Finishing the work

This morning AFA met to nearly complete its business for the 127th Legislature.

Continued technical difficulties prevent the recording of AFA Committee audio.

LD 1053 Rep. Luchini’s Research & Development bond amended to provide $45M for competitive R&D funding and $5M for the Maine Venture Fund.

OTP-AM 9-0

LD 1699 An Act to Provide Relief for Significant Reductions in Municipal Property Fiscal Capacity

Provides one-year of assistance to municipalities that experience a loss in state valuation of at least 4.5%

OTP 9-0

LD 1649 An Act To Modernize Maine’s Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development

Exempt from the Appropriations Table 7-2

LD 1653 An Act Implementing Pay Increases for Certain Law Enforcement Employees To Aid in Recruitment and Retention

The contents of this bill were folded into LD 1523 which has been enacted and sent to the Governor.

ONTP

LD 633 Medicaid Expansion

Amended to fund with FMAP

OTP-AM 7-5

 

Bond votes including Transportation

This afternoon Appropriations took further votes on bonds. The remaining bond requiring action after today’s actions is the R&D bond, LD 1053.

Continuing difficulties prevent the audio recording of hearings.

  • LD 1694 Transportation bond $100M

The committee had a lengthy conversation about which vehicle should bear the costs to the Secretary of State’s Office should a further page be needed for the November ballot. Those costs are roughly $107,000. It was finally decided to attach the contingent language drawing the possibly necessary funds from the unappropriated General Fund Surplus to each and every bond approved. This was approved 12-0

Rep. Sanborn shared that Legislative Leadership, through the Study Table will direct the Transportation Committee to use its interim meetings to explore alternative sources of support for our transportation infrastructure.

OTP-AM Unanimous

  • LD 998 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Collect Data on and To Monitor Ocean Acidification $3M

OTP-AM 6-5

  • LD 1069 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Upgrade Municipal Culverts at Stream Crossings $5M

OTP-AM 6-5

  • LD 1554 An Act to Address Inconsistencies in Drug Laws

OTP 10-1

 

 

Bonds

Appropriations took action on a trio of Table bills and the majority of bond bills.

Audio of today’s hearing is here.

Tabled bills

LD 1099 Fund the UMaine Plant and Animal Health Lab ONTP
LD 1645 Recruitment and Retention at State Mental Health Hospitals OTP 8-3

LD 1671 Compensate Susan Cloutier for Claims Against the State Amended to fund through Risk Management Pool OTP-AM 10-1

Bonds

LDNumber Subject Title Sponsor Projects Total Disposition Details AFA
2 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for the Purchase and Development of the Bar Harbor Ferry Terminal as a Multimodal Transportation Facility Hubbell, Brian Bar Harbor ferry terminal 5,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
68 ECON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Attract Business by Investing in High-speed Broadband Infrastructure Campbell, Sr, James Municipal broadband infrastructure 10,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
108 ECON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Riverfront Community Development Saucier, Robert Environmental, economic and community development 25,000,000 Carry Over $2,000,000 OTP-AM 6-5
193 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Breen, Catherine Design and construction of 50 bicycle and pedestirian projects awaiting funding 13,871,389 Carry Over ONTP
217 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Development of a Multimodal Transportation Facility Langley, Brian facility at a Class A port within 20 miles of an airport 8,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
254 ECON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Waterfront Development Haskell, Anne Like a Riverfront Community Development but on the ocean 10,000,000 Carry Over $3,000,000 OTP-AM 6-5
354 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Enhance Public Transportation in the Bangor Area Stanley, Stephen Improve I-95 between Newport and Medway 3,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
385 EDU An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Improvements to Facilities at the University of Maine System Campuses Dill, James UM $35,000,000, UMA $3,500,000, UMF $3,500,000, UMFK $3,500,000, UMM $2,000,000, UMPI $3,500,000, USM $17,500,000 70,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
386 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Farmland Restoration Johnson, Christopher Farmland restoration 5,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
387 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Agricultural Enterprises and Encourage the Use of Local Farm Products in Public Schools Johnson, Christopher Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund 6,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
426 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Address Sea Level Rise Devin, Michael Map coastal zones and monitor sea levels 5,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
438 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Maine’s Rail Infrastructure and Expand Passenger Rail Service Libby, Nathan Repair state owned railways $12,000,000, Crossing in Yarmouth $8,000,000, Repair rail between L/A and Portland 25,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
453 MPBN An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Upgrade and Replace Infrastructure of the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation Katz, Roger Transmitter and studio equipment for emergency alert system 1,000,000 Carry Over   OTP-AM 7-5
628 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Transportation Infrastructure Diamond, G. William Roads, highways and bridges $81,500,000, rail lines $25,000,000, Public transportation $10,000,000, Pedestrian trails $6,250,000, Marine infrastructure $25,000,000 125,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
733 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Build the Infrastructure Needed To End Hunger in Central and Northern Maine Alfond, Justin Food hubs? 2,500,000 Carry Over   OTP-AM 6-6
747 EDU An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Assist in the Creation and Retention of Jobs and Improve Access to Higher Education in Maine Beavers, Roberta ERLP $13,000,000, Maine State Grant $10,000,000 23,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
873 HOUSING An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Housing for Homeless Veterans Golden, Jared Cabin in the Woods $4,000,000 4,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
875 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Highways, Bridges, Ports, Railroads and Other Multimodal Facilities McLean, Andrew Highway and bridge $155,000,000, Everything else $35,000,000 190,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
924 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Enhance State Parks Fredette, Kenneth State parks 5,190,000 Carry Over ONTP
931 R&D An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Research and Development for the University of Maine System Alfond, Justin R&D at UMS 20,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
996 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Food Processing Infrastructure in Rural Areas of the State Hickman, Craig Food processing grants through ACF 2,500,000 Carry Over   OTP-AM 6-6
998 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Collect Data on and To Monitor Ocean Acidification Parry, Wayne Collect data through MAR on Ocean acidification 3,000,000 Carry Over   Table
1053 R&D An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Stimulate Investment in Innovation by Maine Businesses To Produce Nationally and Globally Competitive Products and Services Luchini, Louis R&D and commercialization in 7 targeted sectors 50,000,000 Carry Over   Table
1069 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Upgrade Municipal Culverts at Stream Crossings McCabe, Jeff Culverts 10,000,000 Carry Over   Table
1234 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Acquire the Frances Perkins Homestead Johnson, Christopher acquire the Frances Perkins homestead 2,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
1248 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for the Land for Maine’s Future Fund McCabe, Jeff LMF 20,000,000 Carry Over   Table
1334 R&D An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Repair and Renovate the Former Cutler Naval Base in Washington County To Facilitate Development and Stimulate the Economy Burns, David Repair and renovate Cutler 5,525,000 Carry Over ONTP
1336 EDU An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Maine’s Community Colleges Fredette, Kenneth funding for all 7 campuses 24,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
1341 HOUSING An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Maine’s Housing Stock and Reduce Heating Costs and Oil Consumption Hill, Dawn Weatherization and energy efficiency through EMT $23,000,000, weatherization and energy efficiency at state’s low-income housing $7,000,000 30,000,000 Carry Over ONTP
100 ECON An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Help Small Businesses Alfond, Justin Concept Draft ONTP
1512 EDU An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Equipment for Career and Technical Education Centers Fecteau, Ryan Purchase equipment and make capital improvements at high school tech centers 10,000,000     OTP-AM 7-6
1630 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for the Construction of a New Fish Hatchery Davis, Paul new fish hatchery 28,000,000 ONTP
1656 EDU An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Loan Repayment Programs for Graduates in the Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Alfond, Justin STEM college debt reduction 10,000,000 ONTP
1694 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities Collins, Ron Transportation 100,000,000     Table

 

Bonds and more Table action

Tuesday afternoon Appropriations met to process more AFA Table bills and initiate the conversation on General Fund bonding.

Audio of the hearing is here.

LD 927 An Act to Remove the Age Penalty for State Retirees Working at Institutions that are closing Rep. Martin presented an amendment to Rep. Alley’s bill. The amendment provides that before any affected employees take advantage of this bill that advance appropriations be made. This avoids the creation of a constitutionally prohibited unfunded actuarial liability.

  • Prepay costs
  • 25 years of service or more
  • Has not otherwise reached Normal Retirement Age (NRA)
  • The correctional facility the employee works at is closing and is over 100 miles from the nearest state correctional facility
  • The retirement is a direct result of the closure

OTP-AM 7-6

LD 842 An Act to Establish Peer Center Reimbursement Supports 12 locations providing mental health services under the Consent Decree

OTP 7-6 $75,000

LD 886 Increase Reimbursement Rates for Home-based and Community Based Services Rep. Sanborn proposed an amendment that conforms to the provisions proposed in the supplemental budget LD 1606. It additionally offers $250,000 in GF funding for Section 40 services. The net effect is that all services covered under the HHS committee report receive 50% of the funding proposed by the HHS committee. The source of this one-time funding is existing DHHS funds not being used for TANF maintenance of effort purposes.

The final motion was OTP-AM with $4M and rate study for Section 40

LD 1253 Improve the Evaluation of Elementary and Secondary Schools OTP 9-3

LD 1627 An Act to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council OTP 7-6

LD 1638 An Act to Increase Payments to Providers that are subject to the Service Provider Tax

Rep. Sanborn proposed the bill be amended to use $750,000 from TANF maintenance of effort (one time) and $2.3M from FMAP funds.

TABLE

LD 1279 Authorize Advance Deposit Wagering on Horse Racing

OTP 7-6

LD 1534 An Act to Reduce the Trafficking of Illegal Drugs in this State The committee reconsidered its previous vote of 12-1 ONTP to entertain an amendment that no longer adds 4 trooper positions but instead asks the Maine State Police to reinstate a drug interdiction unit within existing resources.

ONTP 11-2

LD 1536 An Act to Provide Ballistic Vests to Law Enforcement The committee reconsidered its previous vote of OTP-AM 8-5 to entertain an amendment to strip the funding and requirement that vests be provided to law enforcement officers in favor of a report on efforts to provide vests to officers and their dogs. This effort was rejected in favor of the report made last week to provide vest for 15 Marine Patrol Officers.

The committee will meet to make final decisions surrounding bonding on Wednesday.

Action on the Appropriations Table

Appropriations met sporadically throughout the day to address bills that have made their way to the Appropriations Table.

Audio was unavailable this afternoon.

LD 281 Modify State Valuations with respect to Mill ClosuresTABLE

LD 1483 An Act to Amend Maine’s Motor Vehicle Laws– amended to remove the General Fund costs of the bill- OTP-AM 12-0

LD 1541 An Act Regarding Increased Sentences for the Illegal Importation of DrugsONTP 7-5

LD 1552, Reduce Mortality from Injectable Drugs, also known as “needle exchange”- amended to require the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the bill within existing resources OTP-AM 8-4

LD 1553- Regarding Worker CompensationOTP 8-4

LD 1603- Recommendations of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission OTP 11-1

LD 1610- An Act to Provide Certain Veterans Benefits ONTP 12-0

LD 1657- Amended to include Sen. Alfond’s Opportunity Maine bill and Rep. McCreight’s Opportunity Maine bill LD 1505 OTP-AM 13-0 $425,000

LD 690, An Act to Ensure Safety of Home Birth– Amended to require the Office of Professional and Financial Regulation to achieve the aims of the bill within existing resources. OTP-AM 9-4

LD 1279 An Act to Authorize Advance Deposit WageringTABLE at the request of Rep. Timberlake

LD 1472 Address Child Hunger, OTP 7-6 $79,800

LD 1577 An Act to Increase the Availability of Mental Health Services OTP 7-6

LD 1670 An Act to Attract Investment at Loring Commerce Center OTP 7-6 $637,000

LD 1671 An Act to Compensate Susan Cloutier OTP-8-5 $400,000

LD 1683 An Act to Increase Penalties for Violence Against Firefighters OTP 13-0

LD 1638 An Act to Increase Payments to Providers that are subject to the Service Provider Tax TABLE

Appropriations will reconvene in the morning.

 

Further AFA table action

Appropriations held a series of public hearings and work sessions this afternoon. The Commissioner of Transportation spoke to the committee about LD 1694 the Governor’s Transportation bond. Work sessions for bonds will be held at a later date.

Moving on to work sessions the Committee voted 7-4 to approve an amended version of LD 1579 to provide adequate Maine Clean Elections funding for the upcoming cycle by moving a January 2017 $500,000 transfer to August 2016.

LD 1645, Sen. Katz bill to enhance recruitment and retention at Riverview and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Centers was also approved in an amended fashion (to include benefit costs as noted at the previous work session). The cost will be borne from salary savings. The vote was 7-5.

LD 927 to provide retirement options to state employees close to retirement age if their facility they serve in closes and is more than 100 miles from a comparable facility was tabled pending disposition of the proposal to renovate the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.

LD 1612, the Veterans Services commission package consisting of LD 1343, LD 1590, LD 1611 and 1612 was then voted OTP 12-0. The constituent bills were also voted ONTP.

LD 655, Rep. Lajoie’s bill to look at the establishment of a state fire training facility, was amended to remove the funding and allow the fire commission to pursue private funds on a vote of 10-2.

Sen. Libby’s bill, LD 867, to equalize the sales tax treatment of medical marijuana was approved on a vote of 10-1 in an amended version that reimburses the General Fund for any loses though the Medical Marijuana Program Fund.

Audio of today’s hearing is here.

Work sessions on remaining bills, tabled bills and bills pending placement on the Appropriations Table will continue over the next week.

 

Appropriations Table

This evening the Appropriations committee met to work on the AFA Table. This was met by a motion to adjourn by Rep. Timberlake. This was defeated.

In spite of that motion the committee continued to vote on bills.

Audio of today’s hearing is here.

LD # Brief Description SPONSOR  FY17 AFA Note
BILLS ON APPROPRIATIONS TABLE
6 Gov. Oversight of Executive branch ethics Stuckey  $               77,993 ONTP 9-3
90 Personal needs allowance for Seniors Stuckey  $             750,409 OTP-AM 7-5
215 Jobs for Maine Graduates Alfond OTP-AM 7-5 language only
249 Weatherization Saviello ONTP
281 Town valuation for Sudden and Severe reductions of property value McCabe   TABLE $1.9M cushion from GF surplus?
365 Home modifications tax credit Verow  $               50,000 OTP-AM 7-6
419 Summer programs for sustained learning Pierce  $               99,394 OTP-AM 7-6
498 Restore R&D credit Nutting ONTP
552 Home visiting for families Maker  $          1,100,000 OTP-AM 8-5 Katz
654 AG Detectives retirement Nadeau  $                  3,684 OTP 8-5 Katz
655 Emergency Ser. Study Lajoie  $             150,000 ONTP 7-6
661 Hepatitis, HIV screenings Burnstein  $             195,900 OTP-AM 7-6
668 Market hunting and fishing Duchesne   ONTP 7-6 1 mkt position from carrying account
805 Bring suit against the state (Sunshine Childcare) Farnsworth   OTP 8-5
826 Rural broadband Saucier  $             750,000 ONTP 7-6
845 Public transportation Jorgensen  $             500,000 ONTP 12-1
860 Rural dental access McCormick OTP-AM 7-6  $307,813 January 1, 2017
867 Marijuana sales tax exemption Libby   TABLE Marijuana fund $253,650
890 Judicial consistency in cases involving children Monaghan  $                          – OTP 8-5
898 Opportunity Maine for out-of-state schools Chenette ONTP 9-4 Include in LD 1657
991 GMO labelling Dunphy, M OTP 8-5
1000 Prosthetic and orthotics sales tax exemption Gideon  $             171,000 OTP-AM 8-5
1002 Electronic monitoring of prisioners Fredette ONTP 12-1
1004 Visual media credit Picchiotti ONTP 12-1
1022 Harness racing Marean  $                          – OTP
1062 Veterans housing Golden ONTP
1142 Exempt out state pensions from income tax Turner ONTP 11-2
1150 Pharmacy costs for independent pharmacies Brooks OTP 12-1
1300 Jobs coooperatives Chapman  $               87,000 ONTP 7-6
1331 Liquor enforcement Luchini ONTP 10-3
1343 National guard tuition Fredette ONTP
1412 Riverview/Umaine educational cooperative Eves ONTP
1447 Repairs at Maine Correctional Center Rosen OTP 9-4
1465 Adequately pay for EMS Lajoie OTP-AM 8-5 Rate Study
1471 Food insecurity Thibodeau OTP $3,000,000 FHM arbitration
1473 Opiate addiction treatment Woodsome OTP-AM 7-6 $568,471 FMAP Oct 1
1481 Forestry fuel sales tax exemption Davis OTP-AM 3-10 (Fails)  $8,771,980 push to next biennium
1483 Motor vehicle laws Collins ONTP 12-1 Remove GF cost
1488 Law Enforcement Assisted Diverson Dion  $          1,100,000 OTP-AM 7 to 6
1489 Androscoggin County  college aspirations clarification Rotundo OTP 7-6
1496 Establish peer recovery centers Maker  $             400,000 OTP-AM 7-6 2 new centers in FY17, 1 in FY18
1505 Allow Opportunity Maine for consolidated student loans McCreight  $               24,500 OTP 9-4 include in 1657
1521 Nonprofit sales tax parity for health centers Gattine  $               20,580 OTP 8-5
1523 5% increases for law enforcement supervisors Davis  $             249,926 OTP-AM 13-0 Include in 1653 and fund from salary savings (Katz motion to set all LEO raises at 5% rejected 12-1)
1527 PNMI COLA 4% Burns  $          1,897,190 OTP 8-5
1528 Court facilities Valentino OTP 11-2
1530 Repeal PNMI service provider tax Cushing ONTP 12-1
1533 Nursing home cost of living increases Burns ONTP 10-3
1534 Further officers to combat drug trafficking Burns  $             449,040 ONTP 12-1
1536 Ballistic vests Burns  $             170,000 OTP-AM 8-5  
1540 School sexual assault Cyrway  $                          – OTP
1541 Increased drug sentences Cyrway TABLE
1542 Private Puplic Partnership disability income Beck OTP 11-2
1552 Needle exchange Vachon  $               75,000 TABLE
1553 Workers comp Dept. bill TABLE
1584 Park passes Tuell ONTP 8-5
1587 Opportunity Maine for Maine Maritime Academy vessels at sea Saviello  $             101,136 ONTP Include in 1657
1603 Criminal Law Advisory Commission code revisions Dept. bill
1618 DHHS nurse supervisor Dept. bill  $               44,060
1610 Park passes and vanity plates for Veterans Hannington, S TABLE
1613 Exempt some nonprofit organizations from collecting meals taxes Saviello  $          1,713,285 ONTP 7-6
1614 Support for county jails Rosen  $          2,465,896 OTP-AM 9-4 FY16 only despite column heading
1616 Geropsychiatric facility Brakey ONTP
1617 Long Term Care Ombudsman funding Brakey  $             150,000 OTP 9-4
1618 Increased Nurse education consultants in DHHS Brakey  $               44,060 OTP 7-6
1621 amend nursing home rule to facilitate placements Brakey  $               23,772 OTP 7-6
1624 Eliminate inactive boards and commissions OTP
1635 Deorganization of Oxbow plt Martin OTP
1657 Simplify Opportunity Maine Alfond  $             395,200 OTP-AM 9-4 Use as vehicle for all Opt Maine bills (898, 1587 and 1505)
GF Total  $       13,259,025