AFA Update- Wednesday, January 25, 2016: Riverview, marijuana, General Fund status and supplemental budget language

The Appropriations committee convened this morning to receive information on and make a recommendation to Legislative Council regarding the Administration’s now withdrawn request to build a secure forensic step down facility adjacent to the Riverview Psychiatric Center (RPC).

Letter from Governor explaining his new preference for a Bangor based facility

Response from AG to letter from Sen. Katz and Rep. Frey asking the Attorney General (AG) to weigh in on the Governor’s authority to build a facility without legislative authorization and the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to establish a new program

The AG finds that the Governor does not have the authority to build any new facility without some approval from the Legislature. She also finds that DHHS is within its legislatively granted authority to establish and operate a program.

Sen. Katz moved that should the Administration seek again to build the step down facility in Augusta, Legislative Council should approve that construction.

House Republicans voiced objections to addressing an issue they feel has been withdrawn and expressing a preference either way.

The committee still has an outstanding charge from Legislative Council to make a recommendation.

Rep. Hubbell suggested an amendment to the motion noting that the committee did not discuss the exact proposal but recognizes the need for a facility..

The committee unanimously approved Sen. Katz motion as amended with Rep. Hubbell’s recommendations.

The committee also received a copy of the fiscal note for LD 88, An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act.

Director of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review (OFPR) Chris Nolan joined the committee to review the status of the General Fund.

  • At the end of the last fiscal year (FY16), taking into account the actions of the 127th Legislature the projected balance at the end of this fiscal year (FY17) would be $55.6M
  • After the December 2016 Revenue forecast the projected balance at the end of this fiscal year would be $89.8M
  • The certification of Question 2, Stand up for Students, boosts that balance to $133.6M, before the transfer to the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
  • If the FY17 supplemental budget is approved as proposed by the governor the balance drops to $77.9M

The baseline GF balances at the end of this FY and each year of the biennium are

  • FY17 $133.6M
  • FY18 $249.8M
  • FY19 $397M

Enacting both the supplemental budget and the biennial budget as proposed by the governor leaves the following year end balances

  • FY17 $77.9M
  • FY18 $31.7M
  • FY 19 $59.1M

 

Noting that report backs from policy committees are due at 1:00PM on Thursday, AFA began to review the language portions of the supplemental budget.

 

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