Under The Dome: Inside The Maine State House 2-15-13

by Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact

Augusta, ME

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House is a weekly update that provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. If you would like more specific information regarding an item in this newsletter or related to government relations, please contact a member of our Government Relations Practice Group: John Delahanty, Andrea C. Maker or Avery Day.

This Week's Highlights:

Legislature Hitting Its Stride

This week, the Legislature started to hit its stride. Committees are now meeting and regularly processing bills. At the close of this week, more than 500 bills have been printed. This is probably a little less than one third of the bills that will be printed during this year’s session. If this session is like sessions in the past, the Legislature will process a large number of non-controversial bills in the early months of the session, leaving the more controversial proposals for later in the session.

Supplemental Budget Passes Appropriations Committee

On February 13th, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee unanimously voted to approve a $153 million supplemental budget bill designed to balance the State’s budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2013. The supplemental spending bill largely reflects what was initially proposed by Governor LePage, though the Committee did make some significant changes. The Governor’s initiatives that were rejected include a proposed elimination of the Drugs for the Elderly Program, a cap on General Assistance payments to municipalities, and a number of proposed health and human services cuts. Funding for the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services was reduced as proposed but language was added to the supplemental budget in Committee that would authorize the Governor to transfer up to $2 million to the Commission from unexpended State funds remaining at the end of the fiscal year.

The supplemental budget bill will now be considered by the full Legislature on the floors of both the House and the Senate. The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee will soon turn its attention to the biennial budget, a much more complex roadmap of State taxing and spending for the next two fiscal years.

Joint Select Committee Continues to Gather Information

The Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future continued to gather information this week. The Committee met at the State House on February 11th and was scheduled to hear from Chancellor of the University System, James Page, President of the Maine Community College System, John Fitzsimmons, President of Thomas College, Laurie Lachance, and Executive Director of the Maine Adult Education Association, Cathy Newell. The Committee met again on February 15th to hear from employers and Tanna Clews from Educate Maine, a business-sponsored organization focused on workforce development.

Administration Discusses Energy Proposal

On February 12th, the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee heard from members of the Governor’s Administration regarding a new energy proposal that is still being drafted. The Administration will soon submit legislation that will implement a multistate agreement to reduce the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon dioxide cap. Reducing the cap is expected to generate additional funding that the Administration will propose be used for energy efficiency and to assist homeowners with conversions to different home heating technologies, like natural gas or wood pellets. Additionally, this proposal will include language to exempt businesses from the system benefit charge currently placed on electricity consumption. This complex proposal will affect energy users throughout the state, whether they are industrial, commercial or residential customers, and should be a matter of some debate before the Legislature.

Bill to Ban Handheld Cell Phones While Driving Heard in Committee

On February 13th, the Transportation Committee held a public hearing on LD 68, An Act to Prohibit the Use of Handheld Mobile Telephone while Operating a Motor Vehicle. This legislation would make driving while using a handheld cell phone a traffic infraction, subject to certain exceptions. This bill did not receive significant opposition at the hearing, though a number of those who testified suggested language changes, including changes to those who would be exempt from this legislation. This bill will be considered in work session on February 19th.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pierce Atwood LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pierce Atwood LLP
Contact
more
less

Pierce Atwood LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.