Change package

The administration released a package of changes to his proposed budget submitted to the legislature in January. It can be found in two parts, one, appropriations and allocations and two, language.

The Administration will present the changes to AFA at 10:00 AM on Friday.

Notable items include:

  • Fund county jails and Indigent Legal Services through February 2018 while requiring the administration to bring proposals for changes to the Second Regular Session of the 128th There is no provision for supplemental FY17 funding.
  • Not in the change package but due to be discussed Friday is a proposal to treat the future of the Downeast Correctional Facility to a similar process proposed for jails and legal services
  • The elimination of the Civil Rights Teams through the Office of the Attorney General
  • $2M for a legal contingency fund for cases in which the AG declines to represent the governor. Incidentally the AG’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the governor’s lawsuit to compel the AG to pay his legal expenses. The AG authorized legal expenses for this lawsuit.
  • $5M for agricultural marketing
  • $300K to recreate the Landowner Relations position in IF&W
  • Several pieces of proposed education policy changes:
    • A voluntary framework for regionalization
    • The minority report of the EDU committee to add 1 charter school each year until the existing cap expires as in Mason’s bill LD 1158 which received a divided report from EDU
    • Allow high school choice “if there is room”
    • A pilot project for a scheme to take 90% of the state share attributable to students with special needs away from local districts so parents can create their own instructional plan as proposed in Gerrish’s bill LD 1132 which received a majority ONTP report in EDU
    • Provide additional training for staff providing education to students with autism as in Langley’s bill LD 1531
    • A proposal to extend Career Technical Education to middle-school students
    • A rehashed proposal to charge the cost of any necessary remedial courses required by students at institutions of higher learning to the school districts from which they received a diploma. This liability appears to encompass the lifetime of the individual.
    • The minority report on Pouliot’s bill LD 864 to establish a statewide teacher contract
    • Measures to address truancy and provide an assessment of state assessments
    • Add the costs of running the Department of Education (DOE) to the state cost of local education, lowering the state’s expected GPA contribution
    • Change bus refurbishment procedures to allow the addition of technology like Wi-Fi
    • Change reimbursement to higher education institutions for Early College to the average of the lowest cost credits available at the institution. The effect is that Community College credits would be 100% covered while University credits will not
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