AUGUSTA – The House approved a bill to phase out the use of the flame retardant deca in furniture and appliances with no debate Wednesday. It will next go to the Senate for consideration.

The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, is geared to protect women and children from dangerous chemicals. In 2004, Pingree championed a bill to phase out flame retardants penta and octa, also said to be hazardous.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, deca can cause decreased motor activity and damage to the reproductive system. Under the bill, starting in 2010 any manufacturer using these chemicals will be required to notify the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Spay, neuter effort may get money

AUGUSTA – Funds to spay and neuter companion animals may have some more funding, thanks to a bill by Sen. John Nutting, D-Leeds, which has been approved in the House and Senate.

The bill goes for a second reading in the House today, and then both chambers will vote to enact it.

The bill will change the way fees are distributed from the registration of pet and commercial feed. Currently fees are split between the general fund and the Animal Welfare Fund.

The bill, if passed, would require half of the fees going to the general fund – one-fourth of the total funds – to instead go to the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund.

Dog food fees are attached to the large brands, and are standard across New England, Nutting said previously.

Another bill sponsored by Nutting to protect the public from dangerous dogs has also been approved by both chambers. The bill strengthens laws to allow stronger prosecution of owners whose dogs attack, and gives judges an option to forbid owners from having any dog.


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