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Maine House OKs Bill to Restore Energy Efficiency Funds

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would prevent the loss of $38 million for energy efficiency programs.

The Democratic-controlled House gave initial approval to Democratic Rep. Sara Gideon's bill with a 138-1 vote on Wednesday.

The bill would fix a clerical error in a 2013 law that caused utility regulators to decide that one source of funding for Efficiency Maine Trust should be capped at $22 million. Lawmakers had intended the funding to be set at about $60 million.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport initially sought to amend the bill and include a proposal to create a state energy commissioner and give Gov. Paul LePage more control over Efficiency Maine, but he withdrew his amendment.

The bill now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate.