Additional Testimony on General Assistance/Ombudsman
Today the Appropriations committee joined by the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W) and Marine Resources committees to hear the part of the Governor’s budget related to those departments.
Programs Administered by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
And the Department of Marine Resources
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Over the next 2 years, FY 2014 & FY 2015, the Governor’s Biennial General Fund Budget proposes to:
- Transfer $3.34 million from the Administrative Services Account to the Commissioner’s Office as part of a reorganization of administrative services,
- Allocate an additional $100,000 in Other Special Revenues to the ATV Safety & Educational Program,
- Fund the Boating Access Sites Program transferred from the former Department of Conservation at a reduction of $1.15 million in Federal Expenditures$524,444 in Other Special Revenues.
- Fund the Endangered Non-Game Operations Program at a net increase of roughly $50,000 from the General Fund, Federal Funds, and Other Special Revenues,
- Fund Enforcement Operations of the Department by increasing funding by nearly $600,000 in General Fund support and additional funds of $170,000 in federal funds. This initiative establishes five new seasonal intermittent Deputy Game Warden positions,
- Fund fisheries and hatcheries at a net increase of $1.4 million in the 2014-2015 Biennium to include fish hatchery maintenance and equipment purchases,
- Fund the Landowner Relations Fund at roughly the same level as in FY 2013,
- Fund Licensing Services at roughly $400,000 less than funded in the 2012-2013 Biennium,
- Fund the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund at $2.288 million over the Biennium – the same as the 2012-2013 Biennium
- Fund the Office of the Commissioner at an additional $3.34 million as a result of reorganization,
- Increase funding by $127,000 for Public information and Education,
- Fund Resource Management at roughly $2 million more compared to the 2012-2013 Biennium,
- Funds Search and rescue at roughly $665,000 – roughly the same as in 2012 and 2013,
- Fund Waterfowl Habitat at the same level as in the 2012-2013 Biennium,
- Fund Whitewater Rafting at an additional amount of $66,000 over the 2014-2015 Biennium
Bureau of Public Health Bureau of Marine Patrol
- Bureau of Resource Management Office of the Commissioner
- Division of Aquaculture Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat
The Department of Marine Resources is reorganized to a substantial degree by this budget, and many of the restructured programs and bureaus do not have a funding history.
- Provides for changes in the splitting of watercraft revenues between the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Marine Resources. Allocation of watercraft fees and fines will be distributed as follows:
- 75% to the Department of Inland fisheries and Wildlife, and 25% to the Department of Marine Resources.
The Budget creates a communications position, to be filled by appointment by the Commissioner of the Marine Resources Department.
Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW)
Budget documents for the IF&W committee may be found here.
The committees were joined by Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. Commissioner Woodcock presented testimony in support of the initiatives in the Governor’s budget.
The committees asked questions related to the distribution of watercraft registration fees between IF&W and MAR. Concerns were also expressed regarding the potential loss of federal funds.
Marine Resources (MAR)
Budget documents for the MAR committee may be found here.
The MAR committee joined Appropriations to hear Commissioner Patrick Keliher of the Department of Marine Resources present testimony in support of the Governor’s proposal affecting his department.
Monday, April1 Appropriations will meet to hear presentations from departments, including Commissioner Bowen from DOE.
On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 1:00 PM the Appropriations committee will meet to hold a public hearing on portions of the budget in its purview including:
- Governor and Certain Judges Retirement
- State Employee and Retiree Health Insurance
- General Obligation Bond debt service
- · The full schedule may be found here.
Audio and more
Please feel free to join the committee as they do their work. You may also listen online using the following link: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/audio/index.htm
You also may watch broadcasts of these and other committee hearings on the Maine Capitol Connection pilot channel through Maine Public Broadcasting. You may watch over the air or through your cable provider as well as online here: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineCapitolConnection.aspx
Thank you and please let me know if you have questions.