Rep. James Hamper, R-Oxford

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District: Mechanic Falls, Otisfield and Oxford

Legislative service: Second term

Committee: Natural Resources (ranking minority member), Labor

Bill record: Two bills, one signed, one dead

Voting record

Budget: For

Tax reform: Against

Bear trapping ban: Against

Washington County slots at a tribal horse track: Against

Stiffer seat belt law:
Against

Increase term limits from 4 two-year terms to 6: Against

This session, James Hamper was a conservative voice on the Natural Resources Committee, which debated the contentious issues of banning the flame retardant known as deca, participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and regulating outdoor wood boilers.

On RGGI, he supported the minority report, which accelerated the program to avoid a hike in electricity rates. This amendment did not pass on the floor.

In committee, Hamper opposed the RGGI initiative fearing that it ultimately wouldn’t reduce carbon dioxide and could actually increase it in the region.

Maine’s power plants already run cleaner than standards require, he said, so their credits would either be banked or sold to other states, causing more carbon dioxide to be produced in neighboring states, he said.

On the deca bill, he did not support the bill to ban it in committee, but later voted for enactment. He noted the chemical is not a problem in the state.

“We’re not using it in furniture. We’re not using it in mattresses…” Hamper said. “The environmental groups think it might be used in furniture.”

The committee also debated bills seeking to ban outdoor wood boilers. The committee instead reported out a bill with new regulations for them, which had unanimous support in committee.

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