Ryan Fecteau

Assistant House Majority Leader

Biddeford, ME

Assistant Majority Leader Ryan Fecteau is a third-term member of the Maine House of Representatives. In addition to his legislative service, he operates a seasonal retail store in the beautiful seaside town of Ogunquit, Maine. Fecteau was born and raised in Biddeford and attended Biddeford High School. He completed a four-year degree at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he studied political science and theology and religious studies. He previously chaired the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.

Fecteau championed legislation to support the growth and expansion of incubator and collaborative workspaces via state grants. The program awarded nearly a dozen entities with funds which led to the development of new spaces in rural and urban parts of the state. He has three priority bills submitted. One would make the largest investment in career and technical education since 1998. The other would incentive investment from developers in affordable and mixed-income housing projects. Finally, the third would incentive the development of bio-based products that can be used as an alternative to plastics.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

The communities hit hardest by a changing economy are looking to new opportunities —opportunities that have the potential to help us turn the corner and rebuild a more robust forest products industry. Among these opportunities, bio-based products made from Maine wood stands out as good for our economy, for rural communities, for the environment and for public health. By incentivizing manufacturers to use bio-based products, Maine can lead the way in capping the use of petroleum-based products and instead promote sustainable forestry practices.

Solution

LD 1698, which received support in the House and Senate and now awaits Governor Mills' signature, incentivizes investment in bio-based manufacturing by replenishing an existing tax credit for bio-fuel production and creating a new tax credit for manufacturing renewable chemicals from renewable biomass. Similar state-level legislation has been passed by Iowa and Minnesota and is under consideration in Nebraska. The new tax credit, as proposed in this bill, equals seven cents per pound of renewable chemicals produced in the state. That would increase to nine or as much as 12 cents per pound if the producer meets certain criteria, including employing American workers and master loggers.


Problem

As result of a weakened MUBEC, contractors and developers could not rely on consistency. In one municipality, the building and energy code would be one thing and something totally different in another. Code enforcement officers and the industry both sought consistency. In addition, under the previous administration, the MUBEC was moved from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Department of Economic and Community Development. This change project the MUBEC as "red tape" rather than a matter of safety, first and foremost, and subsequently a way of improving our built environment, particularly on the energy usage front. In other words, the MUBEC was decimated and needed significant rehabilitation.

Solution

In my first two terms in the legislature, I fended off efforts to erode the MUBEC further. As soon as Democrats regained control of the executive branch and both legislative chambers, I convened a group of interested parties and legislators to rebuild the MUBEC. Rep. Rykerson of Kittery sponsored legislation to apply the building and energy code statewide and brought the code up to most recent standards. Rep. Caiazzo of Scarborough sponsored legislation to move the MUBEC to DPS and fund several positions which had been eliminated in 2010. Finally, Rep. Kessler of South Portland sponsored legislation to permit municipalities to adopt a "stretch code" which would go above the baseline.


Problem

Maine is a rural state with a massive influx of visitors in the summer months. As our world becomes more and more digitized, the ability to work from home is a real possibility for many individuals. This includes those who visit Maine to enjoy our natural beauty, as found at Acadia National Park, the national monument at Katahdin, our many lakes, beaches, and ski resorts. Coworking spaces provide Mainers with the opportunity to avoid long commutes to office spaces, visitors with the ability to extend vacations for a few more days, and entrepreneurs with inexpensive space to generate their next venture.

Solution

In our ever-evolving digital world, businesses exist in many shapes and forms. Collaborative workspaces provide opportunities for start-ups to grow without the expense of costly and perhaps unnecessary traditional office space. In addition, professionals in these spaces often share ideas, best practices and expenses. It is no secret that Maine faces challenges with retaining and attracting young people to live and work here. These spaces are sought after by young professionals and are increasingly the cornerstones for communities revitalizing vacant spaces in downtowns. The Coworking Development Fund provides critical funding for the creation of more spaces in communities across Maine.