Baldacci Signs Several Bills into Law 

Bills on child vaccinations, air quality, and access to public records were all signed into law on Monday.The first bill aimed at lowering the cost of vaccinations for children.It calls for the state to work with the federal centers for disease control to get vaccines at the often cheaper federal rate.It’s intended effect is to lead to more children getting immunized while saving taxpayers and insurance companies money.The second bill restricts the release of birth, marriage and death records.Supporters have said it will help prevent fraud and identity theft. Those records will now only be available to the person on the document or that person’s spouse or domestic partner, parents, guardians, descendants, and designated agents. Existing Maine law allows release of vital records for anyone who asks for them.The new law allows general release of such records after one hundred years.And a law to improve Maine’s air quality was signed by the Governor on Monday.State Senator Seth Goodall sponsored the legislation, which was supported by the Maine chapter of the National Lung Association and others.The bill aims to improve Maine’s air quality and skyline visibility, reduce haze on poor air days, and provide cleaner, healthier air by reducing the sulfur content of all fuel oils sold in the state.Goodall says that means we’ll breathe easier, and with a better view. “In the U.S., and the Northeast specifically, haze causes a lot of particulate pollution, which impacts visibility,” Goodall said at the bill’s signing. “Often at Acadia National Park you can only see 1/4 or 1/5 of the distance. If the pollution wasn’t there you’d be able to see much farther obviously.”According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, sulfur emissions are the greatest contributor to poor visibility and particle pollution on poor quality air days.