AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage proposed a reduced list of regulatory reforms to lawmakers on Monday, dropping some of the more controversial items from a list he released last month.

Proposals such as repealing Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Act and electronic waste law, and changing state regulations for vernal pools and air emissions, were excluded from the governor’s amendment to L.D. 1, the omnibus regulatory reform bill.

Senior members of LePage’s staff and Cabinet said the administration is not backing away from the excluded proposals, which drew criticism from environmental, business and social advocacy groups.

“We’re continuing to work on the rest of the language,” said Kathleen Newman, LePage’s deputy chief of staff. “We just decided that we would submit it as governor’s bills rather than hold up the committee process.”

The amended L.D. 1 was presented to the Legislature’s Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform, which heard testimony from members of the LePage administration and dozens of members of the public during an all-day hearing on the bill.

The bill now focuses on proposals to:

Require impact analyses of new regulations before they are implemented.

Establish a small-business ombudsman to help guide businesses through the regulatory process.

Provide stronger judiciary review of state agencies’ decisions.

Repeal the Maine Informed Growth Act, which requires studies of how “big box” retail developments affect municipalities.

Replace the Board of Environmental Protection with a three-judge panel.

Darryl Brown, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, said proposals were dropped from L.D. 1 because they will be in legislation directed to different committees, not because LePage no longer supports them.

“I do believe that they will be showing up in future legislation out of the governor’s office or individual bills that are going to be presented by individual members of the Legislature,” Brown told lawmakers.

When asked if he supports all of the governor’s original proposals, Brown said he would have to continue to review them.

Members of the public who testified Monday overwhelmingly opposed efforts to weaken Maine’s environmental protections.

Former House Speaker Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, was the lead sponsor of the Kid-Safe Products Act – which requires manufacturers to remove certain unsafe chemicals from products sold in Maine – and offered testimony supporting the legislation.

Pingree also testified about a proposal in the governor’s amendment that would require a jobs-impact analysis before new regulations take effect.

“What you have to weigh is a kid’s health or the health of a lobster in Penobscot Bay. Is that outweighed by an out-of-state industry that says it will impact their bottom line? You have to make that decision,” she told lawmakers. “But I don’t think there’s any impact statement that will tell you what the right thing to do is.”

Also Monday, more than 100 Mainers gathered in the State House for a pro-environment news conference. Business leaders and several others used the occasion to push back on some of LePage’s initial proposals.

“Maine’s environmental laws have protected the one single advantage that Maine has over other states in the Northeast in attracting people and business, namely, our environment and quality of life,” said Horace Hildreth, CEO of Diversified Communications in Portland.

Lawmakers on the regulatory reform committee are scheduled to hold a series of work sessions to draft a final measure.

If the committee omits some of the proposals, LePage will submit legislation to make all of the reforms listed by the administration, said Newman, the deputy chief of staff.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at: [email protected]