Work Sessions and presentation of caucus priorities

This afternoon the Appropriations Committee held work sessions on a number of bills with the following outcomes:

LD 1486 Resolve, To Reauthorize the Issuance of Certain Bonds for Land Conservation Projects- ONTP at the request of the sponsor

LD 1640 An Act To Provide Emergency Repair Funding for the Restoration of the Official State Vessel, the Schooner Bowdoin- Majority ONTP

LD 1645 An Act To Address Employee Recruitment and Retention Issues at State Mental Health Institutions- Tabled

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

LD 1597 An Act To Provide Supplemental Appropriations and Deappropriations for the Judicial Department for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017- OTP-AM

Audio of today’s meeting can be found here.

Democrats on the committee also shared a list of critical priorities composed of initiatives proposed by Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature as well as by the Governor.  The priorities seek to address recruitment and retention, the drug crisis, preventing increases in property taxes, the health of Mainer’s, connecting Maine’s rural communities and honoring Maine’s veterans.

Members talked about how this is a starting point and an effort to engage in a conversation. Sen. Hamper agreed to hold a conversation.

Priority Initiative FY 16 FY17 Biennium GF Biennium Other Sources Source
Easing Recruitment and Retention
  Department of Corrections stipends $1,387,054 $1,387,054 GF
  Riverview and Dorothea Dix workers (LD 1645) $932,039 $932,039 GF
  Direct care workers (LD 886) $6,375,000 $6,375,000 FMAP
  Law Enforcement Officer Recruitment and retention (LD 1653 ) $7,000,000 $7,000,000 GF
  AG Investigators in Special Plan (LD 654 ) $3,684 $3,684 GF
Combating the Drug Crisis
  Increase Access to opiate addiction treatment (LD 1473) $710,589 $710,589 FMAP
  Law Enforcement Assisted diversion program (LD 1488 ) $1,100,000 $1,100,000 GF
  Increased funding for toxicology testing at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner $80,000 $120,000 $200,000 GF
  Needle Exchange (LD 1552) $75,000 $75,000 GF
Preventing Property Tax Increases
  Support for the operation of county jails (LD 1614) $2,465,896 $2,465,896 $4,931,792 GF
  General Purpose Aid for Education direct DOE to use $9M of the $11M GPA surplus held by DOE $9,000,000 GPA held
Health Fund HIV, Sexually Transmitted Disease and Viral Hepatitis Screening,  (LD 661 ) $195,900 $195,900 GF
  Peer Centers (LD 842 ) $147,944 $147,944 $295,888 GF
  Home accessibility (LD 365) $50,000 $143,250 $193,250 GF
  MaineCare Service Provider Tax Fix (LD 1638) $2,303,007 $2,303,007 GF
Judiciary Indigent Legal Services $2,000,000 $2,000,000 GF
  Judicial supplemental (LD 1597 ) ($521,224) $6,776 ($514,448) GF
Supporting Maine’s Veterans
  Recommendations of Veterans Commission (LD 1611 and 1612) $361,774 $361,774 UMS
  National Guard Tuition (LD 1343) $600,000 $600,000 UMS
Connecting Maine’s Rural Communities
  Rural Broadband (LD 826 ) $750,000 $750,000 GF
Combating hunger
  Food Insecurity (LD 1471) $3,000,000 $3,000,000 FHM Arbitration
Election Transparency Maine Clean Elections Act (LD 1579) $900,000 $900,000
AFA Table $2,000,000 GF
  Total GF Sources fs$23,753,166
  Other Funding Sources
  FMAP $7,085,589
  UMS $2,500,000
  FHM Arbitration $3,000,000
  GPA Surplus $9,000,000
  Transfer to Budget Stabilization (assuming $55M ending balance) $31,246,834




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