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129th Legislature (2019-2020)

An Act To Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families (LD 1)

The purpose of this bill is to ensure that consumer protections related to health insurance coverage included in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are codified in state law.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 1, click here.

An Act To Provide That Inspections of New Motor Vehicles Are Valid for 2 Years (LD 10)

This bill provides that a new motor vehicle that has had an inspection is not required to have another inspection until 2 years from the last day of the month in which it was initially registered. After this time period has passed, the motor vehicle is required to have an annual motor vehicle safety inspection.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine’s Students (LD 14)

This bill requires the Department of Education to include the so-called Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten to grade 12 in the State’s system of learning results and assessment and directs the Commissioner of Education to amend Department of Education rules on or before December 31, 2019 in order to include the science standards as part of the State’s system of learning results and assessment beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 14, click here.

An Act To Provide for Municipalities To Allow Grocery Stores up to 10,000 Square Feet To Open on Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas (LD 15)

This bill allows a municipality by ordinance to allow grocery stores with no more than 10,000 square feet of interior customer selling space to be open on Easter Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 15, click here.

An Act To Improve Health Care Data Analysis (LD 30)

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to improve the State’s capacity to use data regarding health care costs and health care systems. The State’s ability to better analyze and use data regarding health care utilization and health care quality will serve to inform the State’s health care policy.

Our Recommendation: Neither support or oppose. (More information is needed to take a position).

An Act Regarding Rules Adopted by the ConnectME Authority (LD 31)

This bill changes the designation of rules adopted by the ConnectME Authority from major substantive to routine technical.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 31, click here.

An Act To Clarify Local Referendum Ballots (LD 53)

This bill requires that municipal initiative and referendum questions be listed on election ballots using sequential capital letters of the alphabet rather than sequential numbers.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 53, click here.

An Act To Allow Municipalities To Impose a Seasonal or Year-round Local Option Sales Tax (LD 65)

This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, if approved by referendum of the voters in that municipality.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families Through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System (LD 69)

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 requires 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.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 69, click here.

An Act To Facilitate Access to the MaineCare Family Planning Benefit (LD 78)

This bill establishes presumptive eligibility for individuals who are likely to qualify for the family planning benefit under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, section 3173-G and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide for presumptive eligibility. It requires the department to automatically review an individual’s eligibility for the family planning benefit if, upon application, the individual is found ineligible under Title 22, section 3174-G, subsection 1, paragraph A, C, D, E, F, G or H and to enroll the individual if found eligible for the family planning benefit.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 78, click here.

An Act To Create the Department of Substance Use Disorder Services (LD 80)

This bill establishes the Department of Substance Use Disorder Services as a separate cabinet-level department. It removes from the Department of Health and Human Services, and transfers to the Department of Substance Use Disorder Services, functions and services for individuals with substance use disorders, prevention programs and administrative assistance for the Substance Use Disorder Services Commission.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Allow Spouses To Provide Home and Community-based Services to Eligible MaineCare Members (LD 84)

This resolve requires the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a request to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to amend the current federal 1915(c) waiver so that eligible members receiving home and community-based services under the department’s rule Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter II, Section 19 will be able to receive services provided by spouses who are employed as personal support specialists to provide those services. 

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 84, click here.

An Act To Lower the Maine Individual Income Tax Incrementally to Zero (LD 107)

This bill provides for the phase-out of the individual income tax.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Create a Public Health Insurance Option (LD 109) 

This bill makes any legally domiciled resident of the State eligible for coverage under the group health plan available to state employees and other eligible persons. The bill permits any resident enrolling in coverage under this provision to do so during an open enrollment period.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 109, click here.

An Act To Establish Open Primaries for Certain Federal and State Offices (LD 114)

This bill provides for open primary elections for the elections for United States Senator, United States Representative to Congress, Governor, State Senator and State Representative. All of the candidates for those offices, including candidates enrolled in a party and unenrolled candidates, must appear on the same open primary ballot. All qualified voters, regardless of enrollment status, are eligible to vote in open primary elections. The votes in an open primary election must be tabulated using ranked-choice voting, except that the 2 candidates who receive the most votes are declared the winners of the open primary and their names must appear on the ballot for the general election.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

TO view our testimony on LD 114, click here.

An Act To Exempt Motor Vehicles Less Than 5 Years Old from Inspection (LD 117)

This bill provides that a new motor vehicle that has had an inspection is not required to have another inspection until 5 years from the last day of the month in which it was initially registered. After this time period has passed, the motor vehicle is required to have an annual motor vehicle safety inspection.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Ensure Transparency in College Costs (LD 155)

This bill prohibits a postsecondary institution from assessing a student fees unless the institution uses the standardized financial aid offer form developed by the Commissioner of Education. The bill directs the Commissioner of Education to develop a standard format for written and electronic financial aid offers to students enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a postsecondary institution. The bill specifies that the standardized financial aid offer form must clearly identify each student fee to be paid to the postsecondary institution.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 155, click here.

An Act To Allow Regional Service Center Municipalities To Assess an Additional One Percent Sales Tax for Infrastructure Costs (LD 156)

This bill allows a municipality that is a service center community to impose a local option sales tax of no more than 1% by local referendum for the purpose of funding local infrastructure costs.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Car Seats (LD 157)

This bill amends the laws governing the required use of child safety restraints in motor vehicles by changing the weight and age limits for the different types of restraints.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Convene a Working Group To Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater and To Impose a 2-year Moratorium on Large-scale Groundwater Extraction (LD 197)

This bill imposes a 2-year moratorium, beginning November 1, 2019, 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 for 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.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 197, click here.

An Act To Increase the Required Number of Qualifying Contributions Gubernatorial Candidates Must Obtain To Qualify as Maine Clean Election Act Candidates (LD 202)

This bill increases from 3,200 to 6,000 the number of qualifying contributions verified registered voters must make to a gubernatorial candidate for that candidate to be certified as a Maine Clean Election Act candidate.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 202, click here.

An Act To Prohibit Municipalities from Prohibiting Short-term Rentals (LD 209)

This bill prohibits municipalities from prohibiting or restricting the use of short-term rentals except for narrowly tailored regulations to protect the public health and safety.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 209, click here.

An Act To Require Snow Tires or All-weather Tires on Automobiles from October through April (LD 213)

This bill requires automobiles to be equipped with snow tires or all-weather tires from the 2nd day of October to the last day of April and requires the Chief of the State Police within the Department of Public Safety to adopt rules to define “snow tires” and “all-weather tires.”

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

Update: This bill has been withdrawn by its sponsor.

An Act To Fund the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Network Access Fund (LD 224)

This bill provides funds to the ConnectME Authority to be used to provide grants to municipalities for high-speed broadband infrastructure development and improvement.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Increase the Minimum Area of Usable Space per Child Required in the Outdoor Area of a Child Care Center (LD 238)

This bill requires a child care facility to provide an outdoor play area that provides a minimum net area of 45 square feet of usable space per child.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 238, click here.

RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Prohibit New or Increased Fees or Taxes by Means of Direct Initiatives of Legislation (LD 252)

This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to prohibit the imposition of any new or increased taxes or fees through the direct initiative process.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 252, click here.

Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District (LD 255)

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 two 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, 2020 instead of on the date of the Governor’s proclamation.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act Regarding the Taking of a Blood Sample from an Operator of a Motor Vehicle Involved in a Fatal Accident (LD 264)

This bill allows an emergency medical services person or law enforcement officer whose training allows that person to draw blood samples to draw a specimen of blood from the operator of a motor vehicle involved in a fatal traffic accident for the purpose of determining the blood-alcohol level or the presence of a drug or drug metabolite. This bill extends to those same persons the current law shielding persons from liability for acts done or omitted in collecting or withdrawing specimens of blood.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 264, click here.

An Act To Eliminate Certain Motor Vehicle Inspections in the State (LD 270)

This bill repeals statutory provisions requiring inspections for motor vehicles registered in the State, except that the provisions regarding inspection of commercial vehicles, trailers and semitrailers under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 29-A, section 1753; inspection of fire trucks under Title 29-A, section 1755; and inspection by dealers and transporters under Title 29-A, section 1754 are not repealed.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Require the Fiscal Impact Estimate of a Direct Initiative of Legislation To Be Included on the Ballot (LD 294)

his bill provides that a ballot for a statewide vote on a direct initiative must include a summary of the fiscal impact estimate prepared by the Office of Fiscal and Program Review for that direct initiative.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 294, click here.

An Act To Limit the Number of Charter Schools in Maine (LD 307)

Under current law, the number of public charter schools approved by the Maine Charter School Commission that may operate at any time is capped at 10 until July 1, 2022. This bill makes that cap permanent.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Election Laws by Requiring Photographic Identification for the Purpose of Voting (LD 322)

This bill requires that a voter provide proof of identity with photographic identification approved by the Secretary of State by rule for the purpose of voting.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 322, click here.

An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Earned Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees (LD 369)

This bill creates a right to earned paid sick leave for employees who are employed by an employer that employs more than 5 employees. The bill also creates a right to earned unpaid sick leave for employees of an employer that employs 5 or fewer employees. This bill takes effect January 1, 2021.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 369, click here.

RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each State Senatorial District (LD 374)

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 senate districts and that the number of signatures from each senate district be not less than 10% of the total votes for Governor cast in that senate district in the previous gubernatorial election. The 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, 2020 instead of on the date of the Governor’s proclamation.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Require Biennial State Motor Vehicle Inspections (LD 389)

This bill changes noncommercial automobile inspection requirements from an annual inspection to a biennial inspection.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Restore Overtime Protections for Maine Workers (LD 402)

This bill annually raises the minimum salary that an employee who works in an executive, administrative or professional capacity must earn in order for that employee to be exempt from the laws governing the minimum wage and overtime pay until it is $55,224 on January 1, 2022. The bill provides for an annual adjustment, beginning January 1, 2023, based on the percentage annual increase in certain earnings as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Promote Universal Health Care, Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care (LD 407)

This bill establishes a single-payer health care system in the State, effective July 1, 2022, that finances health care services for most Maine residents. The bill directs the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health and human services matters and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over insurance and financial services matters to jointly submit during the 2019 legislative interim legislation to fully implement the single-payer system.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 407, click here.

An Act To Eliminate the Subminimum Wage for Workers with Disabilities and Agricultural and Tipped Workers (LD 410)

This bill eliminates current exemptions from the minimum wage law that allow the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate to individuals employed in certain agricultural jobs, to individuals employed in service jobs in which tipping is customary and to certain individuals with disabilities, effective October 1, 2019.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

Update: This bill has been indefinitely postponed.

An Act To Strengthen Small Businesses in Rural Maine by Changing the Minimum Wage (LD 425)

This bill sets the minimum wage at $10.00 per hour and removes the provision that requires the minimum wage to be increased annually by the increase, if any, in the cost of living.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Price Carbon Pollution in Maine (LD 434)

This bill requires an assessment on the carbon content of fuels sold by a distributor in the State. The bill defines “distributor” and requires a distributor to submit on a monthly basis the required assessment to the Public Utilities Commission. The commission is required to transfer any assessment it receives to the Carbon Content Assessment Fund, which the bill establishes. The bill requires the commission at the end of each fiscal year to transfer funds from the fund to transmission and distribution utilities in the State. The funds are to be used to reduce the rates of those utilities’ customers in a manner that is equitable and that provides maximum benefit to the economy of the State. The bill gives the commission the authority to review the books and records of a distributor and to impose an administrative penalty if necessary. It requires the commission to adopt routine technical rules.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 434, click here.

An Act To Allow the Creation of New Innovative School Models by Removing the Cap on the Number of Authorized Charter Schools (LD 438)

This bill removes the cap on the number of charter schools the Maine Charter School Commission may authorize.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Improve the Affordability of Higher Education (LD 461)

This bill provides additional funding to the Maine State Grant Program in the 2020-2021 biennium. It requires the Finance Authority of Maine to expand the Maine State Grant Program to enable more low-income residents of the State to attend an institution of higher education within the State. It also requires the Finance Authority of Maine and the Department of Health and Human Services to jointly examine ways to maximize the delivery of federally funded support services to postsecondary students, including, but not limited to, the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Create a Diesel Fuel Tax Differential (LD 466)

This bill imposes an additional 5¢ per gallon fuel tax on diesel fuel and requires that revenue from the tax be used only for construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges. The additional tax is repealed on November 1, 2022. The Commissioner of Transportation is required to submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters by March 1, 2022 identifying the amount of revenue collected and the purposes for which the revenue was or will be used. The committee is authorized to submit legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 130th Legislature to retain, repeal or amend provisions relating to the diesel fuel tax differential.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 466, click here.

An Act To Reduce the Participation Thresholds for Various Municipal Referenda and To Change the Measurement of Those Thresholds from Votes Cast for and against the Question to Votes in Favor of the Question (LD 482)

This bill changes the requirements for a municipality to withdraw from a regional school unit following a vote on a withdrawal agreement. Current law requires that the total number of votes cast for and against withdrawal equal or exceed 50% of the total votes cast in the municipality for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. This bill requires instead that the number of votes cast in favor of withdrawal equal or exceed 25% of the total votes cast in the municipality for Governor in the last gubernatorial election.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 482, click here.

An Act To Improve Efficiencies in Cosmetology Licensing (LD 486)

This bill provides that a person is eligible to obtain a cosmetology license in this State if that person has met the hour and timing requirements in state law by completing a course of instruction or having experience as a trainee out of state that is approved by the Director of the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 486, click here.

An Act To Limit the Number of Students and Prevent the Addition of Grade Levels at Virtual Public Charter Schools (LD 513)

This bill limits total enrollment at all virtual public charter schools authorized by the commission to the total enrollment at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. It also prohibits a virtual public charter school authorized by the commission from expanding to serve a grade level not included in the school’s initial charter contract or, for a school whose charter was renewed prior to November 1, 2019, the renewed charter contract.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Change the Exclusion Amount under the Estate Tax (LD 518)

This bill reduces the exclusion amount, below which the Maine estate tax does not apply, to $1,000,000 from $5,600,000 for estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2020 and removes the annual adjustment for inflation of that exclusion amount.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Prohibit the Imposition by Municipalities of General Restrictions on Rents and Rental Properties (LD 522)

This bill prohibits towns, cities, plantations, village corporations and counties providing municipal services in the unorganized territory of their county from adopting ordinances regulating the rent that may be charged for a rental property, requiring registration of rental properties or imposing fees specific to rental properties.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

Resolve, Directing Professional Licensing and Certification Boards To Study the Barriers To Obtaining Professional Licensure and Certification (LD 532)

This resolve directs each professional licensing and certification board under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 32, in consultation with the Department of the Attorney General, to undertake a thorough review of its rules and procedures and survey its licensees and certificate holders and applicants for licensure or certification to research barriers to obtaining licensure and certification, including existing deficiencies in reciprocity provisions. Each board is directed to submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business by January 15, 2020 with its findings and any proposed changes to its rules and procedures. The joint standing committee is directed to review and suggest alterations to the licensing and certification boards, which may submit rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375. The joint standing committee is authorized to submit legislation related to any report under this section to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 532, click here.

An Act To Make Ballot Questions Easier To Read and Understand for Maine Voters (LD 534)

This bill requires that ballot questions be written in a manner that is understandable to the greatest number of voters possible, determined to be for adult literacy at the 6th-grade reading level, which is the standard used for other important official state documents, including for the Maine Residents Property Tax Program, notices regarding child support, municipal property tax deferral programs for seniors and temporary assistance for needy families. This bill also requires ballot questions to unambiguously state what the effect of a “yes” or “no” vote may have.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 534, click here.

An Act To Prohibit Extruded Polystyrene Food Service Containers (LD 621)

This bill prohibits food establishments from processing, preparing, selling or providing food in or on an extruded polystyrene foam food service container with certain exceptions.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

To view our testimony on LD 621, click here.

An Act To Enact the Campus Free Expression Act (LD 665)

This bill authorizes a person who wishes to engage in an expressive activity, as defined in the bill, in an outdoor area of campus of a public institution of higher education to do so freely as long as the person’s conduct is lawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the public institution of higher education. It prohibits a public institution of higher education from designating an area of campus as a free speech zone or otherwise creating policies restricting expressive activities to a particular outdoor area of campus, except that it allows public institutions of higher education to create and enforce restrictions on time, place and manner of expression that are reasonable and content-neutral. The Attorney General has the authority to enforce compliance, and a person whose rights are violated may bring an action to enjoin violations and to recover compensatory damages, reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Increase the Minimum Wage for Large Employers (LD 670)

This bill increases the minimum wage of the employees of employers employing 50 or more full-time employees to $13.00 on January 1, 2021, to $14.00 on January 1, 2022 and to $15.00 on January 1, 2023.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Require Professional Licensure for Property Inspectors (LD 671) 

This bill requires that all property inspectors be licensed by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. The bill also directs the department to adopt rules to establish standards and procedures for licensure.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act Regarding the Licensing of Funeral Practitioners (LD 679)

This bill allows the State Board of Funeral Service to issue a permanent license to engage in the funeral service profession and operate a funeral establishment to an applicant who holds an active license to practice funeral service in another state the license requirements of which are substantially similar to the license requirements in Maine.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Fully Fund After-school and Preschool Programs in the School Funding Formula, Increase the Economically Disadvantaged Student Factor in the School Funding Formula and Increase the School Construction Debt Service Limit

This bill amends the school funding formula to fund after-school programs based on the state share percentage and to fund public preschool programs at 50% of the cost of the programs, or if a school administrative unit’s state share percentage is greater than 50%, to fund the unit’s public preschool program at the state share percentage. The bill also increases the additional weight for economically disadvantaged students from 0.15 to 1.5. The bill also raises the maximum debt service limit for school construction projects from $126,000,000 to $150,000,000 beginning in 2020.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Prohibit Public Charter Schools from Expending Funds for Advertising (LD 714)

This bill prohibits a public charter school from paying for advertising in print media or on television, radio, yard signs or digital or electronic media.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Help Small Businesses by Establishing an Alternate Minimum Wage (LD 739)

This bill creates an alternate minimum wage applicable to employees of a small employer, to the first 90 consecutive days of employment for employees who are under 20 years of age and to employees who are under 18 years of age. The wage is $9.75 starting January 1, 2020 and will be increased by any increase in the cost of living starting January 1, 2021 and every subsequent January 1st.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Return Surplus Money to Maine Taxpayers (LD 741)

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to distribute the funds in the State treasury by: 1. Placing in the General Fund only the amount necessary to cover the outstanding obligations of the State required by law, such as for bond debt and payment of contracts and salaries; 2. After the transfer of funds required to meet the legal obligations of the State, distributing 75% of the remaining funds to Maine taxpayers on a pro rata basis, based on tax data for the 2018 tax year; and 3. After the transfer and the distributions, transferring the remaining 25% to the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Maine Rainy Day Fund.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Increase the Transparency of the “Maine Open Checkbook” Website (LD 749)

This bill requires the State Controller to maintain a publicly accessible website with up-to-date information concerning the State’s payroll and vendor information, which is currently in existence and called the “Maine Open Checkbook.” The bill requires the website to include the names of all recipients of state grants and track and record all payments made by quasi-public entities of the State and the dollar value of credits awarded through all state economic development programs.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Create a Youth Wage (LD 808)

This bill establishes a minimum hourly wage for a person who is under 18 years of age and is enrolled as a student in a school. The wage is 75% of the regular minimum hourly wage.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Balance Maine’s Minimum Wage for Small and Large Employers (LD 830)

This bill establishes a minimum hourly wage for small employers that is less than the minimum hourly wage for large employers. Beginning October 1, 2019, for an employer with fewer than 50 full-time employees in Maine, the minimum hourly wage is established at $10; the minimum hourly wage for an employer of at least 50 full-time employees in Maine remains at $11 until January 1, 2021, when it increases to $12. This bill also delays the indexing of the minimum hourly wage for cost-of-living adjustments by one year until 2022.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Prohibit Driverless Commercial Vehicles (LD 844)

This bill prohibits the operation of a commercial motor vehicle that does not have a driver in the vehicle.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Conform the Clean Election Financing Laws to the Judicially Determined Procedures (LD 874)

This bill codifies the decision of the Superior Court in Maine Citizens for Clean Elections v. LePage, No. CV-18-112, 2018 (Me. Super. Ct., Ken. Cty., August 2, 2018). The bill authorizes the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to expend existing revenues from the Maine Clean Election Fund in excess of the current year allocations without first obtaining a financial order approved by the Governor, solely for the purpose of making distributions required by the Maine Clean Election Act to certified candidates.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Establish the Opt-in Maine Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (LD 883)

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.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Repeal the Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice (LD 884)

This bill repeals the law regulating dietitians and the practice of dietetics.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Expand Workforce Access by Creating Apprenticeship Programs To Increase Access to Licensure in Certain Occupations (LD 890)

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact the Expanded Workforce Access Act of 2019, which will authorize the use of apprenticeships as an alternative means of obtaining licenses to perform certain occupations. Occupations included under this Act may include, but are not limited to, barbering or limited barbering and nail technology.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass

An Act To Provide for a Professional Wage and Support for New Educators (LD 898)

This bill proposes to improve teacher quality in the State by amending the current statutes related to programs involving teacher preparation, support systems for conditionally certified teachers and educational specialists, teacher certification and teacher salaries and funding college loans for students enrolled in a program of study leading to certification as a teacher.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Expand the Rights of Public Employees under the Maine Labor Laws (LD 900)

This bill allows public employees, including municipal and county employees, state and legislative employees, university, academy and community college employees and judicial employees, but not including employees whose duties include protecting public safety, to strike pursuant to the official procedures of the employees’ employee organization or under a process in which an affirmative vote to strike is held. The bill requires that notice be given to the public employer stating the dates upon which the strike will begin and end. The bill also provides that the employee organization or public employer may call for emergency bargaining within 3 days prior to the intended start of the strike.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act Increasing Municipal Agent Fees for Motor Vehicle, All-terrain Vehicle, Snowmobile and Watercraft Registrations (LD 917)

This bill allows municipal agents to charge higher service fees for registrations for motor vehicles, from $3 to $5 for renewals and from $4 to $6 for new registrations. It also allows municipal agents to charge higher service fees for registrations for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and watercraft, from $1 to $3 for renewals and from $2 to $5 for new registrations.

Our Recommendation: Ought Not to Pass

An Act To Maintain High School Diploma Standards by Repealing Proficiency-based Diploma Standards (LD 985)

This bill repeals the provisions of law that allow diplomas indicating graduation from a secondary school to be based on a student’s demonstration of proficiency.

Our Recommendation: Ought to Pass