AFA Update: Monday, June 29, 2015- General Obligation Bonds

This afternoon AFA met to consider the nearly $1B in overlapping bond requests submitted to the 127th Legislature’s First Regular Session.

Audio of today’s hearing is here.

Two bonds received the approval of the committee. An $85M one-one year transportation bond was unanimously approved. A second bond of $15M was approved on an 10-3 vote to support senior housing and weatherization.

Other bonds were carried over to the next session unless the sponsors had requested otherwise.

A document detailing bonds and this action can be found here.

The same information is contained in the table below.

LDNumber Subject Title Sponsor Projects Total Disposition Final Amount- FY16 Details
1415 TRA An Act To Authorize Two General Fund Bond Issues To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities- GOV Hamper, James FY16- Highways and bridges $68,000,000, Everything else $17,000,000 FY17- Highway and bridge $72,000,000, Everything else $18,000,000 175,000,000 OTP-AM 85,000,000 $68M Highway and bridge, $18M Intermodal
1205 HOUSING An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support the Independence of Maine’s Seniors Eves, Mark Senior housing in each county and weatherization 65,000,000 OTP-AM     10-3 15,000,000 $14.5M senior housing (not in each county), $500,000 weatherization
211 HHS An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Prepare Maine To Respond to a Disease Outbreak Gratwick, Geoffrey upgrade facilities at the Health and Environment Testing Laboratory 10,000,000 ONTP
271 TRA An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Intermodal Transportation Facilities Farnsworth, Richard Intermodal facilities in Portland 28,000,000 ONTP
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
386 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Farmland Restoration Johnson, Christopher Farmland restoration 5,000,000 Carry Over
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
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
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
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 6,100,000 Carry Over
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
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? 5,000,000 Carry Over
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
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
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
924 CON An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Enhance State Parks Fredette, Kenneth State parks 5,190,000 Carry Over
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
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 5,000,000 Carry Over
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

AFA Update: Thursday, June 25, 2015- Actions on the Appropriations Table

This afternoon the Appropriations Committee met to take action on the Special Appropriations Table. The committee also approved an amended version of LD 86, An Act to Improve Retirement Security for Retired Public Employees, summary of this and other bills is at the bottom of the chart you see below.

Audio of today’s work session is here.

The Committee took the following actions: (A PDF of the information below is here: Table Bills 6.25.15)

Biennial Cost
Motion LD Title Sponsor
Carry Over 6 Strengethen Ethics Practices and Procedures
OTP 63 Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Provide Supplemental Reimbursement to Adult Family Care Homes and Residential Care Facilities in Remote Island Locations Representative Walter Kumiega  $       43,796
Carry Over 90 Personal Needs Allowance Stuckey  $              –
OTP 91 An Act To Allow Dental Hygienists To Prescribe Fluoride Dentifrice and Antibacterial Rinse Representative Heather Sirocki  $         6,750
Carry Over 93 Sanford and Berwick Pine Tree Zone Will be considered on June 30 O’Connor  $              –
OTP 140 An Act To Expand Access To Lifesaving Opioid Overdose Medication Representative Henry Beck  $       56,744
OTP 164 An Act To Establish the Maine Length of Service Award Program Representative Jeffrey Evangelos  $              –
OTP 170 An Act To Remove the 180-day Active Duty Requirement for the Property Tax Exemption for Vietnam Veterans Representative Catherine Nadeau  $       11,500
OTP 210 An Act To Provide for Special Restrictions on Dissemination and Use of Criminal History Record Information for Class E Crimes Committed by an Adult under 21 Years of Age Senator Linda Valentino  $       32,992
Carry Over 215 Improve Student Retention in Post-secondary Alfond  $              –
OTP 222 An Act To Reduce Commercial Shellfish License Fees for Persons under 18 Years of Age Representative William Tuell  $         8,272
OTP-AM 231 An Act To Ensure That Schoolchildren with Dyslexia Receive the Assistance Needed (Mandate, strip appropriation of $174,797) Representative Terry Morrison  $              –
Carry Over 249 Help Seniors Remain in Their Homes Saviello  $              –
OTP 261 Resolve, To Initiate the Procedures To Request the United States Congress’s Joint Committee on the Library To Replace a Statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection Senator Garrett Mason  $         3,000
OTP 284 An Act To Amend the Law Concerning Overwidth Farm Tractors on Public Ways Representative Russell Black  $         3,150
OTP 7-5 319 An Act To Strengthen the Economic Stability of Qualified Maine Citizens by Expanding Coverage of Reproductive Health Care and Family Services Representative Joyce McCreight  $    (227,483)
Carry Over 365 Tax Reduction for Home Modificiations to make a Home More Accessible Verrow  $              –
OTP 418 Resolve, To Study the Use of Social Impact Bonds as a Funding Mechanism for Public Education Programs in Maine Representative Matthew Pouliot  $              –
Carry Over 419 An Act To Promote Academic Opportunities for Maine Youth during Summer Months Representative Teresa Pierce  $              –
OTP 431 An Act To Strengthen the Laws Prohibiting Stalking Senator David Burns  $              –
Carry Over 498 R&D Super Credit Nutting  $              –
OTP 512 An Act To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission Relative to the Maine Criminal Code  $              –
Carry Over 552 Funding for Home Visiting Services Maker  $              –
OTP 582 An Act To Establish a State Educational Medicaid Officer Representative Paul Stearns  $       78,756
OTP 651 An Act To Amend Maine’s Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Law Senator Amy Volk  $              –
OTP 9-3 652 An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a Permit Senator Eric Brakey  $     230,178
Carry Over 661 Fund HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis screening, Prevention, Treatment and Diagnostic Services Burstein  $              –
OTP-AM 679 An Act To Prohibit the Unauthorized Distribution of Certain Private Images Representative Kenneth Fredette  $       15,800
OTP 727 An Act To Allow the Retrofit of Underground Oil Storage Tanks Senator David Woodsome  $         2,500
OTP 729 An Act To Add Acetylfentanyl to the List of Schedule W Drugs Senator David Burns  $              –
OTP-AM 787 Tax Credits for Adult Day Care Harlow  $     142,500
OTP-AM 11-1 831 Meals on Wheels (Language only) Sanborn  $              –
OTP-AM 839 An Act To Increase Conservation District Funding (decreased from $200,000 each yr) Representative Russell Black  $     140,000
OTP 840 An Act To Support the Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas and Standards-based Student Learning Representative Brian Hubbell  $              –
Carry Over 845 Address Unmet Public Transportation Needs Jorgensen  $              –
OTP-AM 853 An Act To Allow Secondary Schools To Grant Certificates of Academic Proficiency (change ‘shall’ to ‘may’) Representative Brian Hubbell  $              –
Carry Over 860 Dental Services McCormick  $              –
Carry Over 867 Tax Fairness for the use of Medical Marijuana Libby  $              –
Carry Over 898 Expansion of the Opportunity Maine Credit Chenette  $              –
OTP-AM 921 An Act To Strengthen the Right of a Victim of Sexual Assault or Domestic Violence To Take Necessary Leave from Employment (Combines language of LD 686 Social Media Privacy, and share the 1/2 time position) Representative Matthea Daughtry  $     101,439
ONTP 925 Promote Small Diversified Farms and Small Food  Producers Chapman  $              –
OTP-AM 941 An Act To Improve Tax Expenditure Transparency and Accountability (OPEGA Leg Council money) Senator Paul Davis  $     406,164
OTP 983 An Act To Clarify Wine Auction Licenses Senator John Patrick  $     109,341
Carry Over 1000 Define Orthotics and Prosthetics for Sales Tax Purposes Gideon  $              –
Carry Over 1002 Regarding the Electronic Monitoring Program Fredette  $              –
Carry Over 1004 Visual Media Production Picchiotti  $              –
Carry Over 1022 Protect the Future of Harness Racing Marean  $              –
OTP 1040 An Act To Enhance Funding Opportunities for the Youth Conservation Corps Senator Thomas Saviello  $       40,000
OTP 1044 An Act To Ensure That Collection Facilities Can Participate in the Architectural Paint Stewardship Program Senator Thomas Saviello  $         5,000
Carry Over 1062 Housing for Homeless Veterans Golden  $              –
Carry Over 1142 Taxation of Out-of-state Pensions Turner  $              –
OTP 1160 An Act to Make Possession of a Firearm with an Altered or Obscured Serial Number a Class C Crime Senator Haskell  $              –
OTP-AM 1166 An Act to Protect Taxpayers by Regulating Personal Services Contracts (reduced funding for 1/2 time position) Rep. Martin of Sinclair  $       69,033
OTP 1202 Resolve, To Ensure the Stocking of Inland Waters in the State Sen. Davis  $              –
Carry Over 1253 Improve the Evaluation of Primary and Secondary Schools Bates  $              –
OTP-AM 1272 An Act To Strengthen the Protections for Senior Citizens in the State (strip appropriation and looking for federal grant) Sen. Burns  $              –
OTP 1277 An Act to Establish a Magnet School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering Rep. Gillway  $              –
OTP-AM 8-3 1291 An Act To Promote Food Self-sufficiency for the People of the State (reduced funding from fiscal note) Rep. Hickman  $       42,140
Carry Over 1300 Create and Sustain jobs Though the Development of Cooperatives  $              –
OTP 1307 An Act to Fund the Maine Diversion Alert Program Sen. Willette  $       95,000
Carry Over 1331 Liquor enforcement Luchini  $              –
OTP-AM 1337 An Act To Fully Fund the Family Caregiver Respite Program (reduced funding from fiscal note) Rep. Malaby  $     247,272
Carry Over 1343 National Guard (strip appropriation) Rep. Fredette  $              –
OTP-AM 1348 Money Minders for Seniors Gattine  $     150,000
OTP-AM 1350 Resolve, To Increase the Reimbursement Rate for Direct-care Workers Serving Adults with Long-term Care Needs (reduced funding from fiscal note) Covers Sec. 12 workers Speaker Eves  $     250,000
OTP-AM 1372 An Act to Encourage the Redevelopment of Upper Floors of Buildings in Downtown and on Main Streets (add mandate) Rep. Campbell  $              –
OTP-AM 1332 An Act To Attract Entrepreneurs to the State (already amended on floor) Sen. Alfond  $     201,000
Carry Over 1412 Riverview and UMA Training Purposes Eves  $              –
Carry Over 186 Repeal Jail Consolidation (strip additional appropriation and non lapse supplemental budget money) Could be reconsidered June 30 Davis  $              –
OTP-AM 1246 Meth Labs Rosen  $       36,000
Carry Over 281 Milltown Valuation Legislation (Could be reconsidered on June 30) McCabe  $              –
OTP 767 Create Jobs in Washington and Aroostook County McElwee  $              –
Carry Over 1383 Opportunity Maine Tax Credit Alfond  $              –
 $              –
 $              –
Totals  $   1,894,680
 $              –
 $   1,894,680
OTP-AM 6-4 86 Improve Retirement Security for Retired Public Employees Sherman
Carry Over 654 Add AG Detectives to the 1998 Special Retirement Plan Nadeau
ONTP 1018 Supplemental budget placeholder Rotundo

Budget Update: Wednesday, June 17, 2015- Final budget enactment and tax details

Today the Legislature voted on LD 1019, the biennial budget. The budget was enacted in both bodies with 2/3 votes and sent on to the Governor for him to begin his 10 day (excluding Sunday’s) veto period. He has stated his intention to take the full 10 days.

The following amendments were offered: (detail of all Senate roll call (RC) votes were not available at this posting)

Amendment Item Sponsor Disposition House Disposition Senate
C-A H-415 Majority Report Adopted 101-47 Adopted
C-B H-416 Minority Report Not considered Not considered
H-A H-439 Allow those who are lawfully present to be eligible for General Assistance Duchesne Adopted 83-66 Indefinitely postponed RC#270 (24-11)
H-B H-448 Bipartisan deal McCabe Adopted Indefinitely postponed
H-C H-449 Adjust municipal valuation in response to sudden and severe disruption McCabe Indefinitely postponed 93-56 Not considered
H-D H-451 ·         $3M from Home Fund for new rental assistance program·         Tax equalization payment for high income filers

·         Takes teacher retirement out of EPS

·         Title I funds distributed to schools without EPS penalty

·         More GPA

·         More Maine State Grant Funds

·         Increased reimbursement for direct care workers

·         Increase Personal Needs allowance

·         Increase funding to peer support centers

·         Increase funds for child care, Head Start

Stuckey Indefinitely postponed 110-39 Not considered
S-A S-287 Technical amendment Hamper Recede & concur Adopted
S-B S-288 Bipartisan deal option (Replacement for H-C H-449) Hamper Recede & concur Adopted
S-C C-289 Allow person who is lawfully present or seeking lawful status to receive General Assistance for 24 months Volk Not considered Indefinitely postponed RC 269 (22-13)

Senate vote on Engrossment RC# 271 (34-1)
House vote on Recede and Concur RC# 279 (105-42)
House vote on Enactment RC# (105-42)
Senate vote on Enactment (31-4)

Tax plan details

June 15 Final Plan Incidence 2017
The fiscal note for the tax plan is here
The presentation given at caucus is here

AFA Update: Saturday, June 6, 2015- Final votes on budget, scant information on the minority report and statements from Leaders

Tonight the Appropriations committee took final votes on LD 1019, the biennial budget. The vote resulted in two reports, a Majority (9) Ought to Pass as Amended and a Minority (4) Ought to Pass as Amended Members spoke at the end of their deliberations about their continued confidence that the process will yield a budget that will achieve 2/3rd support.

Audio of today’s hearing is here.

Committee amendments offered this evening are here.

Votes taken this evening

Item Motion Dissent
$14M in one-time funding over the biennium in new funding for Nursing Facilities In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
A permanent extension of current 1% increase in the Meals and Lodging tax raising $68.6M over the two year budget In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Direct $6M from the Home Fund each year to the General Fund In 11-2 Winsor, Timberlake
$2M/year for the Shelter Operating Subsidy In 8-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
$2M/year to increase the salaries of Direct Care Workers performing Personal Support Services in Secs. 19, 63 & 96 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Winsor, Timberlake
$5M/year to fund the Sec. 21 wait list for services to people with intellectual disabilities In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
The Department of Labor’s request for $1.3M/year to fund the operations of the Employment Security Fund. There are employer funds and Reed Act funds that are a better source for this request. In 12-1 Sanborn
Reconsider the provision of a 4% increase to PNMIs instead providing a 3% increase including a 3% increase for Adult Family Care Homes In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Increase the Homestead Property Tax exemption from $10,000 to $15,000 effective April 1, 2016. For the upcoming biennium the state will reimburse municipalities for 100% of the lost revenue, falling to 75% in FY18 (the state is only required to provide 50% reimbursement) In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Exempt 100% of military pensions up to $25,000 In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Sen. Katz amendment to have the District Attorneys in conjunction with the Attorney General propose how  in the future additional Assistant District Attorney’s will be allocated among the prosecutorial districts by September 16, 2015 In
Sen. Hamper’s amendment related to LD 592, providing a sales tax exmeption for fuel sold for the operation of greenhouse facilities larger than 1,000,000 square feet. This sunsets after two years. In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Direct $1M from the Fund for a Healthy Maine to support lead screenings for 2 years as well as making the Maine standard for child lead exposure consistent with the federal standard In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
From one-time arbitration funds in the Fund for a Healthy Maine provide $575,000 in each year for Head Start and $200,000 for the testing of wells for the presence of arsenic In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Rep. Martin’s amendment to create a Public Lands Commission to study land management In 7-6 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Katz, Winsor
Rep. Sirocki’s amendment to require that agencies conduct a review of vacancies and report for action next year In 7-6 Sanborn, Grant, Valentino,
2 years of funding at $75,000 for College for ME Androscoggin, That counties version of the “Bridge” program In 10-3 Nutting, Sirocki, Timberlake
Allow Retirees that lost compensation to furlough days in FY12-13 to purchase that time in order to equalize their retirement benefit- there is no fiscal impact to this approach In
Sen. Hamper’s amendment to create 13 Community Care Worker positions at the Department of Health and Human Services In
Rep. Sanborn’s amendment to create an Affordable Housing Working Group to address the challenges faced by many in achieving affordable, appropriate housing In 7-6 Nutting, Sirocki, Katz, Hamper, Winsor, Timberlake
Rep. Sirocki’s amendment to eliminate Revenue Sharing for municipalities that do not file a report required by LD 1 In 5-7 Sanborn, Valentino, Rotundo, Jorgensen, Frey, Grant, Martin
Exempt excise tax on adaptive equipment on motor vehicles In
Sales tax exemption for non-profit library collaboratives In
Accept $1.4M in unused debt service in FY15 In
Accept $4M in increased federal funding in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHP) In
Require Legislative Council to issue an RFP for the equipment deemed necessary infrastructure for broadcasting legislative sessions and committee hearings In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Appropriate Funds To Help Restore the Historic Wood Island Life Saving Station in Kittery- $200,000 In 9-4 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Provide Funding to the Department of Transportation To Complete the Assessment for the Completion of the State-owned St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Line- $150,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Start a Pilot Program for Medical Substitution Treatment in a Local Community Setting- $41,769 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Provide funds to eliminate the Meals on Wheels Wait List- $75,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force To End Student Hunger in Maine- $162,097 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Funds to Create Community Schools- $150,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Funds to support Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)- $1,000,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Support School Nutrition- $15,700 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Attract Young People to Maine by Expanding the Job Creation Through Educational Opportunity Program- $325,452 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Expand Access to Workforce Development at Brunswick Landing- $410,982 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Put ME to Work- $1,000,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Funding to allow the Public Safety/State Police Computer Crime Unit to create a contract with a trained local officer to deal with a backlog of evidence- $44,000 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
Support the reestablishment of the Drug Court in Bangor- $300,000 In 11-2 Timberlake, Winsor
Increase funding for Peer Support Centers- $125,00 In 8-5 Sirocki, Nutting, Hamper, Timberlake, Winsor
$200,000 for the acquisition of the Frances Perkins Homestead in Newcastle, a National Historic Site In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake

Rep. Sirocki read a brief narrative intended to outline the Minority report.

Scant details of the Minority Report:

  • Income tax beginning in FY19 with rates of 0%-6.2%
  • Meals 8%
  • Lodging tax 9%
  • Continuation of the 5.5% sales tax
  • Service Provider tax 6%
  • Prepared food 5.5%
  • Estate and Corporate as proposed by the Governor
  • Homestead as current law
  • Reduce wait lists
  • Cut vacant positions in September
  • General Assistance as proposed by the Governor

Maine Legislature

Speaker’s Office

www.speakereves.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 5, 2015
Contact: Jodi Quintero [Rotundo] 841-6279
Ericka Dodge [Valentino] 232-5892

Panel reaches bipartisan budget deal

Bipartisan budget deal will boost Maine economy; grow good jobs and strong wages

(Augusta) – A bipartisan budget deal reached by Maine lawmakers on Friday night will boost Maine’s economy and help grow good jobs and strong wages at a time when the state lags behind the nation.

“Our bipartisan plan prioritizes property tax relief for everyday Mainers and invests in our students, workers and our economy,”  said Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, the House Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. “It rejects failed trickle-down economics, and instead focuses on growing the economy from the middle out.”

The $6.6 billion budget rejects Governor LePage’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Mainers, while increasing property tax relief for all Maine families and bolsters investment in public schools, higher education and workforce training.

The bipartisan budget plan would:

  • Bolster direct property tax relief by $27 million. Increases the Homestead property tax exemption from $10,000 to $15,000 for all Maine families.

  • Fund local police, fire and public works. Rejects the elimination of funding for revenue sharing to cities and towns. Keeps current funding levels.

  • Increase investment in Maine students, schools, and teachers through K-12 public education by $50 million.

  • Make college more affordable: Invests $10 million for scholarships to help Maine students and workers pay for college through the Maine State Grant program.

  • Invest in job training: Increases funding for the Community College System by $10 million and provides $1 million for job training for workers.

  • Protect seniors and public health: The committee rejected the Governor’s $48 million cut to the Drugs for the Elderly and Medicare Savings Programs, which helps low-income seniors pay for prescription drugs as well cuts to public health dollars in the Fund For Healthy Maine. It also boosts funding for direct care workers by $4 million.

  • Support veterans: Military retirees will get an additional pension exemption of up to $25,000.

  • Bolster drug enforcement:  Funds four new agents for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and allows $200,000 in federal grant money to be used by the MDEA’s discretion to hire additional staff or invest in anti-drug efforts.

“Even in a challenging political climate, Senate Republicans and House and Senate Democrats stepped up to agree on a budget that invests in creating a strong economic future for our state while taking care of our financial responsibilities today,”  said Democratic State Senator Linda Valentino of Saco, who serves on the state’s Appropriations Committee. “It also addresses one of the biggest challenges facing most Mainers–rising property taxes. We know that in order for our state to compete, we have to invest in our students, workers, and communities.”

Democrats and Senate Republicans also agreed to conform the state’s estate tax exemptions to the federal level of $5.5 million and to send a Constitutional Amendment to voters requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase the income tax rates. The tax cuts in the bipartisan plan are funded by keeping the current meals and lodging tax at eight percent.

The budget now heads to the House and Senate, where it will need to earn two-thirds of the vote to pass and sustain a veto from Gov. LePage.

###

Maine Legislature

Speaker’s Office

www.speakereves.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2015
Contact: Jodi Quintero [Rotundo] 841-6279
Ericka Dodge [Valentino] 232-5892

Democratic Leaders Praise Bipartisan Budget Deal

AUGUSTA — Top Democrats in the Maine House and Senate praised a bipartisan budget deal reached on Friday by House and Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans.

In a vote of 9-4, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee backed a $6.6 billion budget that boosts property tax relief, invests in public schools, higher education and job training for Maine students and workers. The panel rejected Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, while cutting funds to help low income seniors pay for their medicine and other key public health funding.

“The bipartisan budget agreement is a huge win for Maine families and our economy. It prevents a state shutdown and helps everyday Mainers by boosting property tax relief and investing in our students and workers. By investing in our schools, students and workers, we are putting a down payment on Maine’s middle class and helping to write Maine’s comeback story. Maine’s job growth and wages lag behind the nation, and would have only been held back further by the failed trickle down economics proposed by the Governor.”

Democrats and Senate Republicans also agreed to conform the state’s estate tax exemptions to the federal level of $5.5 million and to send a Constitutional Amendment to voters requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase the income tax.

“In divided government, compromise is the only option for getting things done. Senate Republicans, House Democrats, and Senate Democrats have come to an agreement where both sides have made concessions,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “If the House Republicans and the Governor choose to shutdown state government, it will be because they insisted on prioritizing tax breaks to the wealthiest. Simply put, they have chosen to sell Maine people ideology rather than a plan that can work.”

In April, Speaker Eves and Senator Alfond announced the Better Deal for Maine plan to counter Gov. Paul LePage’s budget. The Better Deal plan would have taxes for the middle class, lowered property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invested in Maine schools, workers and communities. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax cuts go to the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers. Under the Governor’s plan, 50 percent of the tax break goes to the top 10 percent. Republicans and the Governor rejected the plan.

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Bipartisan Budget Agreement

  • Bolster direct property tax relief by $27 million. Increases the Homestead Property Tax Exemption from $10,000 to $15,000 for all Maine families.

  • Fund local police, fire and public works. Rejects the elimination of funding for revenue sharing to cities and towns.

  • Increase investment in Maine students, schools, and teachers through K-12 public education by $50 million

  • Make college more affordable: Invests $10 million for scholarships to help Maine students and workers pay for college through the Maine State Grant program.

  • Invest in job training: Increases funding for the Community College System by $10 million and provides $1 million for job training for workers.

  • Protect seniors and public health: The committee rejected the Governor’s $48 million cut to the Drugs for the Elderly and Medicaid Savings programs, which helps low-income seniors pay for prescription drugs as well cuts to public health dollars in the Fund For Healthy Maine. It also boosts funding for direct care workers by $4 million.

  • Support veterans: Military retirees will get an additional pension exemption of up to $25,000.

  • Bolster drug enforcement:  Funds four new agents for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and allows $200,000 in federal grant money to be used by the MDEA’s discretion to hire additional staff or invest in anti-drug efforts.

  • Conform Estate Tax to Federal Law: Democrats and Senate Republicans also agreed to conform the state’s estate tax exemptions to the federal level of $5.5 million

  • Send Voters a Constitutional Amendment: Asks voters to approve a Constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase the income tax rates.

  • Keep current lodging and meals tax: Keeps the current meals and lodging tax at eight percent.

AFA Update- Tuesday, June 2, 2015: GPA, Revenue Sharing and tax changes

Today AFA voted on a number of budget lines, amendments and language pieces.

Highlights include setting Revenue Sharing at $62.5M for each of the next two years in defiance of the Governor’s plan to eliminate the aid to municipalities, finalizing $80M in additional support for local schools through GPA over the next biennium, rejecting the Governor’s income and corporate tax changes, accepting the Republican proposal to set the Estate Tax at the federal exclusion of $5.5M going forward instead of the Governor’s plan to eliminate the Estate Tax, reject the Governor’s plan to transfer properties from the BETR program to the BETE program -municipalities objected to this plan and require that if someone applies for General Assistance with 45 days of being released from a correctional facility the invoice for that assistance will be rendered to their residence prior to their incarceration.

Audio of today’s hearings is here.

Copies of the amendments are here.

Item Motion Dissent
C-4 Pushes the 1% annual target to reach 55% out In 8-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
C-5 Keeps language to use casino funds for Pre-K, Pushes out of this biennium In-Am
C-11, 12, 13 Allows the Commissioner of DOE to support school improvement, career and technical and performance evaluation and professional growth systems activities In
C-18 Establishes the cost of K-12 education provides adjusted misc costs at $1.5M/year In
G-1-6 BETR/BETE changes Out 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
J-1-4 Estate tax set the Maine estate tax at the federal exemption of $5.5M beginning in January 1, 2016 at a cost of $14M in FY17 In-Am 11-2 Nutting, Sirocki
K-1-50 Changes in the individual and corporate taxes Out 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
M-2 Change to conform with the rest of the Part M votes In-Am 10-3 Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
M-3 Increases statutory cap on “Rainy Day Fund” In
M-4 Changes how the growth limit is calculated for General Purpose Aid to Education Out 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
M-7 Changes the distribution of the “Cascade” of year end revenue surpluses In
M-8-11 Changes growth calculation for EPS & Highway Fund In
U- Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local and Regional Services at $750,000K/year In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
X-1 Phases out pet food surcharge (Rep. Timberlake proposed an amendment that was rejected 5-8) Out 8-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake, Martin
FF-1 Use Forest Protection funds for the overhaul of helicopters In
KK-1 Require Corrections to overhaul efficiency and allows the Budget Officer to transfer positions to achieve those efficiencies in the upcoming biennium upon notifying the Appropriations committee In-Am
QQ-1 Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services at $750,000/year In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
ZZ-1-3, DDD Rejecting the plan to remove assistance from legally present new Mainers In-Am 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
BBB Changes disability determination from 90-45 days Out 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
KKK-1-3 Changes the method of General Assistance and the State Valuation Amount Out 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
PPP-1-4 Change the compensation for judges Out
TTT Moves teacher fingerprinting costs to Public Safety In
BBBB Repeals that rent be paid directly to the Maine Military Authority per the recommendation of the VLA committee Out 8-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
DDDD Allows Agriculture to transfer balances between Forest Health and Monitoring and Forest Protection to pay for forest protection In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
FFFF Permit adult offenders to be housed in the Mountain View Youth Development Center with juvenile offenders Out 7-6 All Rs
GGGG Limit the salary of the Adjutant General and firefighters covered by the Master Cooperative Agreement Out 7-6 All Rs
NNNN Transfers balances from IF&W carrying accounts Out 8-5
OOOO Deal with Uncontrolled Hazardous Substance sites In
Language from LD 370 to Amend lobbyist disclosure laws- redirecting lobbyist registration fees to the Commission on Governmental Ethics In 12-1 Winsor
Language to conduct a court feasibility study in York, Oxford and Waldo Counties In
Rep. Winsor’s amendment to capture $700,000 from the Dirigo Health ending balance In
Rep. Frey and Sen. Katz’s amendment to require that if someone applies for General Assistance with 45 days of being released from a correctional facility the invoice for that assistance will be rendered to their residence prior to their incarceration In 9-4 Nutting, Sirocki, Winsor, Timberlake
Sen. Katz amendment to have the District Attorney’s propose how  in the future additional Assistant District Attorney’s will be allocated among the prosecutorial districts Table
Sen. Hamper’s amendment related to LD 592, changing the sale price of fuel sold for the operation of greenhouse facilities Table
Adjustments from Legislative Council from $10,000 annually in dues from NCSL to the Commission on Uniform State Laws In
Language to implement the increased reimbursement of Indigent Legal Services from $55-$60/hour as accepted last night In
Allow for adequate one day borrowing between fiscal years to achieve a balance in FY16 In 12-1 Timberlake
Eliminate positions in various programs in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Out 10-3 Sirocki, Nutting Timberlake
Pet food surcharge line item Out 9-4
Eliminates positions within Municipal Planning Assistance in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Out 9-4 Sirocki, Nutting Timberlake, Winsor
Eliminate the Sec. 21 waitlist Out 9-4 Sirocki, Nutting Timberlake, Winsor
Replace funds for the Employment Security fund to be used for administrative costs from General Fund to replace federal funds- Rep. Sanborn presented an amendment to use existing Reed Act funds that are intended to used for these administrative purposes Table 8-4
27 New positions in the Office of Information Technology In 12-1 Timberlake
Set Revenue Sharing for Munipicalities at $62.5M for both years of the biennium In- Am 9-4 Sirocki, Nutting Timberlake, Winsor

The committee expects to complete its work tomorrow.

AFA Update: Monday, June 1, 2015- Votes on GPA funding, Community College funding, wait lists and Fredette’s bill LD 1414

This evening the Appropriations committee held a public hearing on LD 1414 An Act Regarding the Disposition of Certain Funds Received by the Attorney General Pursuant to a Court Order or Settlement

Audio from that hearing is here. (Audio begins with the testimony of Cynthia Montgomery, Acting Legal Counsel for the Governor)

Discussion centered on the Governor’s motivations for submitting this bill through Rep. Fredette at this time. Rep. Frey and Rep. Grant directly questioned the Governor’s sequestration of the $21.5M from the Standard & Poors settlement. Essentially it can be argued that the Governor’s actions violate the court order putting the funds at the “sole discretion of the Attorney General”.

Following a brief break the committee returned to take a series of votes on the few remaining budget items.

The audio of those deliberations is here.

Item Motion Dissent
$1.5M for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services In-Am 9-1 Timberlake
$1.8M to eliminate waitlists for home and community based services for older adults
$2.6M to support Health Homes A & B for children with severe behavioral challenges and adults with one or more chronic conditions (Secs. 91 & 92) In-Am 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
$400,000 for the Maine International Trade Center In
$6M for capital construction and repair In-Am 10-3 Sirocki, Timberlake, ??
$1.5M for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local Services In-Am 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Funding for Office of Information Technology a 10% reduction of the Governor’s proposed amount In-12-1 Nutting
A position for the Office of the Treasurer In 12-1 Winsor
$398,948 for the purchase of additional vehicles for Public Safety In-Am 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Just over $1M for the creation of a new liquor excise tax payment system In
Establish a part time research position for the Domestic Violence Homicide Review Panel In
A further $50M ($39M from General Funds and $11M to be redirected from Miscellaneous Costs in Part C) of support for General Purpose Aid to Education over the biennium for a total increase of $80M In-Am 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
$2.9M in FY16 for the Commission on Indigent Legal Services, the full amount requested for the first year of the biennium In-Am9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Increased reimbusement for attorneys in the Indigent Legal Services Program, the increase is to $60/hour for a total of $3.3M In-Am
Provide $135k/year for increased Shelter Operating Subsidy In 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Drug Court funding $654,000 In
Part time State Museum position In 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Support for the Bicentennial Celebration at the State Museum $40,000 In
Support for the purchase of military service credit In
Funding for the Cold Case Homicide unit $700K In
Further support for the Maine Community College System with a further $2M in FY17 for a total increase of $8M, just under 5% as requested by MCCS to prevent layoffs and tuition increases In-Am 9-4 Timberlake, Sirocki, Winsor, Nutting
Support for the Criminogenic Addiction Recovery Academy $240K In

The committee will continue its work Tuesday afternoon.

AFA Update: Sunday, May 31, 2015- Courts, HHS votes and a frame work for a budget

This evening the AFA committee voted on a number of significant lines including the funding of drug agents, drug prosecutors and judges and the cleanup of drug manufacture sites and dumps. Courthouses also receive money for facility costs at the Bangor and Augusta court houses as well as additional court security and screening.

The committee also provided $10M in additional funds for the Maine State Grant Program to help Maine students afford higher education.

Also this evening Democrats and Senate Republicans reached the framework for a deal that will protect key Democratic priorities. As you will read in the news aspects of this plan include support to allow Maine voters to have a say on a constitutional amendment to require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature or a people’s initiative to raise the income tax.

This is not the Governor’s constitutional amendment to eliminate the income tax.

16 states have supermajority requirements for increasing any revenues ranging up to 75%.

The committee also rejected the Governor’s plan to gut General Assistance and help to legally present new Mainers, people who are prohibited from working to support themselves or their families by federal law.

Audio of this evening’s hearing is here

The votes taken this evening are:

Item Motion Dissent
Funding for 4 new investigative agents to combat drug crimes $767,744 In 9-4 Sirrocki, Nutting, Winsor, Timberlake
Funding for Crime Scene Processing involving methamphetamine $600,000 In
Funding for the Maine State Grant Program for scholarships to Maine students $10M In 9-4 Sirrocki, Nutting, Winsor, Timberlake
$3M for increased reimbursements for primary care doctors In-Am
The rejection of the Governor’s plan to change the time limit for disability determinations from 45 days to 90 days Out 9-4 Sirrocki, Nutting, Winsor, Timberlake
The rejection of the Governor’s plan to eliminate 15 positons related to the plan to change the time limit for disability determinations from 45 days to 90 days Out
The rejection of the Governor’s plan to eliminate state support for new Mainers legally in this country and prohibited to work to support themselves by federal law Out 9-4 Sirrocki, Nutting, Winsor, Timberlake
Rejection of the Governor’s plan to make wrenching changes to the General Assistance program Out 9-4 Sirrocki, Nutting, Winsor, Timberlake
Facility costs at the Bangor courthouse In
Facility costs at the Augusta Capitol Judicial Center In
The rejection of the plan to increase per diem payments for active retired judges Out
Funding for 10 new Assistant District Attorney positions $1.9M In
Funding for 2 new judges and 2 new clerks $238,488 In-Am 12-1 Timberlake
A Research Assistant position in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner In
Funding for increased security coverage at the Kennebec County courthouse In
Restore attrition savings taken from the Assistant District Attorney programs In
Establish 3 Deputy Marshall and 1 Sergeant positions in FY16 and 3 Deputy Marshall positions in FY17 In-Am 12-1 Timberlake
A Research Assistant position in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner In
Funding for further increases in Homestead, Veterans tax, Tree Growth and BETR/BETE $3.6M in FY17 In

Rep. Sirocki stated her claim that General Assistance is contrary to federal law. Rep. Timberlake feels that General Assistance “rewards bad behavior.”

Yesterday the committee took a few votes in the evening.

The audio of that session is here.

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Item Motion
Transfer positions between the newly created Bureau of Land and Bureau of Water in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP In
Transfers funding for state boarding homes from the PNMI acount In
Provide increased funding for the operation of the Unorganized Territories $1.1M In
Provide funding for reimbursement of the purchase of bullet proof vests In

Rep. Sirocki moved to reconsider and table the provision of $4.6M in each year to nursing homes that had been passed earlier in the day. This motion passed 11-2.

The committee will be continuing its work Monday afternoon.