolve this crisis," Senator Davis said.
"We are very appreciative of Senator Davis taking the lead in this problem. It appears as though his leadership and swift action may have averted a pretty serious situation," said Bob Meyers, of the Maine Snowmobile Association. "While this legislation goes a long way towards protecting us in the future, we are still actively working on the here and now to locate and provide affordable liability coverage for all clubs for their grooming and trail maintenance activities."
This amendment, among other things, adds an emergency preamble and an emergency clause to make the bill take effect immediately to ensure that the clarification of the law applies to the current snowmobiling season.
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