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

 
 
 
 
 
                     
Bond Issues   1163   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Provide Funding for a Program of Student Debt Cancellation and Refinancing   Sen. Libby, D-Androscoggin   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
                     
Bond Issues   1330   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Facilitate Innovative Approaches to Regional School Facilities and To Establish the Maine Innovative Regional School Facilities Finance Program   Rep. Ginzler, R-Bridgton   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by the bond issue in Part A, in the amount of $20,000,000, would be used to provide funds for the development of multidistrict, consolidated and integrated prekindergarten through 16 school facilities. Part B establishes the Maine Innovative Regional School Facilities Finance Program to promote efficient capital financing activities for innovative regional school facilities projects. It also establishes the Innovative Regional School Facilities Revolving Fund to support local efforts related to the program.
                     
Bond Issues   1331   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund   Rep. Ginzler, R-Bridgton   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $20,000,000, would be used to recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund for the purpose of providing funds to public schools for renovation and capital repairs.
                     
Bond Issues   1562   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Capitalize a Career and Technical Revolving Equipment and Renovation Fund   Sen. Langley, R-Hancock   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by the bond issue in Part A, in the amount of $10,000,000, will be used to capitalize a career and technical revolving equipment and renovation fund to purchase equipment for and make capital improvements to state career and technical education centers and regions. Part B establishes the Maine Career and Technical Education Finance Program to promote efficient capital financing activities for the equipment for and renovation and repair of career and technical education facilities. It also establishes the Career and Technical Education Revolving Fund to support local efforts related to the program.
                     
Bond Issues   1614   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund the Maine Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Loan Program   Sen. Volk, R- Cumberland (Governor's Bill)   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
This bond would provide $10,000,000, to be used by the Maine Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Loan Program within the Finance Authority of Maine to provide loans in amounts up to $7,500 per year for a maximum of 5 years to selected students in this State pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of science, computer science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
                     
Bond Issues   376   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for a New Engineering Design and Education Center at the University of Maine   Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
This bond would provide funds, in the amount of $80,000,000, that would be used for the construction of an engineering design and education center at the University of Maine in Orono.
                     
Bond Issues   47   An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Equipment for Career and Technical Education Centers   Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford   Appropriations and Financial Affairs  
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $40,000,000, would be used to provide funds to make capital improvements to and purchase equipment for career and technical education centers for high school students.
                     
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   1764   An Act To Streamline Advocacy for Maine Small Businesses by Relocating the Bureau of the Special Advocate within the Department of the Secretary of State to the Department of Economic and Community Development   Rep. Stetkis, R-Caanan on behalf of the Maine DECD   State and Local Government"  
This bill relocates the Bureau of the Special Advocate from the Department of the Secretary of State to the Department of Economic and Community Development.
                     
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   1321   An Act To Promote Social and Emotional Learning and Development in Early Childhood   Sen. Breen, D-Cumberland   Education and Cultural Affairs  
                     
Education   1492   An Act To Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers To Strengthen the Workforce   Sen. Katz, R-Kennebec   Education and Cultural Affairs  
                     
Education   1666   An Act To Ensure the Successful Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas by Extending the Timeline for Phasing in Their Implementation   Rep. Kornfield, D - Bangor   Education and Cultural Affairs  
This bill delays by one year the timeline for the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas.
                     
Education   1689   An Act To Repeal Certain Provisions Regarding the System Administration Allocation Affecting Maine School Districts in the 2018-2019 Biennial Budget   Sen. Jackson, D- Aroostook   Education and Cultural Affairs  
Current law requires that, beginning in fiscal year 2018-19, a portion of the system administration allocation must be allocated to school administrative units that have established regionalized administrative services. This bill retains the portion of the law that establishes the system administration allocation at $135 per pupil for fiscal year 2017-18 and repeals provisions that increase for future fiscal years the per-pupil amount and restrict allocation of portions of the funds to school administrative units that have established regionalized administrative services.
                     
Education   1697   An Act To Establish Alternative Pathways to the Completion of Secondary School Mathematics Requirements   Rep. Kornfield, D-Bangor   Education and Cultural Affairs  
Concept draft. This bill proposes to establish alternative pathways to the successful completion of certain secondary school mathematics requirements.
                     
Education   1733   An Act Concerning Locations for Career and Technical Education Regions and Centers   Se. Langley, R-Hancock   Education and Cultural Affairs  
This bill strikes the provisions in current law that define the organizational makeup of career and technical education centers and regions and instead authorizes the Department of Education to adopt rules that define the organizational makeup of career and technical education centers and regions. The bill clarifies that a satellite program may be affiliated with a region.
                     
Education   1736   An Act To Broaden Educational Opportunities for Members of the Maine National Guard   Pres. Thibodeau, R-Waldo   Legal and Veterans Affairs  
This bill broadens the tuition benefit program that is available to members of the Maine National Guard who attend a state postsecondary education institution to provide a tuition benefit for members who attend a private nonprofit postsecondary education institution in the State. The bill limits the tuition benefit at private nonprofit postsecondary education institutions to the tuition at the Maine Maritime Academy during the prior academic year.
                     
Education   1749   An Act To Shorten the Residency Requirements for In-state Tuition   Sen. Miramant, D- Knox   Education and Cultural Affairs  
This bill provides that the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy may not require a student to have been a resident of this State for longer than one year to be eligible for in-state tuition.
                     
Education   228   An Act To Amend the Mathematics Requirements for High School Graduation   Sen. Langley, R-Hancock   Education and Cultural Affairs  
                     
Education   230   An Act To Increase Access to Head Start   Sen. Millett, D-Cumberland   Health and Human Services  
                     
Education   49   An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine's Students   Rep. Devin, D-Newcastle   Education and Cultural Affairs  
                     
Education   669   An Act To Address the Unmet Workforce Needs of Employers and To Improve the Economic Future of Workers   Se. Katz, R-Kennebec   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1686   An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Distributed Energy Generation and To Eliminate Gross Metering   Sen. Saviello, R- Franklin   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill requires a net energy billing customer that applies for a net energy billing arrangement after April 30, 2018 but before May 1, 2019 to receive 90% of the excess energy generation from an eligible facility to be applied against the customer's transmission and distribution bill, a customer that applies for a net energy billing arrangement after April 30, 2019 but before May 1, 2020 to receive 80% of the excess energy generation from an eligible facility to be applied against the customer's transmission and distribution bill and a customer that applies for a net energy billing arrangement after April 30, 2020 but before May 1, 2021 to receive 70% of the excess energy generation from an eligible facility to be applied against the customer's transmission and distribution bill. It requires that in each 12-month period after April 30, 2021, the percentage of an eligible customer's excess energy generation that applies to that customer's transmission and distribution bill be reduced by no more than 10% and that any reduction applies only to customers that apply for a net energy billing arrangement in that 12-month period. It specifies that an eligible customer that applies for a net energy billing arrangement before May 1, 2018 may continue with the net energy billing arrangement until April 30, 2033 and that an eligible customer that applies for a net energy billing arrangement after April 30, 2018 may continue with that net energy billing arrangement until April 30th of the calendar year that is 15 years from the year in which the customer applied for the net energy billing arrangement. This bill prohibits a transmission and distribution utility from requiring a customer to meter the gross output of an eligible facility in order to participate in net energy billing. It limits to 50 the number of eligible customers that may participate in a single shared interest in an eligible facility or the number of meters associated with a single shared interest, except in the service territory of a transmission and distribution utility located in an area administered by the independent system administrator for northern Maine. It requires the Public Utilities Commission to amend its current net energy billing rules before January 1, 2019 to be consistent with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3209-A. This bill also requires the Public Utilities Commission to submit a report by January 1, 2020 that includes recommendations on how to transition from net energy billing to time-of-use rates, market-based rates or other rate design options. In its report, the commission must include information regarding an analysis of costs and benefits of net energy billing as well as how those costs and benefits compare to any recommendations the commission makes in this report.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1690   An Act To Facilitate Wireless Broadband Deployment in Maine and Modify the Process for Issuing Utility Facility Location Permits   Rep. Wadsworth, R-Hiram   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill changes the process for siting small cell facilities in order to facilitate wireless broadband deployment, including: 1. Through modifications to the process for issuing utility facility location permits, including small cell facility location permits; 2. Through the establishment of standards governing local land use ordinances applicable to the siting of small cell facilities; and 3. Through the establishment of standards governing the collocation of small cell facilities on poles owned by the State, an agency, a county, a municipality or a district.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1699   An Act To Revise the Renewable Portfolio Standard Laws To Allow Certain Hydropower Facilities To Qualify as New Renewable Capacity Resources   Rep. Rykerson, D-Kittery   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill allows a hydropower facility licensed after January 1, 2018 with a licensed capacity of no more than 30 megawatts that is interconnected with an electric distribution system located in Maine to qualify as a new renewable capacity resource for purposes of meeting renewable energy portfolio standard requirements.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1700   An Act To Protect Maine Residents and Businesses from Rising Electricity Costs"   Rep. Berry, D-Bowdoinham   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to establish a task force to examine the cost of the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses in this State and the factors that may cause this cost to rise, including, but not limited to, requests by electric utilities for rate increases, the recovery of costs incurred by electric utilities for recent storm restoration efforts and the possibility that ratepayers in this State may be required to pay a portion of the cost for new transmission lines to meet the demand for power in Massachusetts. The task force would include among its members representatives of consumers, producers, electric utilities, the Governor's Energy Office, the Public Utilities Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate and Legislators. The task force would report its findings, including a proactive and comprehensive approach to protect residents and businesses in this State from rising electricity costs, to the Governor and the Legislature.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1702   An Act To Allow Certain Hydropower Facilities To Sell Electricity Directly to Rural Manufacturing and Industrial Sites   Rep. Stanley, D-Medway   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill allows the owner of certain hydropower facilities to offer for sale to the owner or tenant of a rural manufacturing or industrial site electricity generated by those hydropower facilities that is not under contract to be sold to another entity.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1729   An Act Regarding Compensation by Large Transmission and Distribution Utilities   Sen. Keim, R-Oxford   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill establishes requirements relating to so-called electric service drops constructed by customers of large electric transmission and distribution utilities. The bill requires a utility to reimburse a customer for an aboveground or underground customer-constructed service drop at the customer's request, but limits the price to be paid to the cost the utility would have expended to construct an aboveground service drop.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1741   Resolve, Establishing the Commission To Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry   Senate President Thibodeau, R-Waldo   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This resolve establishes the Commission To Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry.
                     
Energy, Utilities, and Technology   1745   An Act Regarding a Biomass-generated Energy Purchase and Sale Agreement and Payments to Contractors   Sen. Jackson, D-Aroostook   Energy, Utilities, and Technology  
This bill contains legislative findings regarding the failure of Stored Solar, LLC to achieve in-state economic benefits and to continually operate its biomass resource facilities at least at 50% capacity except for planned and forced outages as required by law and contract. This bill prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from providing any funds from the cost recovery fund to pay the above-market costs for energy supplied from the biomass resources of Stored Solar, LLC pursuant to a contract entered into between Central Maine Power Company and Stored Solar, LLC. It requires the commission to distribute funds from the cost recovery fund that are designated for Stored Solar, LLC to contractors that have not received payment for services provided to Stored Solar, LLC to run its biomass resource facilities in Jonesboro and West Enfield. It requires the commission to direct a transmission and distribution utility to enter into a contract for no more than 40 megawatts of biomass resources with a biomass facility that serves the ISO-NE region and that was the next-highest conforming bid after Stored Solar, LLC in a competitive solicitation issued by the Public Utilities Commission on June 17, 2016. It requires the above-market costs of the contract to be paid from any funds remaining in the cost recovery fund after payments are made to contractors and subject to meeting contract terms. This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to request that the Attorney General investigate Stored Solar, LLC and institute any proceedings against Stored Solar, LLC to recover from Stored Solar, LLC an amount equal to the amount of those funds distributed to contractors by the commission pursuant to this legislation. It specifies that any money recovered by the Attorney General must be transferred to the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 1532.
                     
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   1657   "An Act To Update the Allowance Budget for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative"   Rep. Tucker, D-Brunswick   Environment and Natural Resources  
This bill establishes for each year from 2021 to 2030 the amount of allowances the State can auction as a participant in the regional greenhouse gas initiative. It also establishes the adjustments for banked allowances that must be made to the base annual carbon dioxide emissions budgets for 2021 to 2025.
                     
Environmental   1674   Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 502: Direct Watersheds of Lakes Most at Risk from New Development, Urban Impaired Streams, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Environmental Protection   Rep. Tucker, D-Brunswick   Environment and Natural Resources  
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 502: Direct Watersheds of Lakes Most at Risk from New Development, Urban Impaired Streams, 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.
                     
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.
                     
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.
                     
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   1308   Resolve, To Expedite the Processing of Applications for Certification under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit   Re. Talbot Ross, D-Portland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This resolve directs the Department of Labor to establish a new permanent position in the Bureau of Employment Services to expedite the processing of employer applications for certification required for the federal work opportunity tax credit under Section 51 of the United States Internal Revenue Code. The amendment also requires the Department of Labor to submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development with information concerning applications submitted by employers in 2017, including information on the extent of any backlog in application processing, by February 1, 2018.
                     
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   1566   An Act To Enact the Maine Fair Chance Employment Act   Rep. Talbot Ross, D-Portland   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill enacts the Maine Fair Chance Employment Act and adds restrictions to the use of criminal history information in the context of employment decisions by private employers and the State and its political subdivisions and of licensing decisions by licensing agencies. It prohibits an employer from asking an applicant for employment to disclose information concerning the applicant's criminal history, or considering such information, until after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment. It restricts the way a private employer, or the State and its political subdivisions, may use criminal history information in the course of making employment decisions and adds similar restrictions to the existing restrictions applicable to licensing agencies' consideration of criminal history information. It also makes certain criminal history information in the possession of the State and its political subdivisions confidential and makes all criminal background check information obtained by the State in connection with an employment decision confidential.
                     
Labor   1587   An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System   Rep. Herbig, D-Belfast   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill creates a paid family medical leave program, patterned after the unpaid family medical leave program existing in current law but requiring a contribution from an eligible employee, or a self-employed person on a voluntary basis, of no more than 0.5% of the employee's or self-employed person's wages or earnings. The program requires employers to deduct the contributions from employee paychecks and for the employers and self-employed persons to submit contributions to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, which is charged with administering the program. The program pays benefits of up to 66% of an employee's wages or self-employed person's earnings capped at the same maximum amount as unemployment benefits for leave taken by the employee or self-employed person for various family-related medical issues. This bill makes participation optional for employers that employ fewer than 15 employees. This bill also directs the Department of Labor to develop an implementation plan dealing with staffing, technology, start-up expense, rulemaking and scheduling to begin the program on its effective date of October 1, 2019.
                     
Labor   1768   An Act To Reduce Impairment on the Job and Improve Workplace Safety by Amending the Laws Governing Employment Practices Concerning Substance Use Testing   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland on behlf of the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill makes changes to the laws governing employment practices concerning substance abuse testing in order to streanline the process for workplace drug testing, enable more accurate testing proceedures.
                     
Labor   1769   An Act To Conform the Laws Regarding a Salaried Employee Who Is Exempt from Overtime and Minimum Wage Requirements to Federal Law   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland on behlf of the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill amends the description of a salaried employee for the laws governing limits on mandatory overtime and the definition of "employee" in the laws governing minimum wages to conform with the federal guidelines established by the United States Department of Labor under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It sets the minimum salary at the threshold established by the United States Department of Labor under that Act. It eliminates the requirement that the salary threshold be tied to the state minimum wage.
                     
Labor   1770   An Act To Revise Laws Regarding Unemployment That Were Amended or Affected by Recently Enacted Legislation   Sen. Volk, R-Cumberland on behlf of the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill changes the laws governing how benefits paid to an eligible individual under the Employment Security Law are charged against the experience rating record of the individual's previous employers and applies these changes beginning January 1, 2020. The biennial budget also changed this law and applied the changes beginning January 1, 2018. The bill also provides that until January 1, 2020 the experience rating record of the most recent subject employer may not be charged with benefits paid to an eligible individual whose work record with that employer totaled 5 consecutive weeks or less. This bill also provides that certain decisions made by the Commissioner of Labor are subject to review by the Department of Labor, Division of Administrative Hearings, rather than by the Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission
                     
Marijuana Legalization   1719   An Act To Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana   Rep. Pierce, D-Falmouth    
This bill, which is an emergency bill, facilitates the development and administration of a regulated marketplace in the State for adult use marijuana and the regulation of the personal use of marijuana and the home cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use pursuant to the Marijuana Legalization Act, as approved by the voters at referendum in November 2016.
                     
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.
                     
Minimum Wage   1757   An Act To Protect Maine's Economy by Slowing the Rate at Which the State's Minimum Wage Will Increase and Establishing a Training and Youth Wage   Rep. Stetkis, R-Caanan on behalf of the Maine Dept. of Labor   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
This bill affects the minimum wage by: Reducing the minimum wage from $10 per hour to $9.50 per hour beginning June 1, 2018; Reducing the amount by which the minimum hourly wage rates are scheduled to increase annually on January 1st from 2019 to 2021 from $1 per year to 50 cents per year, and decreasing from $12 to $11 the minimum hourly wage rate required to be paid in 2021; Eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage; and Establishing a training minimum wage for employees 18 years of age or older and under 20 years of age for the first 90 days of employment and a youth minimum wage for employees under 18 years of age.
                     
Miscellaneous   1148   An Act To Safeguard the Rights of Private Child Care Businesses   Rep. Sirocki, R-Scarborough   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   1374   Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Assess and Improve the Availability of Child Care Services   Rep. Frey, D-Bangor   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   1423   An Act To Amend Certain Laws Governing Child Care Providers   Sen. Libby, D-Androscoggin   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   1474   An Act To Reduce the Regulation of Child Care Facilities   Rep. Espling, R-New Gloucester   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   274   An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Working Group To Study Background Checks for Child Care Facilities and Providers   Reo. McCreight, D- Harpswell   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   561   An Act To Remove the Requirement That Child Care Facility Workers and Family Child Care Providers Submit to Criminal Background Checks   Rep. Sirocki, R-Scarborough   Health and Human Services  
                     
Miscellaneous   765   An Act To Allow In-home Child Care Providers To Care for up to 5 Children without State Certification   Rep. Espling, R-New Gloucester   Health and Human Services  
                     
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.
                     
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   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   1317   An Act to Encourage Family Friendly Businesses Through a Tax Credit for Child Care   Rep. Herbig, D-Belfast   Taxation  
The bill would revive the tax credit for employer assisted day care which expired in 2015, and would change the amount of the credit to the lessor of 50% of the employers income tax liability and 75%of the costs incurred by the employer in providing day care services for children of employees of the taxpayer.
                     
Taxation   1479   An Act to Modernize and Improve the Maine's Property Tax System   Rep. Stanley, D-Medway   Taxation  
The bill amends the property tax laws to 1) require Maine Revenue Services to value all property in access of $10 million; 2) allows taxpayers to appeal an assessor's decision directly to Superior Court on non residential property valued at more than $1 million; 3) limits to 30 documents an assessor may require a taxpayer to submit when seeking an abatement; and 4) requires that the business person serving on the State Board of Property Tax Appeals have a background in finance, taxation or valuation matters.
                     
Taxation   1565   An Act to Ensure the Exffectiveness of Tax Increment Financing   Rep. Ward, R-Dedham   Taxation  
The bill would amend the criteria for adopting a development program as part of a development district by requiring that 80% of the district is designated for development by an entity engaged in manufacturing, finance or targeted technologies.
                     
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   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.
                     
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.
                     
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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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.
                     
Workforce Development   1698   An Act To Promote Innovation and Growth in Maine's Traditional Industries   Rep. Herbig, D - Belfast   Education and Cultural Affairs  
Concept draft. This bill proposes to promote innovation and growth in Maine's traditional industries.
                     
Workforce Development   1718   An Act To Empower Maine's Rural Economy and Workforce   Rep. Herbig, D - Belfast   Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development  
Concept draft. This bill proposes to empower Maine's rural economy and workforce.
                     
Workforce Development   1723   An Act To Expand Job Opportunities for People Working in Maine   Rep. Herbig, D-Belfast   Taxation  
Concept Draft. This bill proposes to expand job opportunities for people working in this State.
                     
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.