As you are likely now aware, members of the Appropriations Committee came to work on Friday and began the long process of voting the biennial budget line by line. They worked an incredibly long day and well into the night and just finished voting after 1:00 AM
At the end, Democrats issued a majority report focusing our efforts on retaining property tax relief for working families, full funding of K-12 public education and protecting our most vulnerable people.
Senate and House Republicans split, issuing two Republican reports. The House Republicans supported the governor’s education plan. Neither report provided any new revenue to replace the 3% surcharge they propose repealing.
What will happen next is a renewed effort and commitment to continue working on the budget through the AFA committee, while leaders also work to close the gap on our differences surrounding funding of public education.
Below, please find a summary of a few of the initiatives approved or changed in the Appropriations Committee.
- Increases investment in Maine students, schools, and teachers and full funding of K-12 public education at $320 million, as demanded by voters TWICE.
- Bolsters property tax relief: Rejected an elimination of the Homestead exemption for most families, as originally proposed in Administration budget.
- Decreased mandated mil rate by 1% with increased school funding.
- Rejects new tax increases: Eliminates Republican proposal of sales tax expansion.
- Invests in higher education: Funds the University of Maine system.
- Supports job training: Funds the Maine Community College Systems Strategic Workforce Initiative, designed to give Mainers the skills and training necessary for immediate employment.
- Protected vital services: Rejected damaging cuts to Head Start, MaineCare and Community Family Planning.
- Improves disability services: Doubles the number of Mainers who can receive services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities under the Section 29 waiver.
- Address Maine’s Opioid Epidemic: Increased funding for Opioid Health Homes.
- Strengthens Consumer protections: Retains funding to the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office.
- Funded Indigent Legal Service: Increased funding to cover the 2017 shortfall and fully funding this constitutional obligation.
Here are amendments, language and lines considered this evening
- Remaining lines
- Part C (education) language
- Change package lines and HHS language
- Change package education language
- Committee amendments 1
- Committee amendments 2
Highlights of votes taken this evening are below Bold numbers contribute to majority votes (Many 6-6 votes are in fact part of the Majority Report)
|Item||Ds||House Rs||Senate Rs||Notes|
|ACF- Fire suppression equipment||6||4||1/1||Min out|
|ACF- Seed potato inspector||6||4||1/1||Min out|
|ACF- New Director of Parks and Lands||6||4||1/1||Min out|
|ACF- Reduce funding for FMF technical asst grants||6||4||2||Min in|
|ACF-Improvements in Allagash Wilderness Waterway||6||4||2||AMD $25k/year All other +60k Capital|
|ACF- Eliminate 24 ranger positions||6||4||2||Min in as in CP|
|AFA- $3.5M in position cuts TBD||6||4||2|
|CRJ- Closure of Downeast Correctional Facility||6||4||2||Maj out, Min change change package date of closure to June 30, 2018|
|CRJ- Electronic monitoring of 150 inmates||6||4||2||Min in|
|CRJ- Corections medical contract increase||6||4||2||In-AM $877K/year Min in|
|CRJ- eliminate drug treatment grant funding||6||4||2||IN-AM $550K/year|
|CRJ- Eliminate 4 Capitol Security screeners||6||4||2||MAJ-Out|
|EDU- Arts commission $192K||6||4||2||Min out|
|MCCS- $4.5M operational costs||6||4||2||MAJ In-AM, Min in|
|MCCS- Strategic Workforce initiatives $3.4M||6||4||2||MAJ-AM, MIN In-AM $1M/year|
|EDU- Funding to prepare for bicentennial||6||4||2||In-AM $500K/year|
|EDU- $10M for school consolidation||6||4||2||MAJ-Out|
|EDU- Replace one-time GPA funding from last biennium $19.4M||6||4||2|
|UMS- $11.6M operating funds and bug lab||7||4||2||Min out|
|UMS- Early College $1M||7||4||2|
|EUT- Move ConnectMe Authority to DECD||7||4||2||Maj Out|
|JUD- AG Research asst||7||4||2|
|JUD- AG Legal Sec||7||4||2|
|JUD- Establish 4 ADA positions||7||4||2||Maj Out Min 4 positions FY19|
|JUD- Indigent Legal Services||7||4||2||Maj FY18 $23M FY19$21M- includes $2.8M to cover FY17 shortfall, House R- Min baseline and just $2.8M FY17 shortfall, Senate R Min accept lang changes from JUD FY18 $19M FY19 $19M OSR in case of public defender|
|JUD- Judicial salaries||7||2/2||2||Maj- full 3%|
|LCRED- Provide HOME fund with $12M||7||4||1/1||Min transfer $2M to GF|
|LCRED- Board of Midwifery||6/1||3||2||Maj Amd to use $57K from PRF|
|SLG- Increased debt service to support $40M MGFA bonds||6||4||2||Min in|
|SLG- Consolidation of local services $10M||6||4||2||Maj out, Min in as CP|
|SLG- ConnectMe Authority staff at OIT||6||4||2||Line 224, Ref. 101 OUT|
|SLG- Creation of a stand-alone Department of Technology||6||4||2||MAJ out, Min In|
|SLG- $4.9M in OIT debt services||6||4||2||MAJ out, Min In|
|TAX- Limit Homestead Property Tax Exemption to those 65 y.o. or older||6||4||2||Out|
|TAX- Elimination of Board of Tax Appeals||6||4||2||Out|
|ACF- Funding for the Ag promotional fund $5M||6||4||2||Maj Out, Min in (includes Part RRRRR)|
|AG- Eliminate Civil Rights Teams||7||1/3||2|
|CRJ- County Jails Operations Fund||7||4||2||CP initiative Maj- Out|
|CRJ Amendment Assesment limit||7||3||2||Maj in, Min remove the assesment cap|
|JUD- provide $2M for gov legal expenses||7||4||2||Maj out, Min in-AM create gov’s legal defense carrying account by $500K/year|
|HHS- Eliminate Community Family Planning||7||3||2||Maj out,|
|HHS- Eliminate state Head Start funding||7||5||2||Maj out|
|HHS- eliminate Maine Rx||7||5||2||Out|
|HHS- Transfer FHM to Medicaid seed||7||5||2|
|HHS- Eliminate medical coverage for 19 and 20 yo’s||7||5||2||Maj out|
|HHS- Change CAH reimbursement to 101%||7||5||2||Maj out|
|HHS- enhance estate recovery efforts||7||5||2||Out|
|HHS- Hospital tax rebasing||7||4||1/1||Maj out|
|HHS- Eliminate state support for legal non-citizens in various programs||7||4||2||Maj out|
|HHS- Eliminates General Assistance program||7||4||2||Maj out|
|HHS- Support Opioid Health Homes||7||4||2||Maj In-AM|
|HHS- Eliminate 192 positions||7||4||2||Maj out|
|HHS Amendment- $30M DHHS deappropriation||7||3||2||Maj in|
|HHS- Prohibit DHHS from seeking or implementing waivers to expand access to Statewide Food Supplement Program||7||4||2||Maj out|
|EDU- mill rate expectation of 7.20||7||4||2|
|EDU AMD- Additional allocation for Education Fund $97.6M Democrats||7||2||Maj in|
|EDU AMD- Additional allocation for Education Fund $300M+ Democrats||7||Maj in|
|EDU AMD- FY18 $16.7M FY19 $95M Senate Republican Report||2||Senate Rs Min of 2 in|
|EDU GPA funding as proposed by the Governor ($40M less than current)||4||House R’s Minority of 4|
|UMS PPPPP- MGFA UMS bonding||7||3/1||2||maj in-am|
|UMS TTTTT- Taxable borrowing authority||7||4||2||IN|
|Part D- Governor’s income tax changes||7||4||1/1||Maj out, House R Min $0-$42K- 5.8%, $42K-100K 6.5%, $100K-200K 7.51%, eliminate 3%|
|Part E- Gov’s sales tax changes||7||4||1/1||Maj out, House R Min Increase lodging to 10%|
|Part F- Elimination of the Estate tax||7||4||2||Out|
|Part G- Restrict Homestead to 65 yoa||7||4||2||Maj out, Min Keep all eligibility, reduce Exemption to $15K 50% reimbursement to towns|
|Part H- Eliminate telecomms Property Tax and give to towns||7||4||2||out|
|Part I- Eliminate BETR||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part J- Eliminate Board of Tax Appeals||7||4||2||Maj out, Min In Am to eliminate attorney only|
|Part K- Set Revenue Sharing at 2%||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part R- Create Dept of Technology||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Amendment to Repeal Q2 offered by Rep. Winsor||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Amendment to remove inappropriately hired legal staff at DHHS||7||3||1/1||Maj in|
|Part EEEE- Individuals w/ drug felonies ineligible for TANF||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part CCCCC- Increase income disregard for unemployment benefits to $100 and index to CPI||7||2||2||Maj in|
|Amendment- Establish Director of Public Lands||7||3||2||Maj in|
|Amendment- restores access to Sec 17 mental health supports||7||3||2||Maj in|
|Part YYYYY- Secondary school choice||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part ZZZZZ- Education Savings Accounts||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part CCCCCC- Make graduating schools pay for remedial higher education courses||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Part DDDDDD- Statewide teacher contract||7||4||2||Maj out|
|Amendment- Allow the children of state employees to be eligible for SCHIP||7||3||1||Maj in|