LEGISLATION OF INTEREST

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce regularly posts legislation of interest to Maine businesses during legislative session.


 
 
 
 
 
Category   LD #   Title/Description   Sponsor   Committee   Status

 
 
 
 
 
                     
Business Regulation   1068   An Act To Require That State-funded Buildings Be Constructed with Wood Products   Rep. Campbell, D-Orrington   State and Local Government"  
This bill requires a person that engages in the construction or repair of public buildings or works to use wood products, including cross-laminated timber, for structural components to the extent that suitable wood products are feasible for use, competitively priced and permitted under state or local building codes.
                     
Business Regulation   1087   An Act To Define When a Municipal Land Use Decision Is Considered Final for Purposes of an Appeal to Superior Court   Sen. Breen, D-Cumberland   State and Local Government"  
This bill requires, for purposes of appeal to the Superior Court, that to be considered final agency action, a land use matter requiring review of both a municipal planning board and board of appeals must be heard by both the municipal planning board and board of appeals and both boards must issue findings of fact.
                     
Business Regulation   1094   An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Review of Subdivisions   Rep. Jorgenson, D-Portland   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the definition of "subdivision" in the laws regarding planning and land use regulation for subdivisions to specify that dwelling units are not subject to subdivision review if the municipal reviewing authority has determined that the units are otherwise subject to municipal review that is at least as stringent. Current law specifies that leased dwelling units are not subject to subdivision review.
                     
Business Regulation   1182   An Act Regarding the Disclosure of Hormone-disrupting Chemicals in Packaged Food   Rep. Bates, D-Westbrook   Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry  
This bill requires manufacturers and distributors of food or beverage products to submit to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry written notice if an ortho-phthalate or any other chemical the department determines poses a human health hazard is present in an amount greater than a de minimus level in the product's container or packaging or the food or beverage within the container or packaging. It requires the department to make information received from manufacturers and distributors available to the public. It authorizes the department to assess a fee on manufacturers and distributors.
                     
Business Regulation   1382   An Act To Require Responsible Contracting on Public Construction Projects   Rep. Collings, D-Portland   State and Local Government"  
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the work on public construction and maintenance contracts is performed by responsible, qualified firms that maintain the capacity, expertise, personnel and other qualifications and resources necessary to successfully perform public contracts in a timely, reliable and cost-effective manner. This bill establishes responsible contractor requirements for publicly funded construction projects that receive state funds in excess of $50,000 or other financial assistance from the State with a value in excess of $50,000. The bill outlines a responsible contractor certification process to be administered by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of General Services.
                     
Economic Development   1245   An Act To Ensure the Effectiveness of Tax Expenditures   Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill, based on model legislation for accountability in economic development, makes any subsidy provided by the State or a unit of local government to a company for purposes of encouraging economic development subject to rescission or recapture if the company fails to meet the goals for which the subsidy was provided, such as new jobs, high wages, benefits such as health insurance and maintenance of employment levels for the duration of the subsidy or incentive period. The bill requires the entity providing the development subsidy to monitor the company receiving the subsidy to ensure the company is meeting the goals for the subsidy and to recapture all or a portion of the subsidy from a company that does not meet those goals. This bill requires the entity providing the subsidy to maintain a publicly accessible website containing information about the subsidy and the company receiving the subsidy and any enforcement actions taken against a company receiving a subsidy. Finally, this bill provides so-called taxpayer standing to a taxpayer or organization of taxpayers to allow suit to be brought by that taxpayer or organization to enforce the rescission or recapture requirements.
                     
Economic Development   1338   An Act To Create and Sustain Jobs through Development of Cooperatives and Employee-owned Businesses   Rep. Grohman, D-Biddeford   Taxation  
This bill supports employee-owned businesses and cooperatives in the following ways. 1. It excludes from Maine income tax the amount of gain recognized by a business owner in transferring the business to an employee stock ownership plan, eligible worker-owned cooperative, consumer cooperative or affordable housing cooperative. 2. It excludes from Maine income tax interest from loans that finance transfers of ownership from a business to an employee stock ownership plan, eligible worker-owned cooperative, consumer cooperative or affordable housing cooperative.
                     
Education   43   Resolve, To Establish the Task Force To Study Higher Education Attainment and Completion Goals   Senator Millet, D-Cumberland   Education and Cultural Affairs  
This resolve establishes the Task Force To Study Higher Education Attainment and Completion Goals. The task force membership consists of Legislators, representatives of quasi-governmental and business entities, state agency commissioners and one member of the public. The task force's duties include examination and review in the areas of college completion, statewide postsecondary education attainment goals and metrics, college affordability and completion initiatives and college and university support of state policies and strategies to enable college completion and support workforce development. The task force is required to submit a report containing its findings and recommendations, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 15, 2017.
                     
Environmental   103   An Act To Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers   Rep. Zeigler, D-Montville   Natural Resources  
Beginning January 1, 2018, this bill prohibits the sale or distribution, at retail or wholesale, in the State of disposable food service containers composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam, as well as disposable food service containers that are not recyclable or compostable unless there is no recyclable or compostable product available at a comparable cost. This bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to implement these statutory provisions.
                     
Environmental   1040   An Act Regarding Permitting under the Natural Resources Protection Act   Rep. Picchiotti, R-Fairfield   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the Natural Resources Protection Act in several ways. 1. It excludes artificial turf from the definition of "impervious area." 2. It amends the definition of "river, stream or brook" to provide that a channel must have all 5 of the characteristics listed in the definition. Current law requires that a channel must have at least 2 of the characteristics listed. 3. It amends the definition of "significant groundwater well" to provide that public water systems are not significant groundwater wells. 4. It increases from 20,000 to 80,000 square feet the area of aquatic vegetation, emergent marsh vegetation or open water that a freshwater wetland must contain before a person is required to get a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection for activities adjacent to the freshwater wetland. 5. It provides that a person is not required to obtain a Natural Resources Protection Act permit from the Department of Environmental Protection for the establishment or operation of a significant groundwater well for a community public water system. 6. For determining if an activity unreasonably harms habitats or fisheries, it amends the definition of "mitigation" to provide that the Department of Environmental Protection may not consider whether an adverse impact of an activity can be avoided. 7. It amends the notification and comment requirements when a resource is used by a community public water system as a source of water supply. 8. It provides that the Department of Environmental Protection may only delegate review authority to the Department of Health and Human Services, Drinking Water Program or to a community public water system when an activity is located within a community public water system primary protection area and the activity does not otherwise require a Department of Environmental Protection permit under the Natural Resources Protection Act. It also removes the requirement to obtain a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection in such cases. 9. It includes existing water or sewer lines, culverts and natural gas pipelines in the permit exemption for existing crossings. 10. It provides that a replacement of existing public works does not require a Natural Resources Protection Act permit and it provides that the public works exemption applies to outstanding river segments. 11. It amends the exemption for activities that alter less than 4,300 square feet of freshwater wetlands. 12. It removes state-certified geologists from the list of professionals that may determine whether the integrity of a seawall or similar structure in a coastal sand dune system is destroyed or threatened for purposes of repairing the seawall or structure. 13. It amends the activities that are not eligible for Tier 1 or Tier 2 review when altering freshwater wetlands.
                     
Environmental   1096   An Act To Improve Shoreland Zoning Rules and Enforcement To Support Municipalities   Rep. Blume, D-York   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the laws relating to the State's regulation of the shoreland zone as follows. 1. It requires the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Community Development to provide both basic and advanced training to code enforcement officers in the technical and legal aspects of code enforcement. Current law only requires that the office provide basic training to code enforcement officers. 2. It increases the maximum per day civil penalty for a specific violation of a municipal land use law or ordinance from $2,500 to $5,000 and increases the maximum per day civil penalty for a specific violation of a municipal shoreland zoning ordinance occurring within an area zoned for resource protection from $5,000 to $10,000. 3. It provides that municipal shoreland zoning ordinances must require an applicant for a permit for development within the shoreland zone to provide to the municipal permitting authority preconstruction and postconstruction photographs of the shoreline vegetation and development site.
                     
Environmental   1235   An Act Concerning Pavement Sealing Products   Rep. Daughtry, D-Brunswick   Natural Resources  
This bill prohibits the sale of coal tar sealant products beginning October 1, 2019 and prohibits the application of coal tar sealant products on driveways or parking areas beginning October 1, 2020. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may grant an exemption from the prohibitions for research or development purposes.
                     
Environmental   1283   An Act To Modernize the Mining Excise Tax   Sen. Saviello, D-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill proposes to update the mining tax laws to reflect current terminology and practice and to impose a new rate of tax on mining activities.
                     
Environmental   1298   An Act To Update Maine's Water Quality Standards   Rep. Harlow, D-Portland   Natural Resources  
This bill updates Maine's water quality standards by aligning state law with the federal Clean Water Act regarding pesticide application to control invasive plants and mosquito-borne disease and authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to use an alternative low-flow requirement when assessing the impact of nutrients on water quality, contingent upon the department's adopting nutrient rules.
                     
Environmental   1473   An Act To Make Minor Changes and Corrections to Statutes Administered by the Department of Environmental Protection   Rep. Tucker, D-Brunswick   Natural Resources  
This bill clarifies the Department of Environmental Protection's right of inspection in reaction to recent litigation. It further clarifies the jurisdiction of the department and the Board of Environmental Protection in the laws regulating discharges into the waters of the State. It also clarifies the names of various bodies of water. The bill updates federal publication references and allows collector systems to be included in state grants for pollution abatement. It increases the limit on the alcohol volume allowed in hard cider.
                     
Environmental   159   An Act To Prohibit the Mining of Massive Sulfide Ore Deposits on State Lands   Rep. Duchesne, D-Hudson   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the laws regarding mining on state lands to prohibit the issuance of a mining lease that authorizes the mining of a massive sulfide ore deposit located on state lands. The bill defines a "massive sulfide ore deposit" as a metal sulfide ore deposit that, as determined by the Maine Geological Survey, contains in total 1,000,000 tons or more of metallic minerals.
                     
Environmental   160   An Act To Prohibit the Mining of Massive Sulfide Ore Deposits under the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act   Rep. Duchesne, D-Hudson   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act to prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from approving an application for a mining permit if the applicant proposes to mine a metallic mineral ore deposit that contains a massive sulfide ore deposit. The bill defines a "massive sulfide ore deposit" as a metal sulfide ore deposit that, as determined by the Maine Geological Survey, contains in total 1,000,000 tons or more of metallic minerals.
                     
Environmental   182   An Act To Protect Firefighters by Establishing a Prohibition on the Sale and Distribution of New Upholstered Furniture Containing Certain Flame-retardant Chemicals   Rep. Kumiega, D-Deer Isle   Natural Resources  
This bill prohibits a person from selling or offering for sale or distributing for promotional purposes new upholstered furniture containing more than 0.1% of a flame-retardant chemical or containing more than 0.1% of a mixture that includes flame-retardant chemicals.
                     
Environmental   253   An Act To Repeal the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act   Rep. Chapman, D-Brooksville   Natural Resources  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to repeal the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act, as contained in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, chapter 3, subchapter 1, article 9, which was enacted in 2012 under Public Law 2011, chapter 653. In addition to repealing the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act, this bill would repeal any other statutory provisions enacted as part of Public Law 2011, chapter 653 and would reenact any statutory provisions that were repealed under that same legislation. This bill would further direct the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Land Use Planning Commission to engage in separate rule-making processes to remove any changes to their respective rules that were implemented in accordance with Public Law 2011, chapter 653.
                     
Environmental   254   An Act To Implement a Moratorium on Metallic Mineral Mining   Rep. Chapman, D-Brooksville   Natural Resources  
This bill implements a moratorium on metallic mineral mining in the State by prohibiting the Department of Environmental Protection from issuing a permit to mine under the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act.
                     
Environmental   375   An Act To Establish a Carpet Stewardship Program   Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill provides for the establishment of a new stewardship program in the State for discarded carpet. Under the bill, a producer of carpet, or an organization comprising one or more producers of carpet, submits a plan for the establishment of a carpet stewardship program to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for approval. Once approved, a program operates to provide convenient, free statewide collection opportunities for discarded carpet, and discarded carpet collected through the program is recycled or otherwise responsibly managed. A program is funded through the imposition of a carpet stewardship assessment, subject to review and approval by the commissioner, which is added to the purchase price of all carpet sold in the State.
                     
Environmental   385   An Act To Establish a Stewardship Program for Certain Rechargeable Batteries   Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill provides for the establishment of a new stewardship program in the State for discarded nickel-cadmium and small sealed lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Under the bill, a producer of such rechargeable batteries, or an organization comprising one or more producers of such rechargeable batteries, submits a plan for the establishment of a battery stewardship program to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for approval. Once approved, a program operates to provide convenient, free statewide collection opportunities for discarded rechargeable batteries covered under the program, and discarded rechargeable batteries collected through the program are recycled or otherwise responsibly managed. This bill also amends existing laws relating to certain rechargeable battery types to avoid statutory conflicts with the new stewardship program for rechargeable batteries.
                     
Environmental   395   Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Chapter 200: Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Environmental Protection   Rep. Tucker, D-Brunswick   Natural Resources  
This resolve provides for legislative review of Chapter 200: Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining, a major substantive rule of the Department of Environmental Protection.
                     
Environmental   399   An Act To Revise Maine's Environmental Laws   Rep. Tucker, D-Brunswick   Natural Resources  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to revise laws governing environmental protection.
                     
Environmental   400   An Act Regarding the Construction or Placement of Decks within the Shoreland Zone   Rep. Turner, R-Burlington   Natural Resources  
This bill allows municipalities to adopt ordinances that allow the construction or placement of a deck within the setbacks established pursuant to the laws governing shoreland zoning as long as certain requirements are met.
                     
Environmental   441   An Act To Require Certification under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule   Sen. Libby, D-Androscoggin   Natural Resources  
This bill requires contractors engaged in painting, renovation, remodeling, maintenance or repair activities on buildings constructed before 1978 to have on-site a person certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the federal renovation, repair and painting rule. It also requires persons performing maintenance on a multi-unit residential building, the owner of which receives public money in the form of a housing subsidy or voucher, to be certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
                     
Environmental   450   An Act To Prevent Oil Spills in Casco Bay   Sen. Chipman, D-Cumberland   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the regulatory powers of the Board of Environmental Protection to require that rules relating to oil discharge prevention and pollution control for terminals, facilities, refineries, vessels and related equipment adopted under the board's authority must provide, subject to specified exceptions, that all vessels and barges engaged in transfers of oil or oil by-products, including transfers during ship-to-ship bunkering operations, be protected by an oil boom device during those transfers and notify the United States Coast Guard prior to those transfers. The bill also directs the Board of Environmental Protection to amend its existing rules relating to oil discharge prevention and pollution control to reflect these statutory changes.
                     
Environmental   452   An Act To Remove the Reformulated Gasoline Requirement   Sen. Hamper, R-Oxford   Natural Resources  
This bill repeals the law requiring retailers to sell only reformulated gasoline in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox and Lincoln counties and directs the Department of Environmental Protection to amend its rules to agree with the repeal of that law.
                     
Environmental   493   An Act To Tax the Extraction of Water for Certain Commercial Purposes and Fund Water Quality Programs   Rep. Melarango, D-Auburn   Natural Resources  
This bill creates an excise tax of 1¢ per 25 gallons of groundwater or surface water extracted from springs or other underground sources in this State by a bottled water operator that extracted more than 1,000,000 gallons in the previous calendar year if the water is packaged for sale. The revenues from the tax are transferred to a newly created Maine Water Quality Testing and Monitoring Fund to be administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. Of the money transferred, 85% will support well water testing and 15% will support lake water quality monitoring and support.
                     
Environmental   57   An Act To Phase Out the Use of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags   Rep. Devin, D-Newcastle   Natural Resources  
This bill prohibits a retailer from using plastic bags to bag products at the point of retail sale or otherwise make plastic bags available to customers, with exceptions for certain types of plastic bags. This prohibition is effective September 1, 2020. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale and must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer. The bill also makes changes to existing law regarding retailer collection and recycling of used plastic bags to ensure consistency with the implementation of the plastic bag prohibition.
                     
Environmental   576   An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Funding for Landfill Closure Costs   Sen. Dill, D-Penobscot   Utilities and Energy  
This bill extends the eligibility period for closure costs for a landfill that currently applies only to a landfill licensed on or before September 1, 1989. The bill provides that if a license application for a landfill was received on or before September 1, 1989 and the application was approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection within one year of receipt, the landfill is eligible for payment of 75% of certain closure costs by the Department of Environmental Protection.
                     
Environmental   577   An Act Regarding Zero-emissions Vehicles   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to direct the Department of Environmental Protection, in recognition of state goals regarding emissions reductions, to modify rules associated with the sale of zero-emissions vehicles to reflect current market conditions and to identify ways that the State could meet its goals through the procurement of zero-emissions vehicles for state transportation fleets.
                     
Environmental   577   An Act Regarding Zero-emissions Vehicles   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill proposes to direct the Department of Environmental Protection, in recognition of state goals regarding emissions reductions, to modify rules associated with the sale of zero-emissions vehicles to reflect current market conditions and to identify ways that the State could meet its goals through the procurement of zero-emissions vehicles for state transportation fleets.
                     
Environmental   580   An Act To Modify the Mining Laws   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill proposes to enact provisions amending the State's mining laws, including, but not limited to, the following: 1. It would amend the laws regarding mining on state lands under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, chapter 201-A, subchapter 3 to prohibit the issuance of a mining lease under that chapter authorizing mining operations located wholly or partially in, on or under designated lands, state historic sites, state parks, public reserved lands, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or state-owned wildlife management areas; 2. It would amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act, referred to in this summary as "the mining act," to prohibit the issuance of a mining permit if any part of a proposed mining operation will be located wholly or partially in, on or under designated lands, state historic sites, state parks, public reserved lands, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or state-owned wildlife management areas; 3. It would amend the definition of "mining area" under the mining act to clarify that each mining operation or activity must have a defined mining area and it would limit the allowance for groundwater contamination within a mining area under the mining act; 4. It would amend the mining act to prohibit the placement of any mining operation in, on or under a flood plain or a flood hazard area; 5. It would amend the mining act to prohibit the placement of any mining operation in or on a river, stream or brook or in, on or under a great pond or the coastal waters of the State; 6. It would clarify, for the purposes of the mining act, that mining by in situ leaching is prohibited; and 7. It would require an applicant for a permit or a permittee under the mining act to provide special financial assurance coverage for a worst-case mining event or failure, with the amount of the coverage to be determined by the Department of Environmental Protection as based on an independent 3rd-party cost estimate paid for by the applicant. Prior to commencing any mining operation or activity under an approved permit, a permittee would be required to fully fund, with cash or cash equivalents, a trust fund in the amount of this special financial assurance coverage. The bill also proposes to enact a prohibition on metallic mineral mining in the State and to direct a corresponding repeal of all state agency rules relating to metallic mineral mining contingent upon the failure of the Department of Environmental Protection to finally adopt major substantive rules for metallic mineral mining in the State under the mining act on or before August 1, 2018.
                     
Environmental   580   An Act To Modify the Mining Laws   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill proposes to enact provisions amending the State's mining laws, including, but not limited to, the following: 1. It would amend the laws regarding mining on state lands under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, chapter 201-A, subchapter 3 to prohibit the issuance of a mining lease under that chapter authorizing mining operations located wholly or partially in, on or under designated lands, state historic sites, state parks, public reserved lands, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or state-owned wildlife management areas; 2. It would amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act, referred to in this summary as "the mining act," to prohibit the issuance of a mining permit if any part of a proposed mining operation will be located wholly or partially in, on or under designated lands, state historic sites, state parks, public reserved lands, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or state-owned wildlife management areas; 3. It would amend the definition of "mining area" under the mining act to clarify that each mining operation or activity must have a defined mining area and it would limit the allowance for groundwater contamination within a mining area under the mining act; 4. It would amend the mining act to prohibit the placement of any mining operation in, on or under a flood plain or a flood hazard area; 5. It would amend the mining act to prohibit the placement of any mining operation in or on a river, stream or brook or in, on or under a great pond or the coastal waters of the State; 6. It would clarify, for the purposes of the mining act, that mining by in situ leaching is prohibited; and 7. It would require an applicant for a permit or a permittee under the mining act to provide special financial assurance coverage for a worst-case mining event or failure, with the amount of the coverage to be determined by the Department of Environmental Protection as based on an independent 3rd-party cost estimate paid for by the applicant. Prior to commencing any mining operation or activity under an approved permit, a permittee would be required to fully fund, with cash or cash equivalents, a trust fund in the amount of this special financial assurance coverage. The bill also proposes to enact a prohibition on metallic mineral mining in the State and to direct a corresponding repeal of all state agency rules relating to metallic mineral mining contingent upon the failure of the Department of Environmental Protection to finally adopt major substantive rules for metallic mineral mining in the State under the mining act on or before August 1, 2018.
                     
Environmental   594   An Act To Modify the Definition of "General Use Pesticide   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the definition of "general use pesticide" in the laws governing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Board of Pesticides Control by removing reference to pesticides registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and adding reference to pesticides registered by the board
                     
Environmental   684   An Act To Increase Vegetative Buffers in the Shoreland Zone   Rep. Blume, D-York   Natural Resources  
To protect waterbodies from nonpoint source pollution, this bill proposes to amend the laws governing shoreland zoning to increase the vegetative buffer requirement from 75 feet to 150 feet for certain areas in the shoreland zone. The bill also proposes to remove provisions in law that grandfather certain parcels of land and that allow smaller vegetative buffers on those parcels.
                     
Environmental   685   An Act To Establish the Mining Advisory Panel   Rep. Chapman, D-Brooksville   Natural Resources  
This bill establishes the Mining Advisory Panel, the purpose of which is to design and submit to the Legislature recommendations regarding the establishment of a statutory and regulatory framework for metallic mineral mining in the State. The panel consists of between 3 and 7 members, some of whom must have expertise in the mining of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. On or before December 31, 2019, the panel must submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environmental and natural resources matters containing its findings and recommendations, including draft legislation, regarding the establishment of a statutory and regulatory framework for metallic mineral mining. The Mining Advisory Panel is eliminated January 1, 2020.
                     
Environmental   699   An Act To Enact the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act   Rep. Collings, D-Portland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill enacts the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act to create a statutory and regulatory framework designed to prevent harm to employees by reducing exposure to highly toxic chemicals in the workplace and thereby decrease the rates of cancer and other chronic diseases in the State, improve workplace chemical management and safety and ensure safer workplaces and healthier communities. This bill specifically: 1. Directs employers to identify highly toxic chemicals and directs the Department of Labor to publish lists of online resources that identify highly toxic chemicals; 2. Requires employers subject to the provisions of the Act to develop and implement a written alternative chemical work plan and designate a transition team to assist in transitioning from highly toxic chemicals in the workplace to safer alternatives; 3. Directs the transition team to inventory all chemicals in the workplace, both toxic and nontoxic, and determine which chemicals have been designated as highly toxic chemicals; 4. Requires the transition team to develop a priority ranking of all identified highly toxic chemicals, based on a number of criteria, to assist in determining which chemicals will be transitioned to safer alternatives; 5. Directs the transition team, as part of developing the priority ranking, to conduct for each highly toxic chemical an alternatives analysis that includes, among other things, a detailed financial analysis of the costs of substituting an alternative; 6. Requires the transition team to decide which alternatives to highly toxic chemicals are safer alternatives and which safer alternatives should be tested and evaluated for permanent transition. After testing and evaluation of selected safer alternatives, the employer, with the transition team, may elect to transition to a safer alternative on a permanent basis; 7. Requires an employer to contact chemical suppliers and manufacturers for possible safer alternatives and to implement a process for permanent transition to the safer alternatives. If the employer elects not to use safer alternatives, the employer must submit a report to the Department of Labor detailing the basis for not proceeding with the transition to the safer alternatives; 8. Requires employers to complete self-audits for compliance with this Act; 9. Stipulates reporting and records retention requirements for the employer, as well as guidelines for access to information by employees and state agencies; 10. Requires annual employee training that follows the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration's globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals; 11. Requires the Department of Labor to enforce the provisions of the Act and authorizes the department to issue penalties for violations of the Act; 12. Requires the Department of Labor to adopt all rules necessary to implement the provisions of the Act; 13. Stipulates an effective date for the Act of September 1, 2018; and 14. Directs the Department of Labor, by January 1, 2018, to submit for legislative review major substantive rules related to the Act.
                     
Environmental   820   An Act To Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution   Sen. Carson, D-Cumberland   Natural Resources  
This bill amends the State's mining laws as follows. 1. It prohibits the issuance of a mining lease under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, chapter 201-A, subchapter 3 if the proposed mining operation is to be wholly or partially located in, on or under any designated land, state historic site, state park, public reserved land, submerged land or state-owned wildlife management area or the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The bill also prohibits the issuance of a mining permit under the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act, referred to in this summary as the "Mining Act," if any part of the mining operation will be located wholly or partially in, on or under any of the same state lands. 2. It amends the definition of "mining area" under the Mining Act to restrict that definition to an area of land from which earth material is removed in connection with the mining of ore. 3. It amends the rule-making authority of the Department of Environmental Protection under the Mining Act to require that any rule or rule change proposed by the department in accordance with its authority under the Mining Act may not be finally adopted by the department unless legislation authorizing final adoption of such rules is enacted into law. 4. It prohibits the placement of any mining operation under the Mining Act in, on or under a river, stream or brook, a great pond, a freshwater wetland or a coastal wetland. 5. It amends permit approval conditions under the Mining Act relating to discharges causing groundwater contamination by allowing only for limited contamination of groundwater within a mining area that does not result in contamination of groundwater beyond the mining area; contamination of groundwater within the mining area that exceeds certain water quality criteria for pollutants; contamination of groundwater within the mining area that exceeds a specified level determined by the department based on site-specific geologic and hydrologic characteristics and in accordance with standards established by rule that are designed to minimize pollution from mining operations; or any violation of surface water quality standards. 6. It prohibits the placement of any mining operation under the Mining Act in, on or under a flood plain or a flood hazard area. 7. It requires an applicant for a permit or a permittee under the Mining Act to provide special financial assurance coverage for a worst-case catastrophic mining event or failure. 8. It requires the department, on or before January 12, 2018, to provisionally adopt and submit to the Legislature for review major substantive rules relating to the Mining Act.
                     
Environmental   993   An Act To Protect Pollinators from Neonicotinoid Pesticides   Rep. Devin, D-Newcastle   Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry  
This bill requires that any seed, plant material, nursery stock, annual plant, bedding plant or other plant sold at retail in the State that has been treated with a neonicotinoid pesticide bear a label, or be placed in close proximity to a sign, that notifies the consumer that the product has been treated with a neonicotinoid pesticide and that such pesticides have been found to harm nontarget organisms, including bees and other pollinators. The bill also implements a prohibition, effective January 1, 2018, on the retail sale of neonicotinoid pesticides by persons that do not also sell a restricted use pesticide and implements a prohibition, also effective January 1, 2018, on the use of a neonicotinoid pesticide, with exceptions for certified applicators, farmers and licensed veterinarians.
                     
Health Care   1032   An Act To Ensure Protection and Health Insurance of Patients   Sen, Gratwick, D-Penobscot   Insurance and Financial Services  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to enact measures designed to ensure the protection and health insurance of patients.
                     
Health Care   386   An Act To Establish Universal Health Care for Maine   Sen. Gratwick, D-Penobscot    
A concept draft, this bill proposes to establish a single-payor, universal health care system in the State. Portions of the system will be based on the single-payor system in place in Vermont and the single-payor proposals submitted previously in Maine and Colorado. The single-payor system proposed in this bill will also be responsive to any changes made on the federal level to the federal Affordable Care Act.
                     
Health Care   470   An Act To Strengthen Maine's Hospitals and Increase Access to Health Care   Rep. Devin, D-Newcastle   Health and Human Services  
A concept draft, this bill, which would be contingent upon approval by the voters of the State at referendum, proposes to enact measures designed to increase access to health care for citizens of the State and strengthen Maine's hospitals.
                     
Health Care   769   An Act To Eliminate Insurance Rating Based on Age, Geographic Location or Smoking History and To Reduce Rate Variability Due to Group Size   Rep. Brooks, D-Lewiston   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill prohibits insurance carriers providing individual health plans or small group health plans from varying premium rates based on age, geographic location or tobacco use on or after January 1, 2018. The bill also reduces the variation based on group size to 1.5 to 1 for small group plans over time.
                     
Insurance   1064   An Act To Require That Health Insurance Policies Cover Medical Marijuana   Rep. Collings, D-Portland   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill requires health insurance carriers to provide coverage for marijuana for medical use for a health plan enrollee who has received certification for the medical use of marijuana from an authorized medical provider.
                     
Insurance   1237   An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for Contraceptive Supplies   Rep. McCreight, D-Harpswell   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill expands the mandate in current law relating to coverage of contraceptives to include coverage for contraceptive supplies approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for a 3-month supply for the first dispensing and a 12-month supply for a subsequent dispensing of the same contraceptive supply. Coverage must be provided without imposing any cost-sharing. The requirements apply to all individual and group policies and contracts issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018.
                     
Insurance   1279   An Act To Ensure Patient Protections in the Health Insurance Laws   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostoock   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill allows children 26 years of age and younger to remain on their parents' health insurance policy. It clarifies that carriers offering individual or group health plans may not establish lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of benefits. It clarifies that individual, group and blanket health plans may not impose a preexisting condition exclusion on any enrollee.
                     
Insurance   1417   An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease   Rep. Fredette, R-Newport   Insurance and Financial Services  
A mandate, this bill requires a carrier offering or renewing a health plan in the State to provide coverage to diagnose and treat Lyme disease.
                     
Insurance   609   An Act To Prohibit Insurance Carriers That Are Not Health Insurance Carriers from Operating as Managed Care Organizations   Rep Campbell, R-Orrington   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill prohibits an insurer from imposing a fee schedule, reducing reimbursement or imposing limits on the type or frequency of health care services covered under any automobile insurance liability policy or workers' compensation policy based on the terms and conditions of a health care provider's separate contract with the insurer's affiliated health insurer, health maintenance organization or other managed care organization without the express prior written consent of the health care provider.
                     
Insurance   659   An Act To Amend the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association Act   Sen. Whittemore, R-Somerset   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill extends the suspension of the operations of the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association for 2 years, until December 31, 2019. The bill also directs the Superintendent of Insurance to make a recommendation before February 15, 2019 to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over insurance and financial services matters relating to the continued operation or dissolution of the association.
                     
Labor   1004   An Act To Increase Fines for Certain Wage and Benefits Violations   Rep. Golden, D-Lewiston   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill amends the law regarding employment practices by increasing the fine for a violation of certain state wage and benefits laws to $500 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation and by providing a private right of action for a person aggrieved of such a violation. The affected section include those dealing with timely payment of wages, record keeping, working without compensation, firnge benefits and equal pay.
                     
Labor   1155   An Act To Improve the Lives of Working Families   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostoock   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to develop and implement methods of improving the lives of income-earning households in the State.
                     
Labor   1159   An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees   Sen. Millett, D-Cumberland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill creates a right to up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement who are employed by an employer that employs 50 or more employees. It also creates a right to unpaid sick leave for employees of an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees. This bill takes effect January 1, 2019.
                     
Labor   1202   An Act To Clear a Path to Employment   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland   Criminal Justice and Public Safety  
This bill establishes an automatic process for an individual who has been convicted of a Class C, Class D or Class E crime to have the records of that conviction sealed if the crime does not involve domestic violence or sexual assault; the individual has not been convicted of any other crime in this State or another jurisdiction; and at least 7 years have passed since the date of conviction.The bill provides for a reduction in the 7-year waiting period for the sealing of records of an eligible criminal conviction if a convicted individual files a motion with the court demonstrating that the individual obtained a high school diploma or postsecondary certificate or degree after the date of conviction. The bill prohibits the use of sealed criminal conviction information by all employers that are not criminal justice agencies. The bill also authorizes individuals whose conviction records have been sealed to respond to inquiries, other than inquiries from a criminal justice agency, as if the sealed conviction and underlying crime had never occurred.
                     
Labor   1222   An Act To Address the Policies Relating to Substance Use in the Workplace   Sen. Cushing, R-Penobscot   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill makes changes to the laws governing employment practices concerning substance abuse testing, with the intent of making it easier for employers to conduct workplace drug testing and improving the over safety of the workplace.
                     
Labor   1259   An Act Regarding Pay Equality   Sen. Breen, D-Cumberland   Judiciary  
This bill amends the Maine Human Rights Act to provide that evidence of discrimination with respect to compensation includes an employer seeking information about a prospective employee's prior wage history before an offer of employment, including all compensation, to the prospective employee has been made. It provides that this discrimination is also evidenced by an employer requiring that a prospective employee's prior compensation history meet certain criteria. The bill broadens a provision in the current equal pay law to prohibit an employer from preventing employees from discussing or disclosing other employees' wages and makes the practice a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act as well.
                     
Labor   1307   An Act To Ensure Fair Employment Opportunity for Maine Citizens and Legal Residents   Rep. Ginzler, R-Bridgton   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill requires an employer, before employing a person or referring a person for employment, to make a good faith inquiry as to whether that person is a United States citizen or an alien, and if the inquiry reasonably indicates that the person is an alien, the employer must use the E-Verify program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security to verify the employment eligibility of that person.
                     
Labor   1308   An Act To Create a Bridge to Self-sufficiency for Vulnerable Segments of the Population by Providing Incentives to Employers   Re. Talbot Ross, D-Portland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill is a concepr draft that proposes to implement programs to facilitate the transition of persons from rehabilitation for drug or alcohol addiction or economic dependency to self-sufficiency by providing employment opportunities while allowing their employers to reduce their tax liability. This bill would create a program, modeled on the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit program operated by the United States Department of Labor, to encourage employers to hire from certain population segments, such as MaineCare and Medicare recipients, veterans, persons in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or receiving general assistance, persons convicted of a crime who have been released from prison, persons recently out of residential treatment or detoxification for substance use disorder or who recently began medication-assisted treatment and disadvantaged teens. The incentives would consist of tax credits based on the wages paid to qualified persons and financial assistance for training costs.
                     
Labor   1341   An Act To Clarify Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits during Labor Disputes   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland for the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill removes the provision of law affecting the disqualification for unemployment benefits of employees at an establishment at which there is a labor dispute and at which there would have been a work stoppage but for the employer's maintaining substantially normal operations through the use of other personnel. It also broadens the disqualification from unemployment benefits in current law for unemployment that is due to a stoppage of work caused by a labor dispute by eliminating the requirement that there be a stoppage of work. Instead, unemployment that is due to a labor dispute is sufficient grounds for a denial of benefits. It also updates the language of the exceptions to this disqualification in current law to reflect the elimination of the stoppage of work requirement.
                     
Labor   1345   An Act To Provide Alternative Repayment Methods to Employees Overcompensated through an Employer Error   Rep. Doore, D-Augusta   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
Thix bill is a concept draft that proposes to establish an alternative method for an employee to pay back an employer for overcompensation of the employee due to the employer's error that is less of a hardship on the employee than the present requirements of law, which allow an employer to deduct up to 10% of an employee's wages to pay back the overcompensation of the employee.
                     
Labor   1420   An Act Regarding Work Permits for Minors under 16 Years of Age   Rep. Stetkis, R-Canaan   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
The purpose of this bill is to clarify the laws governing the employment of minors and to conform the State’s laws to federal law, thus expanding work opportunities for minors. 1. It clarifies that minors who are younger than 14 years of age may be employed only in the planting, cultivating or harvesting of field crops, or other agricultural employment that does not place them in direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances. 2. It conforms to federal law the hours that minors who are 16 and 17 years of age may work, by extending the permissible time until which such a minor may work on a day preceding a school day. 3. It eliminates the prohibition on minors under 16 years of age working more than 6 consecutive days. 4. Eliminates the prohibition on minors under 18 years of age working more than 50 hours per week when school is not in session. 5. It specifies that the restrictions on the hours of employment of minors does not apply to: A. Agricultural employment that does not require direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances; B. Employment or training as a theatrical actor or a film actor; C. The taking or catching of lobsters, fish or other marine organisms, as long as the work does not require direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances; and D. At a business that is solely owned by the minor’s parent, as long as the work does not require direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances. 6. It allows the parent or legal guardian of a minor under 16 years of age to sign a work permit for the minor and removes school superintendents from the work permit process. It requires copies of the minor's signed permit and proof of age to be kept at the minor's place of employment. It authorizes the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards to revoke a work permit. 7. It maintains the authority of the bureau to revoke work permits if state or federal law has been violated. 8. It repeals obsolete language dealing with triplicate permits and a master permit system.
                     
Labor   1477   An Act To Coordinate and Enforce Existing Workplace Training Requirements   Rep. Austin, R-Gray for the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill amends the law to specify the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Labor and the Maine Human Rights Commission in the development, execution and enforcement of the existing workplace training requirements for sexual harassment. It adds penalties for employers who have not met the posting, notification, education and training requirements and requires that the content of the training be developed and updated annually by the Maine Human Rights Commission.
                     
Labor   466   An Act To Protect Employees from Abusive Work Environments   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostock   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill provides legal relief for employees who have been harmed psychologically, physically or economically by exposure to abusive work environments. Employees and employers who subject an employee to an abusive work environment are liable, and employers are vicariously liable for the abusive workplace conduct of their employees, in a private civil action brought by the affected employee. The legal remedies made available by this bill do not limit any other legal rights of an individual, except that workers' compensation benefits received under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 39-A for the same injury or illness must be reimbursed from compensation that is earned through the legal remedies made available by this bill.
                     
Labor   487   An Act To Promote Keeping Workers in Maine`   Rep. Schneck, D-Bangor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to regulate the use of so-called noncompete agreements, which are contracts entered into by an employee prohibiting the employee from working in the same or a similar profession within a time certain after leaving employment with the employer and within a specified geographical area. This bill would restrict the use of noncompete agreements by public and private employers by:1. Prohibiting their use for low-wage employees; 2. Requiring employers to include in any advertisement for a job a statement that the person hired will be required to sign a noncompete agreement; 3. Requiring employers to notify prospective employees of the noncompete requirement and provide a copy of the noncompete agreement before extending a job offer; 4. Requiring employers to provide additional compensation to those employees who agree to sign a noncompete agreement; 5. Restricting the use of noncompete agreements to those situations when they are necessary to protect trade secrets or confidential information held by that employer; 6. Limiting the duration of noncompete agreements so that they would have to be renegotiated and agreed to after a certain period of time; and 7. Allowing an employee harmed by the unlawful use of a noncompete agreement to bring suit against the employer and, if the employee prevails, be awarded damages, attorney's fees and court costs.
                     
Labor   554   An Act To Require Paid Parental Leave for Employees   Rep. Casas, I-Rockport   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to require employers to create a parental leave policy to provide certain full-time employees who become parents through child birth or adoption with additional flexibility and time to be with their new children, adjust to new family situations and balance professional obligations. Employees who are eligible under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act would be entitled to paid parental leave, with certain exceptions and restrictions.
                     
Labor   613   An Act To Protect Job Applicants from Identity Theft   Rep. Riley, D-Jay   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill prohibits an employer from requesting a social security number from a prospective employee on an employment application or during the application process for employment. This bill does not apply to the intake of information for substance abuse testing or a preemployment background check or after the employee is hired as required for tax withholding and other necessary purposes.
                     
Labor   66   An Act To Ensure the Right To Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment   Rep. Lockman, R-Amherst   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill would make Maine a "right to work" State. It prohibits a person, either in the public or private sector, from being required to join a labor organization or pay any labor organization dues or fees as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, notwithstanding any state law to the contrary. A violation is a Class D crime and is also subject to civil damages and injunctive relief. The Attorney General is responsible for enforcement and is required to prosecute all violations.
                     
Labor   67   An Act To Improve Insurance Coverage for First Responders Answering a Call to Duty   Rep. Devin, D- Newcastle   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a personal injury to a paid or volunteer firefighter or a paid or volunteer emergency medical services person considered an employee within the meaning of the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 is considered to arise out of and in the course of employment and is compensable under the Act if the personal injury occurs at any time after the firefighter or emergency medical services person receives notice of a fire or emergency and is in the process of responding.
                     
Labor   701   An Act To Establish the Maine Paid Family Leave Insurance Program   Rep. Daughtry, D-Brunswick   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill creates the Maine Paid Family Leave Insurance Program to provide wage-replacement benefits to persons who qualify for family medical leave. The program is funded by employee contributions and provides 2/3 of a person's average weekly wage or 100% of the state average weekly wage, whichever is lower, for up to 6 weeks in any 12-month period. Employee contributions are collected on a sliding scale based on wages.
                     
Labor   86   An Act To Protect Worker Wages and Benefits   Sen. Miramant, D- Knox   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
Current law provides that an employee whose employment has ceased is entitled to earned wages from the employer, including unused vacation time when paid vacation was included in the terms of employment, upon a reasonable time after that employee makes a demand for such payment from the employer, and that the employee may bring a civil action against an employer that does not comply with this requirement. This bill eliminates the requirement that the employee make a demand for the earned compensation with the employer. Instead, earned wages must be paid by the employer within a reasonable amount of time after the cessation of employment - defined as the next regular pay period, or two weeks after the end of employment - regardless of whether the employee has made a demand for the wages.
                     
Labor   942   An Act To Prohibit a Prospective Employer from Asking a Prospective Hire about the Person's Compensation History until after a Job Offer Is Made   Rep. Bryant, D-Windham   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill prohibits an employer from inquiring about a prospective employee's prior compensation history until after an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring that a prospective employee's prior compensation history meet certain criteria. An employer that violates this law is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 per violation and is also subject to a civil right of action that may be brought by or on behalf of an affected prospective employee by the Department of Labor or the affected employee.
                     
Marijuana Legalization   387   An Act To Provide for Oversight of Maine's Recreational Marijuana Laws   Sen. Gratwick, D-Penobscot   Marijuana Legalization Implementation  
This bill directs the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health to serve in an advisory capacity on public health matters related to retail marijuana to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry acting as chief administrative officer of the state licensing authority for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing and sale of retail marijuana.
                     
Marijuana Legalization   667   An Act To Repeal the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana   Rep. Cyrway, R-Kennebec    
This bill repeals the Marijuana Legalization Act, which allows the commercial cultivation, sale, purchase, manufacture, possession and use of marijuana and marijuana products and the personal cultivation, possession and use of marijuana and marijuana products, and the tax that is imposed on the sale of marijuana and marijuana products, if approved by the voters at a referendum held in November 2018. The bill also amends related provisions of law.
                     
Marijuana Legalization   88   An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act   Rep. Luchini, D- Ellsworth   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This bill delays the effective date of most of the provisions of the Marijuana Legalization Act as enacted by citizen initiative to February 1, 2018. The delayed effective date does not apply to the provision in the initiated bill that repeals the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, section 2382, subsection 1, which makes possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana a civil violation, or the following provisions, which will be effective as of January 30, 2017: 1. A person 21 years of age or older may use, possess or transport up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana; 2. A person 21 years of age or older may transfer, without remuneration, up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana and up to 6 immature plants or seedlings to a person who is 21 years of age or older; 3. A person 21 years of age or older may possess, grow, cultivate or transport up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings and possess all of the marijuana produced by the plants at the person's residence; and 4. A person 21 years of age or older may consume marijuana in a private residence. The bill clarifies that possession of a useable amount of marijuana by a juvenile is a crime, unless that juvenile is authorized to possess marijuana for medical use. Finally, the bill prohibits the possession of any edible retail marijuana products until February 1, 2018.
                     
Minimum Wage   1005   An Act Regarding Minimum Wage Increases   Rep. Stewart, R-Presque Isle   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill eliminates the $1 per hour increases in the minimum wage scheduled for each of the next 3 years and eliminates increases in the minimum wage based on the increase in the cost of living starting in 2021. It also restores the tip credit to the minimum wage laws.
                     
Minimum Wage   1117   Resolve, To Establish the Commission To Study the Phase-out of Subminimum Wage   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostoock   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This resolve establishes the Commission To Study the Phase-out of the Subminimum Wage for the purpose of determining the effect of the law that requires the minimum cash wage paid to a tipped service employee to be increased by $1 each year until it reaches the same amount as the minimum wage.
                     
Minimum Wage   673   An Act To Restore the Tip Credit to Maine's Minimum Wage Law   Sen. Katz, R-Kennebec   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill restores the tip credit to the minimum wage laws.
                     
Minimum Wage   702   An Act To Restore the Tip Credit to Maine Employees   Rep. Guerin, R-Glenburn   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill restores the tip credit in the minimum wage laws.
                     
Minimum Wage   774   An Act To Create a Training Wage   Rep. Timberlake, R-Turner   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill provides a minimum hourly training wage of $1.00 above the federal minimum wage for a person who is 20 years of age or under and is a student at a secondary or postsecondary school.
                     
Minimum Wage   775   An Act To Prohibit the Minimum Wage from Exceeding the New England Average   Rep. Harvell, R-Farmington   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill provides that the minimum wage may not exceed the average minimum wage paid in the New England states, as determined by the Commissioner of Labor.
                     
Minimum Wage   778   An Act To Eliminate the Indexing of the Minimum Wage to Inflation   Rep. Harvell, R-Farmington   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill eliminates the indexing of the minimum wage to inflation, which under current law is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2021.
                     
Minimum Wage   831   An Act To Base the Minimum Wage on a New England State Average and To Restore the Tip Credit   Sen. Dow, R-Lincoln   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill provides that starting January 1, 2018 the minimum hourly wage is the average minimum hourly wage in the New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island on July 1st of the previous year, as determined annually by the Commissioner of Labor. It also restores the tip credit.
                     
Minimum Wage   971   An Act To Exempt Certain Employees from the Minimum Wage Laws   Rep. Sampson, R-Alfred   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill exempts from the minimum wage laws an employee who has not attained 18 years of age, is claimed as a dependent on the income tax return of another person or is employed by a seasonal employer.
                     
Minimum Wage   991   An Act To Establish a Minimum Wage for Minors   Sen. Cyrway, R-Kennebec   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill establishes a minimum hourly wage for minors that is 75% of the minimum hourly wage established for persons who are 18 years of age and older.
                     
Miscellaneous   1238   An Act To Permit the Expungement of Records Relating to Proceedings That Do Not Result in Convictions   Rep. Cooper, D-Falmouth   Judiciary  
This bill establishes a process for an individual who was arrested for or charged with a state crime, but who was not ultimately convicted of that state crime or a related crime, to seek expungement of all criminal history records held by a law enforcement agency or state court concerning the individual's arrest or the state court criminal proceeding.
                     
Miscellaneous   1469   An Act Relating to Firearms Exclusions in Certain Locations   Rep. Kinney, R-Knox   Criminal Justice and Public Safety  
This bill provides that a person that prohibits the possession of firearms on property by an individual otherwise authorized to carry a firearm thereby assumes absolute custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of the individual prohibited from possessing a firearm while that individual is on that property and while that individual is on any property that individual is required to traverse in order to travel to and from the location where that individual's firearm is stored. An individual prohibited from possessing a firearm who is otherwise authorized to carry a firearm and who is injured, suffers bodily injury or death or incurs economic loss or expense, property damage or any other compensable loss as the result of conduct occurring on property on which the possession of a firearm is prohibited has a cause of action against the person that prohibits the possession of firearms on that property.
                     
Referendum Process Reform   31   RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District   Rep. Espling, R- New Gloucester   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to require that the signatures on a petition to directly initiate legislation be of voters from each of the State's 2 congressional districts and that the number of signatures from each congressional district be not less than 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in that congressional district in the previous gubernatorial election. This resolution provides that, if the required votes are cast in favor of the proposed amendment to the Constitution, the proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution on March 1, 2018 instead of on the date of the Governor's proclamation.
                     
Referendum Process Reform   53   RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Prohibit Payment Per Signature for Citizen Petition Drives   Rep. Guerin, R- Glenburn   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to prohibit a person who collects signatures for a written petition for a people's veto or for the direct initiative of legislation from being paid based upon the number of signatures the person collects.
                     
Referendum Process Reform   715   RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Amend the Citizen Initiative Process   Rep. Craig, R-Brewer   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to require that a direct initiative petition contain signatures of at least 15% of the registered voters in each county. The Constitution of Maine currently requires a petition to contain a number of signatures equal to at least 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in the last gubernatorial election. This resolution requires the Secretary of State to hold at least one public debate on the measure proposed in the petition in each senatorial district at which the full text of the measure and any amended form, substitute or recommendation of the Legislature must be read aloud in its entirety.
                     
Referendum Process Reform   906   An Act Regarding the Collection of Signatures for a Direct Initiative   Rep. Timberlake, R-Turner   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This bill requires a person circulating a petition for a direct initiative of legislation to give a voter that voter's own printed paper copy of the full text of the direct initiative and the fiscal impact statement and provide the voter the opportunity to read the full text of the direct initiative prior to that voter signing the petition. Current law also requires a person circulating a petition for a direct initiative of legislation to provide the voter the opportunity to read the proposed direct initiative summary and fiscal impact statement.
                     
Taxation   1212   An Act to Amend the Definition of Eligible Equipment for the Purposes of the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program   Sen. Katz, R-Kennebec   Taxation  
This bill changes the statutory location of the tax exemption for personal property occupied or used solely for its own purposes by an incorporated benevolent and charitable organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501 of the Code and the primary purpose of which is the operation of a hospital licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services, a health maintenance organization or a blood bank. This bill moves the exemption from the statutes regarding exemption of real and personal property, since the exemption no longer applies to real property, to the definition of "eligible business equipment" for the purposes of defining personal property that is exempt from property tax under the business equipment tax exemption, or "BETE," program.
                     
Taxation   1230   AN Act to Create a Local Option Sales Tax on Meals and Lodging   Rep. Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor   Taxation  
This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, on prepared food and short-term lodging of no more than 1% by local referendum.
                     
Taxation   1245   An Act to Ensure the Effectiveness of Tax Exependitures   Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford   Taxation  
This bill, based on model legislation for accountability in economic development, makes any subsidy provided by the State or a unit of local government to a company for purposes of encouraging economic development subject to rescission or recapture if the company fails to meet the goals for which the subsidy was provided, such as new jobs, high wages, benefits such as health insurance and maintenance of employment levels for the duration of the subsidy or incentive period. The bill requires the entity providing the development subsidy to monitor the company receiving the subsidy to ensure the company is meeting the goals for the subsidy and to recapture all or a portion of the subsidy from a company that does not meet those goals. This bill requires the entity providing the subsidy to maintain a publicly accessible website containing information about the subsidy and the company receiving the subsidy and any enforcement actions taken against a company receiving a subsidy. Finally, this bill provides so-called taxpayer standing to a taxpayer or organization of taxpayers to allow suit to be brought by that taxpayer or organization to enforce the rescission or recapture requirements.
                     
Taxation   1265   An Act to Create a Local Option Sales Tax by Referendum   Sen. Chenette, D-York   Taxation  
This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, of no more than 1% by local referendum. Certain items, such as motor vehicles and major household appliances, are excluded from the local option sales tax.
                     
Taxation   1283   An Act to Modernize the Mining Excise Tax   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Taxation  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to update the mining tax laws to reflect current terminology and practice and to impose a new rate of tax on mining activities
                     
Taxation   291   An Act to Maintain the Income Tax Rate on Persons with Taxable Income Above $200,000   Rep. Richard Campbell, R-Orrington   Taxation  
The bill would decrease the rate of tax imposed on the income of resident individuals with incomes over $200,000 from 7.15% tp 4.15%.
                     
Taxation   330   An Act to provide an Income Tax Credit for Employer Contributions to Section 529 Qualified Tuition Programs   Rep. Victoria Kornfield, D-Bangor   Taxation  
The bill provides an income tax credit up to an employer that makes up to $1,000 in matching contributions on behalf of an employee to a qualified tuition program established by the employee under Section 529 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
                     
Taxation   337   An Act to Protect Jobs and the Maine Economy by Eliminating the 3% Surcharge Imposed on Certain Mainers and the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education   Rep. Paul Stetkis   Taxation  
The bill repeals the 3% income tax surcharge on incomes over $200,000 and the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education.
                     
Taxation   492   An Act to Restore Revenue Sharing   Rep. Tepler, D-Topsham   Taxation  
The bill would restore the level of state municipal revenue sharing from 2% to 5% for fiscal years 2019-2020.
                     
Taxation   493   An Act to Tax the Extraction of Water for Certain Commercial Purposes and Fund Water Quality Programs   Rep. Melaragno, D-Lewiston   Taxation  
The bill would create an excise tax of 1 cent per 25 gallons of groundwater or surface3 water extrcated from springs or other underground sources in this state by a bottled water operator that extracted more than 1,000,000 gallons in the previous calendar year if the water is packaged for sale.
                     
Taxation   493   An Act to Tax the Extraction of Water for Certain Commercial Purposes and Fund Water Quality Programs   Rep. Melaragno, D-Auburn   Taxation  
The bill would create an excise tax of 1 cent per 25 gallons of groundwater or surface water extracted from springs or other underground sources in this State by a bottled water operator that extracted more than 1,000,000 gallons in the previous calendar year if the water is packaged for sale.
                     
Taxation   520   An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Increase Rural Maine's Access to Broadband Internet Service   Rep. Berry, D-Bowdoinham   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $100,000,000, will be used for the provision of broadband Internet service in unserved and underserved areas through ConnectME Authority or successor organization partnerships with private, municipal and nongovernmental service providers.
                     
Taxation   546   An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Support Biological Research in Maine   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $5,000,000, will be used to provide funds for the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory through the Maine Technology Institute to expand infrastructure and stimulate biotechnology job growth and economic activity.
                     
Taxation   571   An Act to Eliminate the 3 Percent Surcharge on Certain Income and Provide an Alernative Funding Source for the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education   Sen. Dow, R-Lincoln   Taxation  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to eliminate the 3% surcharge imposed on individual income over $200,000, which is imposed to fund the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education. Instead, this bill would supplant the revenue from the surcharge with 2 alternate sources: 1 All of the revenue from the tax imposed on the sale of recreational marijuana products, except for the amount retained for training law enforcement personnel on marijuana-related laws and rules; and 2 All surplus revenue generated by growth in the Maine economy up to the amount needed by the State to meet its obligation of funding 55% of public education from kindergarten to grade 12.
                     
Taxation   571   An Act to Eliminate the 3% Surcharge on Certain Income and Provide an Alternative Funding Source for the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education   Sen. Dana Dow, R-Linolcn   Taxation  
The bill is a concept draft that proposes to eliminate the 3% income tax surcharge on income over $200,000 as a source of funding for the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education. Instead the bill proposes to utilize the revenue from taxing marjuana products and any excess state revenue to fund education.
                     
Taxation   583   An Act to Improve the Tax Appeal Process for Maine Businesses and Consumers   Sen. Libby, D-Androscoggin   Taxation  
This bill expands the tax appeals process for taxpayers by permitting purchasers from whom sales tax or service provider tax has been collected to request a refund from the State Tax Assessor when taxes have been collected erroneously or illegally and the retailer or service provider has not refunded the tax. The bill also permits a person appealing a reconsideration determination to request the legal basis of the determination.
                     
Taxation   620   An Act to Restore the Tax Deducation for Contributions to College Savings Accounts   Rep. Pouliot, R-Augusta   Taxation  
This bill restores an income tax deduction for contributions to a qualified tuition program established under Section 529 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that was repealed in 2015 and sets the deduction at a maximum of $1,000 annually per designated beneficiary. The change applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
                     
Taxation   621   An Act to Retain Professionals and Attract Professionals to Maine by Amending Maine's Income Tax Code   Rep. Tipping, D-Orono   Taxation  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to recruit and retain professionals in Maine by: 1 Creating or enhancing certain tax credits, such as the dental care access credit and the primary care access credit, which provide a tax credit for dentists and medical professionals practicing in an underserved area of the State; and 2 Creating or enhancing loan and loan forgiveness programs, such as the Educators for Maine Program and the Health Professions Loan Program, which provide loans to students in the areas of education or health who then agree to complete a certain length of service in Maine in return for forgiveness of those loans.
                     
Taxation   621   An Act to Retain Professionals and Attract Professionals to Maine by Amending Maine's Income Tax Code   Rep. Ryan Tipping, D-Orono   Taxation  
The bill is a concept draft and proposes to create certain tax credits that focus on attracting health care professionals to the state.
                     
Taxation   708   An Act to Use Taxes on Non medical Marijuana and Increase the Tax on Cigarettes to Partially Offset the 3% Income Tax Surcharge   Rep. Dale Denno, D-Cumberland   Taxation  
The bill increases the sales tax on nonmedical marijuana from 10% to 15% and the tax on cigarettes from $2.00 poer pack of 20 to $2.50 per pack. The revenues would be used to reduce the rate of the 3% surcharge on taxable income over $200,000.
                     
Taxation   733   An Act Regarding Maine's Tax Code   Rep. Ryan Tipping, D-Orono   Taxation  
The bill is a concept draft that proposes to make changes (unamed) to certain taxes imposed pursuant to Maine law.
                     
Taxation   741   An Act to Provide Equity in Education Funding   Rep. Stearns, Guilford   Taxation  
The bill would allow a muncipality that is a member of a school administrative unit receiving more than the minimum state share for education funding to impose by referendum a local option sales tax of up to 1% to be used for funding kindergarten to grade 12 education and reducing the property tax.
                     
Taxation   781   An Act to Support the Trades Through a Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Program   Rep. Herbig, D-Belfast   Taxation  
The bill would provide an income tax credit of $2500 to employers with apprenticeship programs approved by the Department of Labor.
                     
Taxation   783   An Act Regarding Business Income Tax   Rep. Stewartm Presque Isle   Taxation  
The bill which is a concept draft would provide an income tax credit for a business that makes a voluntary contribution to fully or partially fund a qualifying local project that would otherwise need to be funded by the State.
                     
Taxation   784   An Act to Prevent tax Haven Abuse   Rep. Ryan Tipping, D-Orono   Taxation  
The bill would require that corporations that file unitary income tax returns in Maine to include income from certain jurisdictions outside the United States in net income when apportioning income among tax jurisdictions.
                     
Taxation   829   An Act to Increase the Income Tax Surcharge Threshold Imposed on Hosueholds   Sen. Bill Diamond, D- Cumberland   Taxation  
The bill amends the 3% surcharge imposed on incomes over $200,000 to increase the threshold to $300,000 for taxpayers filing as heads of household and to $400,000 for taxpayers filing jointly or surviving spouses. It keeps the $200,000 threshold for individual taxpayers or mariied persons filing separately.
                     
Taxation   851   An Act to Repeal and Subject to Referendum in 2018 the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education and the 3 Percent Income Tax Surcharge   Rep. Heather Sirocki, R-Scarborough   Taxation  
The bill repeals the 3% surcharge imposed on incomes over $200,000 and the Fund to Adavance Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education and puts the issues back out to referendum in November 2018.
                     
Taxation   885   An Act to Update References to the United States Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 Contained in the Maine Revised Statutes   Sen. Dana Dow, R--Lincoln   Taxation  
The bill update references to the US Internal Revenu Code of 1986 contained in the Maine Revised Statutes.
                     
Taxation   936   An Act to Modernize and Simplify the Tax Code   Rep. Lance Harvell, Farmington   Taxation  
The bill is a concept draftthat proposes to modernize and simplfy the tax code.
                     
Transportation   776   An Act To Promote Fairness for Rural Maine Residents by Regulating Fuel Prices   Rep. McRea, D-Fort Fairfield   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill proposes to prevent large fluctuations based on geographical location in the retail price of gasoline and other motor fuel sold at service stations throughout the State. The bill proposes to prohibit a service station from charging more than a set amount for a gallon of motor fuel. The retail price per gallon would be determined weekly and would be based on the average cost of a gallon of that motor fuel for the State, as determined by the Governor's Energy Office, plus an allowance for transportation and staffing based on the geographical area in which the service station is located.
                     
Unemployment Insurance   1116   An Act To Improve the Unemployment Compensation System   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostoock   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to change the Employment Security Law to make improvements to the unemployment compensation system to ensure the accumulation of funds is adequate to pay benefits during periods of unemployment, the highest skills of unemployed workers are used and the serious social consequences of unemployment are limited.
                     
Unemployment Insurance   1464   An Act Regarding Unemployment Compensation for Full-time Seasonal Workers   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill allows an unemployed individual to receive unemployment benefits without registering for work or looking for employment if the individual has a verifiable guarantee to return to employment from the individual's most recent employer and the individual is available for recall and is receiving full-time yearly benefits but is not receiving vacation pay.
                     
Unemployment Insurance   700   An Act To Give Flexibility to Employees and Employers for Temporary Layoffs   Rep. Parry, R-Arundel   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill creates an exemption from the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits dealing with work search for an individual otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits when that individual has been temporarily laid off with a definite recall date of not more than 12 weeks from the date of the individual's temporary layoff.
                     
Unemployment Insurance   962   An Act Regarding Unemployment Compensation for Workers Involved in Certain Seasonal Occupations   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill amends the unemployment compensation laws to provide that an individual who works in the construction industry, has worked for at least 20 weeks in the 12 months prior to making a claim for benefits and has a date to return to work for a previous employer is not required to engage in work search efforts. It also provides that an individual who works in the logging industry is not required to engage in work search efforts from April 1st to June 1st.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1061   An Act To Increase Investment and Regulatory Stability in the Electric Industry   Rep. Pierce, R-Dresden   Utilities and Energy  
This bill does the following. 1. It gives the Public Utilities Commission authority to direct investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into long-term contracts for regional procurement of capacity resources, energy or renewable energy credits. 2. It requires the Public Utilities Commission to issue an annual report on the procurement of capacity resources, energy and renewable energy credits in the preceding 12 months with a plan for the succeeding 12 months that is consistent with the State’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction. 3. It requires certain rules adopted under the expedited permitting of grid-scale wind energy development provisions to be major substantive rules. 4. It allows a property owner to request that the owner's property be included as an expedited permitting area for grid-scale wind energy development. 5. It requires rules in determining the effects of grid-scale wind energy development on scenic character and related existing uses to be major substantive rules. 6. It directs the Department of Environmental Protection to convene a stakeholder group regarding the effect of expedited wind energy on scenic character and existing uses, which may issue a report of its findings, including recommended legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1062   An Act To Expand the Availability of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Maine   Rep. Rykerson, D-Kittery   Utilities and Energy  
This bill proposes to establish a program to support the installation throughout the State of publicly accessible universally compatible electric vehicle charging stations. Under the program: 1. An entity doing business in the State would be able to apply for a grant to be used to install a charging station by submitting an application; 2. Applicants would be selected based on preferential criteria, including: A. The ability of the applicant to make the charging station available to the public for use 24 hours per day and 7 days per week; B. The absence of other available charging stations in or near the area in which the proposed charging station will be located; C. The relative safety of the proposed location of the charging station, including the presence of lighting or shelter; D. The willingness of the applicant to contribute the applicant's own funds to help maintain and operate the charging station; E. The location of the proposed charging station in relation to important regional attractions, events, facilities, transportation corridors, major thoroughfares and high-traffic areas; and F. The proximity of dining, lodging, retail and entertainment opportunities within walking distance of the proposed charging station; 3. A recipient of a grant would be required to commit to: A. Making the charging station accessible and available for use by the public; and B. Maintaining and operating the charging station; and 4. Funds would be provided by several sources. It is intended that the program be included in the State's beneficiary mitigation plan to receive trust funds pursuant to the Volkswagen Partial Consent Decree, which settles portions of the multidistrict litigation concerning certain Volkswagen diesel engines. In addition, private funding that is designed to leverage other funds would make up a part of the program funding.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1124   An Act To Promote the Development of Solar Energy in Maine   Sen. Breen, D-Cumberland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill proposes to enact measures designed to promote the development of solar energy in the State.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1147   An Act To Modernize the Renewable Portfolio Standard   Rep. DeChant, D-Bath   Utilities and Energy  
This bill proposes to modernize the renewable portfolio standard. The bill proposes to continue the current renewable portfolio standard level from January 2017 to December 2028.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1151   An Act To Allow Promotional Allowances by Public Utilities   Rep. Pouliot, R-Augusta   Utilities and Energy  
This bill allows public utilities to offer or provide promotional allowances, such as rebates, discounts or similar reductions, to their customers or potential customers. The Public Utilities Commission is directed to adopt rules to implement the provisions of this bill.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1157   An Act To Create a Limited Microgrid Project To Stimulate Economic Development in Northern Maine   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Utilities and Energy  
This bill establishes a limited microgrid program in northern Maine. The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to establish by rule a program that would allow the creation of small transmission or distribution systems connecting an electricity generator with one or more industrial consumers located in close proximity to the generator, allowing for the sale or transfer of electricity from the generator to those consumers without use of the system of the transmission and distribution utility. The commission is directed to report annually to the Legislature on the program and whether it should be continued, expanded, limited or discontinued.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1185   An Act Regarding Renewable Portfolio Standards   Rep. Fredette, R-Newport   Utilities and Energy  
This bill proposes to enact measures designed to update Maine's renewable portfolio standards.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1224   An Act To Allow for Greater Energy Competition in Maine by Amending the Law Governing Electric Generation or Generation-related Assets by Affiliates   Sen. Dion, R-Cumberland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to develop clear standards and protections to be imposed on investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to prevent them from providing preferential treatment to their generation affiliates in Maine. This bill requires the commission to adopt major substantive rules to protect ratepayers and establish standards of conduct that govern the relationship between an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate. It requires that standards of conduct adopted by commission rule ensure at a minimum that a generation affiliate is not given preference over nonaffiliated competitive generators; costs of the generation affiliate are not recovered from ratepayers; employees of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility are physically separate from and not shared with those of a generation affiliate; and the accounts and records of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate are separate. This bill defines "generation affiliate" as an affiliated interest that owns, has a financial interest in or controls generation or generation-related assets. This bill defines "financial interest" as any voting or nonvoting equity interest, partnership interest, whether limited or general, trust interest or joint venture in an entity and specifies that a financial interest is not created between an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate solely by virtue of their relationship with a common parent company. This bill establishes penalties for violations of rules adopted pursuant to this bill, and provides that the commission may require an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility to divest from its generation affiliate as a result of any violations of the rules.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1291   An Act To Increase Affordability of and Access to Heat Pumps for Maine Homeowners   Rep. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Utilities and Energy  
This bill proposes to use unallocated funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to increase affordability of and access to heat pumps for Maine homeowners.
                     
Utilities and Energy   131   An Act to Protect the Biomass Industry   Sen. Saviello, R-Wilton   Utilities and Energy  
This bill is a concept draft which proposes to amend the laws pertaining to biomass facilities in order to help the biomass industry succeed.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1313   An Act To Establish Energy Policy in Maine   Rep. Sanborn, D-Portland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill amends the law regarding the transfer of funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund to the Public Utilities Commission for the purpose of the commission's making disbursements to affected manufacturing customers in proportion to their retail purchase of electricity. The bill removes the requirement to transfer $3,000,000 per year and instead directs the commission to determine the total amount to be disbursed based on a percentage. The bill allows affected customers to opt out of receiving a disbursement. The bill requires an affected customer to use the entire amount disbursed by the commission toward the cost of an approved efficiency measure in order for the affected customer to be eligible to receive matching funds from Efficiency Maine Trust.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1313   An Act To Establish Energy Policy in Maine   Rep. Sanborn, D-Portland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill amends the law regarding the transfer of funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund to the Public Utilities Commission for the purpose of the commission's making disbursements to affected manufacturing customers in proportion to their retail purchase of electricity. The bill removes the requirement to transfer $3,000,000 per year and instead directs the commission to determine the total amount to be disbursed based on a percentage. The bill allows affected customers to opt out of receiving a disbursement. The bill requires an affected customer to use the entire amount disbursed by the commission toward the cost of an approved efficiency measure in order for the affected customer to be eligible to receive matching funds from Efficiency Maine Trust.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1342   An Act Regarding Grid-scale Wind Energy Development   Sen. Dion, D-Cumberland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill specifies that associated facilities constructed for wind energy development do not include utility-owned facilities and utility-owned facilities are not part of a wind energy development or offshore wind power project.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1373   An Act To Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine   Rep. Berry, D-Bowdoinham   Utilities and Energy  
This bill amends the laws governing net energy billing. It prohibits a charge to a customer that elects to use net energy billing. It provides specific provisions related to net energy billing including: 1. It provides that customers using net energy billing receive bill credits netted against delivery and supply charges on a one-to-one basis; 2. It provides that unused bill credits accumulate on a 12-month rolling basis; 3. It limits the installed capacity of an eligible facility to 2 megawatts in the territory of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and to 100 kilowatts in the territory of a consumer-owned transmission and distribution utility, except that the consumer-owned transmission and distribution utility may elect to allow an eligible facility with installed capacity up to 2 megawatts; 4. It allows an eligible facility with shared ownership or 3rd-party ownership to be eligible for net energy billing and prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from limiting the number of participants in a shared ownership project, but allows the commission to set a minimum share size; and 5. It requires a comprehensive review of ratepayer benefits and costs from net energy billing when any investor-owned transmission and distribution utility in the State enters into net energy billing agreements for a total generating capacity equal to 5% of the annual peak demand and again for every additional 3% of the utility's annual peak demand thereafter. This bill also establishes a solar energy rebate program to be administered by the Efficiency Maine Trust. The program is to be funded through an assessment collected by the Public Utilities Commission from transmission and distribution utilities. Available funds are to be distributed in the following manner: 40% to eligible commercial customers, 20% to low-income or moderate-income residents and 40% to other eligible residents. This bill requires the trust to adopt routine technical rules to administer the program and requires the trust to submit an annual report to the Legislature that describes the actions of the trust related to the rebate program.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1399   An Act To Encourage Broadband Coverage in Rural Maine   Sen. Bellows, D-Kennebec   Utilities and Energy  
This bill repeals the provisions of law establishing and governing the ConnectME Authority and establishes the Maine Broadband Initiative as a nonprofit corporation with public and charitable purposes to encourage, promote, stimulate, invest in and support universal high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved areas of the State. The initiative is governed by a board of directors. The bill establishes the Maine Broadband Initiative Fund, which is funded by assessments on communications service providers and tax assessments on qualified telecommunications equipment of telecommunications businesses. The bill provides for a transition from the ConnectME Authority to the new Maine Broadband Initiative.
                     
Utilities and Energy   140   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Entrepreneurial Activity, Attract Business and Enhance Demographic In-migration by Investing in High-speed Broadband Infrastructure and To Amend the Law Governing the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Net   Rep. Higgins, R-Dover-Foxcroft   Utilities and Energy  
This bill authorizes a General Fund bond issue, in the amount of $10,000,000, to be allocated to the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Network Access Fund and distributed by the ConnectME Authority in a series of grants, to expand high-speed broadband Internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas throughout the State of Maine.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1444   An Act Regarding Large-scale Community Solar Procurement   Sen. Woodsome, R-York   Utilities and Energy  
This bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to enter into long-term contracts with a duration of 20 years for the procurement of 120 megawatts of large-scale community solar distributed generation resources by 2022. The bill designates a standard buyer, which the bill specifies is the investor-owned transmission and distribution utility in its service territory. The bill allows the commission to designate another entity as the standard buyer if the commission determines it is in the best interest of ratepayers to do so. The purpose of the standard buyer is to purchase the output of large-scale community solar distributed generation resources, aggregate the portfolio of distributed generation resources procured and sell or use the output of these resources in a manner that maximizes the value of this portfolio of resources to all ratepayers. The bill directs the commission to conduct an initial competitive solicitation for 30 megawatts of output of large-scale community solar distributed generation by March 1, 2018. The bill directs the commission and standard buyer to develop a contract prior to a solicitation that will ensure that projects proceed to commercial operation on a reasonable timeline and commits all parties to commercially reasonable behavior. The bill gives the commission authority to establish requirements for bidder eligibility and standards to ensure competition in the bidding process. The bill also specifies that if the solicitation is determined competitive the commission must select one or more winning bids and direct the standard buyer to negotiate and enter into a contract with the winning bidder or bidders. If the commission concludes the solicitation is not competitive, no bidders may be selected and the capacity available in that solicitation must be deferred to a subsequent solicitation. The bill requires the commission to select bids that maximize the benefits or minimize the costs to all ratepayers. The bill requires after the first solicitation that the highest bid rate awarded a contract is the standard solar rate. For each subsequent procurement for 30 megawatts of large-scale community solar distributed generation resources, the commission must establish a declining block rate by reducing the rate awarded in the previous procurement by up to 3%. Bidders in subsequent procurement must submit both a standard bid rate and a discounted bid rate. The bill specifies that if the total bids received in the aggregate is for less than 30 megawatts in subsequent solicitations, contracts will be awarded to all bidders at the applicable declining block rate; however, if the total bids received in the aggregate is for more than 30 megawatts, preference will be given to those bidders with the lowest discounted bid rate and contracts must be awarded to all selected bidders at the lowest qualified discounted bid rate. The bill requires that if there are multiple bids at the same discounted bid rate, preference will be given to the project that was submitted first, as determined by the time stamp showing when the bid was received by the commission. The bill specifies that the bill credit allocated to a subscriber to a particular large-scale community solar distributed generation resource must be based on each subscriber's percentage interest of the total production of the large-scale community solar distributed generation resource for the previous month. The bill requires the project sponsor to provide to the transmission and distribution utility, on a monthly basis, the information required to calculate the bill credit to be provided to each subscriber. The bill includes provisions on how payments to a subscriber must be credited against the subscriber's monthly electricity bill. The bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to adopt routine technical rules regarding the procurement of large-scale community solar distributed generation resources by January 1, 2018.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1472   An Act To Lower the Costs of Broadband Service by Coordinating the Installation of Broadband Infrastructure   Rep. McLean, D-Gorham   Utilities and Energy  
This bill requires public entities constructing or causing to be constructed certain construction projects to install or cause to be installed broadband conduit as part of the construction project. Construction projects covered include projects to construct new or replace existing water or sewer lines in the right-of-way of a highway or public road; to construct a new highway or public road; or to construct or relocate an additional lane or shoulder for an existing highway or public road. The bill authorizes public entities to lease the installed broadband conduit to broadband providers to install fiber-optic or other cables that support broadband and wireless facilities for broadband service. The bill directs the ConnectME Authority, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, to provide technical and educational assistance and requires the ConnectME Authority to maintain a map of broadband conduit installation in the State.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1487   An Act To Control Electricity Transmission Costs through the Development of Nontransmission Alternatives   Sen. Dion, D-Cumberland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill changes the requirement regarding the development, implementation, operation and management of nontransmission alternatives for proposed transmission lines and proposed transmission projects. This bill requires that a smart grid coordinator appointed by the Public Utilities Commission develop a nontransmission alternative to a proposed transmission line or proposed transmission project. The bill provides that a smart grid coordinator must be an entity incorporated in the State; may not be a transmission and distribution utility located in the State or an affiliate of a transmission and distribution utility located in the State; and must have a demonstrated record of developing, operating and managing nontransmission alternatives.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1504   An Act Regarding Solar Power for Farms and Businesses   Sen. Saviello, R-Franklin   Utilities and Energy  
This bill amends the law regarding net energy billing and makes the adoption of net energy billing rules major substantive instead of routine technical, except that rules adopted to be consistent with the changes in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3209-A, subsection 1, substantively equivalent to the rules in effect prior to March 29, 2017 and that must be completed by December 1, 2017, are routine technical rules. The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to enter into long-term contracts with a duration of 20 years for the procurement of 50 megawatts of large-scale commercial solar distributed generation resources by 2022. The bill requires that 8 megawatts of the 50-megawatt procurement target be from large commercial solar distributed generation resources for projects associated with an agricultural or forest products business. The bill creates a standard buyer, which the bill specifies is the investor-owned transmission and distribution utility in its service territory. The bill allows the commission to designate another entity as the standard buyer if it determines it is in the best interest of ratepayers to do so. The purpose of the standard buyer is to purchase the output of each category of distributed generation resource, aggregate the portfolio of distributed generation resources procured and sell or use the output of these resources in a manner that maximizes the value of this portfolio of resources to all ratepayers. The bill directs the commission to conduct competitive solicitations for 20% of the 5-year target procurement for long-term contracts for the output of large-scale commercial solar distributed generation resources twice per year. The bill directs the commission and standard buyer to develop a contract prior to a solicitation that will ensure that projects proceed to commercial operation on a reasonable timeline and commits all parties to commercially reasonable behavior. The bill gives the commission authority to establish requirements for bidder eligibility and standards to ensure competition in the bidding process. The bill also specifies that if the solicitation is fully competitive, the commission must select one or more winning bids and direct the standard buyer to negotiate and enter into a contract with the winning bidder or bidders. If the commission concludes the solicitation is not competitive, no bidders may be selected and the capacity available in that solicitation must be deferred to a subsequent solicitation. The bill requires the commission to select bids that maximize the benefits or minimize the costs to all ratepayers. The bill directs the commission to give preference to projects associated with affordable multifamily housing. The bill requires the commission to review bids for projects associated with affordable multifamily housing at 1¢ less per kilowatt-hour than the actual bid, but if such a project is awarded a contract, it is paid at the actual bid rate and not the rate used for review. This same process is allowed in the bill after December 31, 2019 for projects associated with an agricultural or forest products business if the commission determines that solicitations are not likely to result in the procurement of 8 megawatts of solar projects associated with an agricultural or forest products business by 2022. The bill also includes a small business distributed generation credit rate program as an alternative to net energy billing for nonresidential customers. The bill includes language on how bill credits are to be determined for a customer. The bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to adopt routine technical rules regarding the procurement of large-scale commercial solar distributed generation resources by January 1, 2018. The bill also requires the commission to submit multiple reports on the effectiveness of the bill credit program at increasing installations of distributed generation resources and its expected short-term and long-term effect on ratepayers, as well as multiple reports regarding net energy billing and alternatives to net energy billing.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1513   An Act To Provide for Affordable Long-term Energy Prices in Maine   Rep. Fredette, R-Newport   Utilities and Energy  
This bill prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from directing an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility to enter into a long-term contract for capacity resources or energy or renewable energy credits associated with capacity resources unless the commission determines that the instate economic benefits substantially outweigh the expected costs of the contract.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1547   An Act To Establish Primary Energy Goals for the State   Rep. Wadsworth, R-Hiram   Utilities and Energy  
This bill changes the State's energy goals to establish that the primary objectives of the State's energy policy are to reduce electric rates and costs and to reduce air pollution. It repeals state policies and goals related to energy generation from renewable resources and to wind energy development.
                     
Utilities and Energy   1549   An Act To Create a Tax on the Production of Electricity from Wind Resources   Rep. Stearns, R-Guilford   Utilities and Energy  
This bill creates an excise tax on wind energy producers for the privilege of using wind power to produce electricity from wind resources for sale or trade beginning January 1, 2018. The tax is equal to $1 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced as measured at the point of interconnection with an electric transmission line. The tax first applies 3 years after the turbines producing the electricity first begin operation. The tax does not apply to the Federal Government, the State, a county or municipality in the State or any individual producing electricity from wind resources for that individual's personal use. Revenue from the tax is transferred to a newly created Wind Energy Impact Fund to be administered by the Public Utilities Commission. The commission is required to establish a process for distribution of revenues to ratepayers in areas affected by the wind energy production that is subject to the tax.
                     
Utilities and Energy   229   An Act To Prohibit an Electric Utility from Charging a Customer for Using an Electromechanical Meter   Sen. Miramant, D-Knox   Utilities and Energy  
This bill prohibits a transmission and distribution utility from charging a customer a fee, monthly charge or higher rate for declining the installation of a wireless smart meter or for the removal of a wireless smart meter. A transmission and distribution utility cannot include cost associated with a customer’s decision in choosing a smart meter in rates charged to that customer.An investor-owned transmission and distribution utility, with approval by the PUC, may decrease the number of times an electromechanical meter is read for a customer that declines the installation of a wireless smart meter but may not read the meter less than once every 12 months. The utility may establish a method to collect rates based on the average electricity consumption of the customer. If a transmission and distribution utility prefers a more frequent electromechanical meter reading, the utility may establish a method for a customer to provide the utility with a more frequent electromechanical meter reading, as long as the method does not impose a cost on the customer. This bill requires the utility to establish a process by which the utility provides a refund to a customer if a billing based on average usage results in an overpayment by a customer and an appropriate rebilling of a customer if such a billing results in an underpayment by the customer.
                     
Utilities and Energy   240   An Act To Increase Transparency in Maine's Electricity Market   Sen. Hamper, R-Oxford   Utilities and Energy  
This bill prohibits a competitive electricity provider from continuing generation service to a consumer for longer than 12 months without annual express consent from the consumer.
                     
Utilities and Energy   255   An Act To Implement Electric Grid Reliability Recommendations   Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville   Utilities and Energy  
This bill is a concept draft. It proposes directing the PUC to pursue the 4 recommendations made by the Emprimus LLC of Minneapolis, MN in their report to the PUC filed January 6, 2015, Docket Number 2013-8 00145. The report was in reference to the effect of geomagnetic disturbances and electromagnetic pulses on the State’s electric grid.
                     
Utilities and Energy   256   An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries   Rep. Grohman, D-Biddeford   Utilities and Energy  
This bill changes the limit on the amount collected on prepaid wireless telecommunications service from a percentage to a flat amount. This bill also requires the Public Utilities Commission to convene a stakeholder group to evaluate and provide recommendations regarding the method of collection of funds to support telecommunications access at libraries and public schools.
                     
Utilities and Energy   257   An Act To Enable Municipalities Working with Utilities To Establish Microgrids   Rep. Devin, D-Newcastle   Utilities and Energy  
This bill is a concept draft. It proposes to establish measures to allow municipalities, working cooperatively with electrical utilities, to create microgrids, which are electricity distribution systems consisting of distributed energy sources, including demand management, storage and generation and loads capable of operating in parallel with, or independently from, the main power grid.
                     
Utilities and Energy   259   An Act To Limit Rates Charged by Competitive Electricity Providers   Rep. Higgins, R-Dover-Foxcroft   Utilities and Energy  
This bill prohibits a competitive electricity provider from charging a residential consumer a rate for generation service that is higher than the rate charged for standard-offer service.
                     
Utilities and Energy   260   An Act To Create the Maine Energy Office   Rep. Fredette, R-Newport   Natural Resources  
This bill: 1. Renames the Governor's Energy Office the Maine Energy Office. It repeals the language in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 2 that establishes the office and establishes it instead in Title 35-A, expands the headnote for Title 35-A and places the office under the control and supervision of a commissioner, rather than a director; 2. Establishes in the Maine Energy Office a position of deputy commissioner, to be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate; and 3. Specifies that an amount equal to $300,000 from the Efficiency Maine Trust must be transferred annually to the Maine Energy Office.
                     
Utilities and Energy   344   An Act To Provide Opportunity for Energy Cost Reduction for Maine Businesses and Citizens   Sen. Dion, D-Cumberland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill extends the expiration date for the execution of an energy cost reduction contract from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2020.
                     
Utilities and Energy   405   An Act To Make Changes to the So-called Dig Safe Law   Sen. Woodsome, R-York   Utilities and Energy  
This bill specifies that liquefied propane gas distribution systems that have a cumulative tank capacity of over 2,000 gallons are subject to the so-called Dig Safe Law.
                     
Utilities and Energy   406   An Act To Amend the Law Regarding Joint Use of Certain Utility and Telecommunications Infrastructure   Sen. Woodsome, R-York   Utilities and Energy  
This bill makes the following changes to the laws governing joint use of equipment regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. 1. It changes the conditions under which the commission may order joint use of equipment by eliminating the requirement that a hearing be held upon the commission's motion or that a complaint be filed by an affected entity before the commission may order joint use of equipment. It also eliminates the requirement that the commission find that the parties have failed to agree on the terms and conditions or compensation for the joint use of equipment before the commission may enter an order. 2. It adds unlit fiber providers, telecommunications service providers and information service providers to the list of entities that may be subject to an order for joint use of equipment. 3. It expands the types of subscribers whose interests must be taken into account by the commission when taking actions or issuing orders related to joint use of equipment. 4. It requires the commission to adopt rules governing joint use of equipment.
                     
Utilities and Energy   421   An Act To Promote Economic Development and Critical Communications for Rural Family Farms, Businesses and Residences by Strategic Public Investment in High-speed Internet   Rep. McCrea, D-Fort Fairfield   Utilities and Energy  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to increase funding to the ConnectME Authority from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 to expand universal broadband and high-speed Internet into rural areas identified as the 6% of the State unserved by high-speed Internet. This bill proposes to make expanding high-speed Internet into unserved rural areas a key emphasis in the economic development of and to multiply the return to the State by directing the ConnectME Authority to use the increased funding to increase the rate of strategic broadband investment and leverage additional federal funding to provide middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure in the unserved areas and to correct broadband deficiencies identified in the ConnectME Authority's baseline update of 2013.
                     
Utilities and Energy   422   An Act To Facilitate the Creation of the Maine Water Trust To Regulate and Protect Maine's Water Supply and To Ensure the Quantity and Quality of Maine's Drinking Water   Rep. Sylvester, D-Portland   Utilities and Energy  
This bill imposes a 2-year moratorium, beginning November 1, 2017, on new contracts or agreements by a consumer-owned water utility, municipality, state agency or other governmental entity involving the extraction of more than 75,000 gallons of groundwater during any week or more than 50,000 gallons of groundwater on any day. The bill also directs the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to convene a working group to develop the statutory and regulatory framework for the establishment of the Maine Water Trust, which must be designed to ensure a safe and plentiful drinking water supply to all residents of the State by regulating the use of groundwater for commercial purposes under laws that establish the absolute control and dominion of the State over all groundwater supplies in the State. The commissioner must, on or before January 15, 2019, report the recommendations of the working group to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources matters, which may report out a bill to implement those recommendations to the First Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.
                     
Utilities and Energy   423   An Act To Extend Internet Availability in Rural Maine   Rep. Alley, D-Beals   Utilities and Energy  
This bill provides one-time funding to extend for 2 years a program that provides mobile wireless hot spot devices to libraries in Washington County.
                     
Utilities and Energy   529   An Act To Ensure Resiliency of the Maine Electrical Grid   Rep. Rykerson, D-Kittery   Utilities and Energy  
This bill gives the PUC the authority to require transmission and distribution utilities to take acton to ensure their systems are protected or able to negate the effects of geomagnetic disturbances and electromagnetic pulses. The costs incurred by the transmission and distribution are just and reasonable for rate-making purposes, however, the costs associated with failure of a transmission or distribution system are the responsibility of the utility. The bill also directs the PUC to direct transmission and distribution utilities to undertake mitigation measures.
                     
Utilities and Energy   532   An Act To Remove the 100-megawatt Limit on Hydroelectric Generators under the Renewable Resources Laws   Rep. O'Connor, R-Berwick   Utilities and Energy  
This bill removes the 100-megawatt maximum capacity limit for a hydroelectric generator that meets all state and federal fish passage requirements applicable to generators to qualify as a renewable capacity resource and for a hydroelectric generator ton qualify as a renewable resource for the purpose of meeting the State's renewable resource portfolio requirement.
                     
Utilities and Energy   754   An Act To Repeal or Clean Up Outdated Telecommunications Statutes   Rep. Berry, D-Bowdoinham   Utilities and Energy  
This bill updates the law regarding interstate and intrastate telecommunications access rates. The bill also repeals obsolete provisions of law requiring persons providing intrastate interexchange service to reduce their intrastate long-distance rates in the absence of effective competition, prohibiting mandatory local measured telephone service, prohibiting the Public Utilities Commission from requiring a local exchange carrier to consider competitive bids on the construction of an interexchange facility, prohibiting a telephone utility offering intrastate toll service from increasing prices without filing a tariff revision with the commission and providing subscribers written notice and prohibiting a provider of prepaid calling service from increasing rates on already purchased service and requiring notice to prepaid calling service consumers about differences between in-state and interstate service rates
                     
Utilities and Energy   756   An Act To Clarify the Authority of an Affiliate of a Utility To Own Power Generation outside of the Utility's Territory   Rep. Harvell, D-Farmington   Utilities and Energy  
This bill authorizes an affiliate of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility to own generation or generation-related assets unless the assets are interconnected to the transmission or distribution facilities that are owned or operated by the utility or the affiliate is a wholly owned or partially owned subsidiary of the utility.
                     
Utilities and Energy   802   An Act To Strengthen the Independence of the Public Advocate   Rep. Sherman, R-Houlton   Utilities and Energy  
This bill establishes the Public Advocate Advisory Board. The board consists of 3 members, one appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the President of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The board appoints the Public Advocate to a 6-year term, subject to confirmation by the Legislature, and provides policy guidance to the Public Advocate. The Public Advocate's first 6-year term begins February 1, 2018.
                     
Utilities and Energy   803   An Act To Improve Transparency in the Electricity Supply Market   Sen. Libby, D-Androscoggin   Utilities and Energy  
This bill: 1. Makes the following changes to protect consumers that choose generation service through a competitive electricity provider: A. It requires the competitive electricity provider to disclose to the consumer if the rate of generation service is higher than the standard-offer service rate; B. It requires the competitive electricity provider to send a renewal notice to the consumer for generation service by certified mail, return receipt requested; and C. It prohibits the competitive electricity provider from renewing a contract for generation service without express consent from the consumer; 2. Requires that the monthly utility bill for a consumer that elects to receive generation service from a competitive electricity provider contain the following: A. The rate for generation service charged by the competitive electricity provider must be displayed along with the standard-offer service rate; and B. The expiration date of the consumer's contract with the competitive electricity provider for generation service; and 3. Requires the Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with the Public Advocate, to determine if consumers paid more for generation service purchased from competitive electricity providers instead of through standard-offer service and if so by how much and to submit its findings to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.
                     
Utilities and Energy   822   An Act To Ensure Fairness among Large Consumers of Natural Gas   Sen. Dion, D-Cumberland   Natural Resources  
This bill extends the existing ineligibility for participation in and the exemption from assessment for natural gas conservation programs to large-volume customers that do not purchase their natural gas from a Maine gas utility. Large-volume customers are defined as those purchasing at least 1,000,000 centum cubic feet of natural gas per year.
                     
Utilities and Energy   897   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Encourage Efficient Biomass Thermal and Power Projects in Maine"   Sen. Woodsome, R-York   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $25,000,000, will be used to construct steam piping from existing stand-alone biomass generators to adjacent manufacturing facilities, construct biomass combined heat and power generation boilers for sawmill manufacturing facilities and convert fossil fuel boilers in public buildings and commercial facilities to biomass boilers.
                     
Utilities and Energy   901   An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places   Rep. Winsor, R-Norway   Natural Resources  
This bill repeals and replaces the current law regarding when a visual impact assessment is required for an expedited wind energy development. The bill provides that a visual impact assessment is required if portions of a wind energy development's generating facilities are located within 8 miles from a scenic resource of state or national significance, except that for certain specified scenic resources of state or national significance, a visual assessment is required if a development's generating facilities are located within 15 miles from the scenic resource of state or national significance. The bill also amends the definition of "viewshed of a scenic resource of state or national significance" for those same specified scenic resources.
                     
Utilities and Energy   953   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support the Biomass Industry   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $20,000,000, will be used to provide support for the biomass industry in this State through the establishment of a revolving loan fund for capital investment in biomass generators or similar facilities. The fund is administered by the Public Utilities Commission.
                     
Utilities and Energy   964   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Upgrade Municipal Culverts at Stream Crossings   Rep. Fredette, R-Newport   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $10,000,000, will be used for a competitive grant program that matches local funding for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings in order to enhance and restore rivers, streams and fish and wildlife habitats and to allow communities to better prepare for extreme storms and floods.
                     
Workers' Compensation   1056   An Act To Protect Homeowners from Workers' Compensation Claims   Rep. Moonan, D-Portland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill requires that an insurer that is authorized to provide basic property and casualty insurance in this State provide, in connection with that insurance, workers' compensation insurance that covers any domestic worker of the insured.
                     
Workers' Compensation   592   An Act To Enable the Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company To Better Serve Maine Employers by Eliminating the High-risk Program   Sen. Whittemore, R-Somerset   Insurance and Financial Services  
This bill eliminates the requirement that the Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company maintain a high-risk program. The bill retains the provisions that were contained in the high-risk program language regarding the filing of retrospective rating plans and making retrospective rating plans available to policyholders.
                     
Workers' Compensation   612   An Act To Improve Vocational Rehabilitation under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992   Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill provides that if an employee is actively participating in a rehabilitation plan ordered by the Workers' Compensation Board or entered into voluntarily with the employer, there is a conclusive presumption that work is unavailable to the employee for as long as the employee continues to actively participate in employment rehabilitation, and during the employee’s active participation in the rehabilitation plan, benefits must be paid to the employee.
                     
Workers' Compensation   848   An Act To Support Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder   Rep. Golden, D-Lewiston   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill establishes a rebuttable presumption under the laws governing workers' compensation that when a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer or emergency medical services worker is diagnosed by a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry or a licensed psychologist as having post-traumatic stress disorder, the post-traumatic stress disorder is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the worker's employment.
                     
Workers' Compensation   913   An Act Regarding Workers' Compensation Insurance Rates for Small Businesses   Rep. Ginzler, R-Bridgton   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill charges the Superintendent of Insurance with developing a modification factor to reduce the workers' compensation insurance rates for employers with fewer than 50 employees based on an assessment of the relative risk to the insurer and the relative cost burden of the insurance on such small business employers. The small business employer modification factor applies to workers' compensation insurance policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018.
                     
Workforce Development   669   An Act To Address the Unmet Workforce Needs of Employers and To Improve the Economic Future of Workers   Sen Katz, R-Kennebec   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
A concept draft, this bill proposes to enact a comprehensive package of proposals designed to address the unmet workforce needs of employers and to improve the economic future of workers.