2016 Legislative Update #2

 

Country Road

 

 The Legislature hits the ground running this week.

The Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs is meeting on Tuesday, January 5 @ 10 AM. They will be conducting a public Hearing on LD 2599 “An Act to Combat Drug Addiction through Enforcement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery“.

Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas, opiate abuse and heroin use have been steadily increasing in Maine and are reaching epidemic proportions; and

Whereas, a comprehensive approach that embraces initiatives focused on law enforcement, prevention, treatment and recovery is immediately necessary; and

Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Click here to listen live.

WGHR snapshot analysis:  This one is on a necessary and needed fast track. The death by drugs epidemic is escalating on an annual basis. The three pronged approach needs to be strengthened and supported.

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage told legislative budget writers Thursday that the state’s drug epidemic requires a swifter, more robust law enforcement response and that he will deploy the Maine National Guard if the Legislature doesn’t act to provide more drug agents.

But wait, there’s more.

LCRED aka the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development has a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 2016 @ 1 PM.

LD 690 :  An Act to Ensure the Safety of Home Birth

The purpose of this bill is to ensure the safety of women who choose to give birth at home or in freestanding birthing centers attended by certified professional midwives. This bill proposes to license and regulate certified professional midwives practicing in Maine. Among other things, the bill will establish:

WGHR:  The content and context of this bill should include close coordination with the Committee on Health and Human Services.

LD 1480 An Act to Create and Sustain High-quality Maine Jobs

SUMMARY

This bill creates the Maine Capital Investment Program within the Finance Authority of Maine to provide loans or bond funding to eligible business development projects that have projected costs of at least $50,000,000 or are projected to result in the creation or retention of at least 250 full-time employment positions that pay at least 125% of the state annual average weekly wage. The bill does not take effect until the authority receives funds for the program in the amount of at least $250,000,000. (under Title 26, section 1043, subsection 1-A)

WGHR:  That pay at least 125% of the state annual average weekly wage.  So a Title 10 Act includes Title 26 stipulations. This illustrates the some of the necessary complexities of Human Resources and Business Development.

1-A. Annual average weekly wage. “Annual average weekly wage,” as used to establish the maximum weekly benefit amount for purposes of this chapter, means 1/52 of aggregate total wages paid in Maine covered employment, as reported on employer contribution reports for the calendar year, divided by the arithmetic mean of midmonth weekly covered employment reported on employer contribution reports for the calendar year.

Click Here to Listen to the Public Hearing

LCRED’s next public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2015 @ 1 PM. That content will be presented and snapshot analyzed in the next WGHR 2016 Legislative Update

 

LD 1471
Public Hearing
Resolve, To Facilitate the Distribution of Food Harvested or Processed in Maine to Residents with Food Insecurity

Pres. Thibodeau of Waldo

LD 1474
Public Hearing
An Act To Provide for the 2016 and 2017 Allocations of the State Ceiling on Private Activity Bonds

Sen. Volk of Cumberland

From the Bangor Daily News:

What lurks below the surface of Maine legislators’ agenda by Michael Sheppard

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature will return to Augusta on Wednesday for the 2016 session, and many of the battle lines have been drawn in headlines during the past three months.

Stay Tuned for updates to WGHR Legislative Watch page.

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