AUGUSTA — Senator Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, introduced a bill Wednesday, Feb. 12, to support Maine Ocean School in Searsport, a magnet public high school that focuses on marine science, technology, transportation and engineering.
The bill, LD 2020, “An Act To Strengthen Maritime Education by Amending the Laws Governing the Maine School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering,” received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Sen. Herbig was joined by co-sponsor Rep. Scott Cuddy, D-Winterport, as well as students, teachers and board members of Maine Ocean School.
“Maine Ocean School is so important to our community and region,” said Sen. Herbig in a statement. “By focusing on Maine’s maritime economy and culture, Maine Ocean School is both educating and inspiring our students. Maine Ocean School is training our future workforce in a way that best prepares them to compete in our local economy. These students are inspiring, and they demonstrate why this school is an incredible asset to Maine and must continue to operate.”
Last summer, Maine Ocean School discovered a sunset clause in the statute that authorized its creation, a press release noted.
To keep the school open, Sen. Herbig sponsored LD 1849, “An Act Regarding the Laws Governing the Maine School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering.”
That law pushed back the sunset clause to 90 days after the adjournment of the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature, the release noted.
LD 2020 would further extend the sunset provision to 90 days after the adjournment of the 131st Legislature, according to the news release.
The bill faces a vote before the committee as well as votes before the full Senate and House.