This afternoon the AFA committee convened for a public hearing on Rep. Fecteau’s $25M career and technical education equipment bond issue, LD 1512. A discussion on workforce issues and another on tax conformity followed.
Commissioner Rosen of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) then joined the committee to discuss retention and recruitment issues regarding the state workforce.
Based on Rep. Winsor’s carried over bill, LD 1032 the Commissioner referred to a few initiatives including the following :
Age transitions plan
Defined benefit retirement plan that includes Social Security for new employees
Rep. Martin asked when the administration plans to share its law enforcement supervisor pay parity initiative. The Commissioner stated this has already been sent to the Criminal Justice committee. Sen. Davis’s bill does not identify sources to fund these pay increases. Further, I have been led to believe that a further more expansive bill has yet to be released.
Members then asked the Commissioner to elaborate on the sources identified by the Administration to offset the costs of LD 1564, tax conformity. That bill is currently held but a Joint Order passed the House this morning allowing AFA to report a bill on this issue.
Commissioner Rosen provided the committee with a list of sources.
$4.3M fund balance
$9.5M Tax Relief Fund ($50M is needed to trigger the law pertaining to this fund)
$15,000 unneeded Veterans exemption reimbursement
$6.1M in unneeded debt service
$13.5M in Personal Services lapsing balances
$1.4M Projected increase in Casino funds for education
$3M from funds for the efficient delivery of services both local and educational
$300,000 Dirigo Health lapsed balances
$151,331 Audit recoveries
These are all one-time sources of funding.
Members, including Rep. Martin asked about ongoing sources and what other needs the Administration plans to bring forward this session, like pay equity for law enforcement supervisors considering the Administration’s proposal to spend $13.5M in Personal Services funds for conformity.
The committee will take up tax conformity again tomorrow at 10:00 AM when the public has more notice.