Open discussion on proposals

Appropriations and Financial Affairs met this afternoon to hold a public hearing and work session on LD 1677, Resolve, Directing the Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Maine Public Employees Retirement System To Identify Retirees Whose Retirement Benefit Calculations Were Adversely Affected by Certain Pay Freezes and To Calculate Costs Associated with Authorizing Those Retirees To Include Such Lost Wages in Retirement Benefit Calculations

Audio of today’s hearing is available here.

The committee agreed to support this bill.

The committee then held a discussion of the supplemental budget proposal offered yesterday. The Office of Fiscal and Program Review (OFPR) provided information about the scheduled increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 (FFY17) increase freeing up $30M General Fund.

Republican members of the committee argued for not addressing any FY2017 issues before the new Legislature convenes in January.

Republicans on the committee argued that it was unnecessary to provide stipends to the Department of Corrections workers who were promised that money last year but did not receive it.

Asked about a forthcoming Republican proposal, Rep. Timberlake asserted that he didn’t see anything on the list they couldn’t live without. (The list can be found here). He also noted that he may be willing to discuss other things in exchange for “a competing measure”, presumably on the minimum wage.

Sen. Katz expressed his support for passing a Supplemental Budget.

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