AUGUSTA – Proposed changes to a 40-year-old Maine Indian land claims act are now getting some resistance from Gov. Janet Mills.
Numerous people appeared before the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee Friday to support the recommendations of a task force on changes to the 1980 settlement.
The governor submitted written testimony which expressed concern “about the sweeping nature of the bill.”
Among the issues Mills has with the proposed revisions is one that would allow the state’s Indian tribes to acquire land anywhere in Maine and remove it from the jurisdiction of state government.
The Houlton Band of Maliseets’ chief was among those speaking in favor of the proposed legislation.
“When these recommendations are passed, we will come to the table as partners with the state. To work in unison on tribal plans furthermore with access to beneficial federal acts, the restoration of jurisdiction, we will have the ability to bring even more resources to the table,” Chief Clarissa Sabattis said.
The governor’s testimony states she wants to continue to work with the tribes to reach an equitable agreement.