Maine Innkeepers Association

Howe, Cahill & Company's Legislative Report

Report sorted by Priority. Updated 4/28/2016 1:46:28 PM.
View report by Committee (http://howecahill.com/legisweb/1205/committee.htm).
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Priority Legislation

LD 1240: An Act To Phase Out the Payment of Subminimum Wages to Workers with Disabilities   Web Link to LD 1240

Description: Currently the State Government and Federal Government may issue special certificates permitting an employer to pay an individual with a physical or mental disability a wage less than the State's minimum wage based on the individual's ability to perform the duties required for that employment in comparison to the ability of a person who does not have a physical or mental disability to perform the same duties. This bill prohibits the issuance of such certificates. Existing special certificates authorizing payment of less than the minimum wage remain in effect until the earlier of their expiration date and November 1, 2018. After the expiration of a previously issued certificate, an individual who was covered by such certificate may apply to the Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards within the Department of Labor for a special work permit authorizing the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate by a certain employer.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsor: Senator KATZ of KennebecCosponsors: Representative CAMPBELL of Newfield Representative GILBERT of Jay Representative HERBIG of Belfast
Committee: LCREDHearing: Thursday, May 14, 2015 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 208
Work Session: Thursday, February 11, 2016 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 208 TABLED Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 208

LD 1254: ‘Resolve, To Further Study the Implementation and Funding of an Integrated Beach Management Program’   Web Link to LD 1254

Description: This bill implements and provides a funding mechanism for an integrated coastal beach management program. It imposes a $1 per day fee, effective October 1, 2015, on the rental, between May 1st and October 31st, of living quarters in any hotel, rooming house or tourist or trailer camp, to be deposited into the Beach Management Fund established by the bill. This bill also establishes the Beach Advisory Group, chaired by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and composed of 8 additional members from state agencies and the public, which meets at least twice per year and advises the Department of Environmental Protection on matters related to the management, preservation and restoration of beaches in the State. The advisory group must also deliver an annual report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over natural resources matters, and the committee may report out a bill related to the report. This bill directs and provides criteria for the department to develop and maintain a priority list ranking all beaches within the State based on suitability for beach nourishment, dune restoration, land acquisition or other enhancement techniques. This bill stipulates that resources in the Beach Management Fund may be used to develop coordinated programs for technical assistance to municipalities and homeowners; to provide assistance in the development and implementation of local beach management, preservation and restoration projects; and to reimburse the department for administrative costs. Disbursements from the fund must be consistent with the priority list developed by the department. This bill directs the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Geology, Natural Areas and Coastal Resources, Maine Coastal Program to submit to the Department of Environmental Protection, by January 15, 2016, a report containing a draft priority ranking for specific beach management projects in the State, highlighting one or more focal beach areas with willing sellers for potential acquisition by the State. This bill directs the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Geology, Natural Areas and Coastal Resources, Maine Geological Survey to submit to the Department of Environmental Protection, by January 15, 2016, a report recommending priority rankings for each Maine beach based upon its geologic characteristics and suitability for beach nourishment, dune restoration or other physical management techniques, and identifying 4 to 6 beaches in need of management and most suitable for these techniques. This bill directs the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to submit to the Department of Environmental Protection, by January 15, 2016, a report recommending priority rankings for each Maine beach based upon its habitat value. Amended by committee amendment. This amendment replaces the bill with a resolve directing the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to convene a working group to review the report titled "Protecting Maine's Beaches for the Future: A Proposal to Create an Integrated Beach Management Program," dated February 2006, prepared by the Beach Stakeholder's Group and submitted to the Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources during the Second Regular Session of the 122nd Legislature, update the data and findings contained in that report and develop recommendations regarding the implementation and funding of an integrated beach management program. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection is directed, by January 31, 2017, to submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources matters detailing the findings and recommendations of the working group, and the committee is authorized to report out a bill relating to the report to the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature. The amendment also adds an emergency preamble and emergency clause.
Position: Status: Resolve Chap 66
Sponsor: Representative FOLEY of WellsCosponsors: Representative BLUME of York Representative BUCKLAND of Farmington Senator COLLINS of York Representative HYMANSON of York Representative RYKERSON of Kittery Representative VACHON of Scarborough
Committee: TaxHearing: Monday, May 11, 2015 1:00 PM,State House, Room 127
Work Session: REFERRED, Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 127

LD 1476: An Act To Improve the Law Concerning Carbon Monoxide Detectors   Web Link to LD 1476

Description: Under current law, carbon monoxide detectors required to be installed in educational facilities and units of multifamily dwellings; fraternity houses, sorority houses and dormitories affiliated with educational facilities; children's homes, shelters and residential care facilities licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services; and eating and lodging places must be powered either by the electrical service in the building and a battery or by a nonreplaceable 10-year battery. This bill allows a carbon monoxide detector installed in such a building to be powered by a battery other than a nonreplaceable 10-year battery if the detector uses a low-power radio frequency wireless communication signal or multiple sensors, has low-frequency audible notification capability or is connected to a control panel. Amended by committee amendment. This amendment replaces the bill. The bill allows a carbon monoxide detector installed in certain buildings to be powered by a battery other than a nonreplaceable 10-year battery if the detector uses low-power radio frequency wireless communication, uses multiple sensors, has low-frequency audible notification capability or is connected to a control panel. The amendment clarifies that a carbon monoxide detector that is powered by replaceable batteries is allowed if the carbon monoxide detector uses a low-power radio frequency wireless communication signal, uses multiple sensors, has low-frequency audible notification capability or is connected to a control panel.
Position: Status: Public Law Chap 396
Sponsor: Senator DIAMOND of CumberlandCosponsors: Representative BATTLE of South Portland Representative HARRINGTON of Sanford Representative MAREAN of Hollis Representative ORDWAY of Standish
Committee: CJHearing: Monday, January 11, 2016 2:00 PM,State House, Room 436
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1661: An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage   Web Link to LD 1661

Description: This initiated bill raises the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour in 2017 and by $1.00 per hour each year after that until it is $12.00 per hour in 2020. The minimum wage then increases at the same rate as the cost of living. The minimum wage for workers who receive tips increases to $5.00 per hour in 2017 and then by $1.00 per hour each year until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers, which occurs no sooner than 2024. Fiscal Note Fiscal Detail and Notes The Bureau of Labor Standards within the Maine Department of Labor will require General Fund appropriations of $16,500 per year for each of the 4 years that the minimum wage is increased and for any subsequent year that the minimum wage would be raised by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the Northeast Region. Of this annual amount, $3,500 per year would be for updating the minimum wage poster and other related publications, $5,000 would be for postage costs to distribute the updated poster and publications and $8,000 would be for travel costs associated with compliance, education and outreach. The 4-step increase in the minimum wage in the proposed initiative may not increase salary costs to the State until the $10.00 per hour rate begins on January 1, 2018. The future State Government impact of the changes to the minimum wage will depend on the salary schedules in place at the time the increases occur and cannot be estimated at this time. The increased wages required by this initiative would create costs to municipalites which would vary by individual municipality. As with State Government, the municipal impact would depend on the existing rates of pay for the lowest paid employees in each municipality at the time a higher wage would be imposed and cannot be estimated at this time.
Position: Status: INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
Sponsor: Cosponsors:
Committee: LCREDHearing:
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

Legislation Of Interest

LD 438: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Maine's Rail Infrastructure and Expand Passenger Rail Service   Web Link to LD 438

Description: The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $25,000,000, will be used to repair and reconstruct state-owned railroad lines, improve infrastructure on a railway crossing in the Town of Yarmouth and improve the railroad line between the cities of Lewiston and Auburn and the City of Portland.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsor: Senator LIBBY of AndroscogginCosponsors: Representative BICKFORD of Auburn Representative BROOKS of Lewiston Senator DIAMOND of Cumberland Senator GERZOFSKY of Cumberland Representative GOLDEN of Lewiston Representative MELARAGNO of Auburn Senator ROSEN of Hancock Representative ROTUNDO of Lewiston Senator VOLK of Cumberland
Committee: AppropHearing: Tuesday, June 02, 2015, 1:00 PM, State House, Room 228
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 668: An Act To Market Maine's Hunting and Fishing Opportunities   Web Link to LD 668

Description: This bill directs the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a comprehensive marketing program for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that is led and coordinated by a dedicated marketing specialist, whose position is required to be created within the department's Division of Public Information and Education.
Position: Status: On Speical Appropriations Table
Sponsor: Representative DUCHESNE of HudsonCosponsors: Representative ALLEY of Beals Senator CYRWAY of Kennebec Representative DUNPHY of Old Town Senator DUTREMBLE of York Representative HILLIARD of Belgrade Representative MARTIN of Sinclair
Committee: IF&WHearing: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 206
Work Session: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 1:30 PM,Cross Building, Room 206

LD 674: An Act To Support Maine's Working Families   Web Link to LD 674

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to explore proactive strategies to raise wages in this State, improve working conditions, increase predictability of scheduling and improve the overall economic security of working people in this State.
Position: Status: House Roll Call Majority Ought Not to Pass Report was ACCEPTED
Sponsor: Representative HERBIG of BelfastCosponsors: Representative BATES of Westbrook Representative CAMPBELL of Newfield Representative FECTEAU of Biddeford Representative GILBERT of Jay Representative MASTRACCIO of Sanford Senator PATRICK of Oxford
Committee: LCREDHearing: Monday, March 23, 2015 9:30 AM,Cross Building, Room 208
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 795: An Act To Encourage Prudent Development along the Coast or in a Flood Zone by Considering Predictions for Sea Level Rise   Web Link to LD 795

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures that would require sea level model predictions to be taken into account in the design phase of any development project on the coast or in a flood zone if more than 10% of the total funding for the project is state funding. "Development project" includes, but is not limited to, the development of buildings, land, walkways, bridges, roads, culverts and piers. The bill also proposes to enact measures to require coordination among state and federal agencies, universities and stakeholders concerning development projects on the coast or in a flood zone that may be affected by sea level rise.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsor: Representative DEVIN of NewcastleCosponsors: Representative ALLEY of Beals Representative BLUME of York Senator BURNS of Washington Representative FOLEY of Wells Senator GERZOFSKY of Cumberland Representative GIDEON of Freeport Representative HAWKE of Boothbay Harbor Representative HUBBELL of Bar Harbor Representative PARRY of Arundel
Committee: ENRHearing: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 216
Work Session: Thursday, January 14, 2016 2:15 PM,Cross Building, Room 216 Wednesday, January 6, 2016 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 216

LD 1461: An Act To Allow All Manufacturers Licensed by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations To Provide Samples of Products to Retail Licensees   Web Link to LD 1461

Description: This bill allows any person licensed as a manufacturer by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to give a retail licensee samples of malt liquor and wine. Current law restricts this practice to small breweries, small wineries and wholesalers. Amended by committee amendment. The bill authorizes any person licensed as a manufacturer of malt liquor or wine by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to give a retail licensee samples of malt liquor and wine. This amendment clarifies that the authorized manufacturer is licensed to manufacture malt liquor or wine.
Position: Status: Public Law Chap 386
Sponsor: Senator SAVIELLO of FranklinCosponsors:
Committee: V&LAHearing: Friday, January 8, 2016 10:00 AM,State House, Room 437
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1462: An Act Regarding the Sale of Alcohol by a Manufacturer with an On-premises Retail License   Web Link to LD 1462

Description: Current law allows a manufacturer of spirits, wine or malt liquor that obtains a retail license to sell the manufacturer's products as well as other liquor on the premises of that manufacturer. This bill allows a manufacturer with a retail license to also sell its products for consumption off the premises of that manufacturer without the licensed premises being physically separated for on-premises and off-premises sales and without physically separating the inventory, as long as adequate records are maintained. This bill also allows breweries, small breweries, wineries, small wineries, distilleries or small distilleries under common ownership to transfer products from one premises to another and sell or serve those transferred products
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsor: Senator SAVIELLO of FranklinCosponsors:
Committee: V&LAHearing: Friday, January 8, 2016 10:00 AM,State House, Room 437
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1467: An Act Regarding Maine Spirits   Web Link to LD 1467

Description: Under current law, on-premises retailers are required to report their liquor purchases from reselling agents to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. This bill instead requires reselling agents to report sales of spirits to on-premises retail licensees. This bill further provides that sales of spirits to on-premises retail licensees reported to the bureau from reselling agents are not confidential except for the names of the reselling agents. Amended by committee amendment. This amendment replaces the bill. As in the bill, the amendment establishes a requirement that reselling agents report sales of spirits made to establishments licensed to sell spirits for on-premises consumption. Under the amendment, spirits sales data is required to be reported monthly beginning October 15, 2016. The amendment repeals the requirement in current law that on-premises licensees report retail spirits sales data to the bureau. It amends the section of law that governs the responsibilities of the Director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to include a requirement that the director implement a spirits sales reporting system. The reporting system is facilitated by a trade association representing states that control the sale and distribution of spirits. The amendment directs the bureau to adopt rules to help mitigate the costs incurred by those reselling agents licensed and selling spirits to on-premises licensees as of July 1, 2016.
Position: Status: Public Law Chap 430
Sponsor: Senator COLLINS of YorkCosponsors: Representative ESPLING of New Gloucester Representative GIDEON of Freeport Representative GOLDEN of Lewiston Representative KINNEY of Limington Representative LUCHINI of Ellsworth Representative McCABE of Skowhegan
Committee: V&LAHearing: Friday, January 8, 2016 10:00 AM,State House, Room 437
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1508: An Act Regarding the Distribution and Off-site Storage of Spirits by Licensed Reselling Agents   Web Link to LD 1508

Description: This bill amends current law governing a licensed reselling agent's licensed off-site facility. The bill authorizes a licensed reselling agent to sell spirits to an on-premises licensee at the reselling agent's liquor store location or at the licensed off-site facility. Amended by committee amendment. This amendment, which is the minority report of the committee, maintains the provision in the bill that permits a reselling agent to process sales of spirits to on-premises licensees from the agent's licensed off-site facility but provides that the off-site facility must be located within 5 miles of the reseller's agency store location. Current law states that the off-site facility may be located up to 30 miles from the agency store.
Position: Status: Public Law Chap 434
Sponsor: Representative LUCHINI of EllsworthCosponsors: Senator CYRWAY of Kennebec Speaker EVES of North Berwick Representative GIDEON of Freeport Representative GOLDEN of Lewiston Representative McCABE of Skowhegan Senator PATRICK of Oxford President THIBODEAU of Waldo
Committee: V&LAHearing: Friday, January 8, 2016 10:00 AM,State House, Room 437
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1511: An Act To Allow Retailers To Return Promotional Alcoholic Beverages to Wholesalers   Web Link to LD 1511

Description: This bill changes the liquor laws to allow an off-premises retail licensee to return promotional alcoholic beverages to a licensed wholesaler.
Position: Status: DEAD
Sponsor: Representative HERBIG of BelfastCosponsors: President THIBODEAU of Waldo
Committee: V&LAHearing: Friday, January 8, 2016 10:00 AM,State House, Room 437
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1592: An Act To Amend the Maine Traveler Information Services Laws   Web Link to LD 1592

Description: This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation pursuant to Joint Order 2016, S.P. 628. The intent of the bill is to address a recent United States Supreme Court decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, No. 13-502 (2015), relating to categorical signs within a public right-of-way. The committee has not taken a position on the substance of this bill and by reporting this bill out the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of this bill. The committee is reporting the bill out for the sole purpose of turning the proposal into a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course. The committee is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the proposal. The bill makes the following changes to the Maine traveler information services laws. 1. It clarifies the definition of "erect" to also mean display. 2. It adds a definition of "temporary sign" to mean a sign bearing a noncommercial message that has been placed within the public right-of-way for a limited period of time. 3. It corrects a typographical error in the provision relating to types and arrangements of signs. 4. It removes the following signs from the provisions relating to categorical signs within the public right-of-way: signs showing the place and time of service or meetings of religious and civic organizations; memorial signs or tablets; signs bearing political messages relating to an election, primary or referendum; signs erected by a producer that directs travelers to the location where farm and food products are grown, produced and sold; and signs erected for a farmers' market that are directional in nature. Instead, the bill creates a broader category of temporary signs within the public right-of-way in order to regulate signs within a public right-of-way in a content-neutral manner per the United States Supreme Court decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, No. 13-502 (2015). It provides that a temporary sign may be placed within the public right-of-way for a maximum of 6 weeks per calendar year during the time period from May 1st to November 15th. It provides that a temporary sign may not be placed within the public right-of-way within 200 feet of another temporary sign bearing the same or substantially the same message. It also provides that a temporary sign may not exceed 4 feet by 8 feet in size. Finally, it provides that a temporary sign must be labeled with the name and address of the individual, entity or organization that placed the sign within the public right-of-way and the designated time period the sign will be maintained within the public right-of-way. 5. It repeals the provision of law regarding categorical signs outside the public right-of-way. Instead, the bill provides that, except as provided by current law relating to on-premises signs, a sign may be erected outside the public right-of-way as long as it does not exceed 50 square feet in size. 6. It repeals the provision of law relating to unlawful removal of political signs. Instead, it provides that the unlawful removal of temporary signs from the public right-of-way is a civil violation for which a fine of up to $250 may be adjudged.
Position: Status: OTP-AM
Sponsor: Senator COLLINS of YorkCosponsors:
Committee: TransHearing: Thursday, February 25, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 126
Work Session: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 1:15 PM,State House, Room 126

LD 1601: An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force To Ensure Integrity in the Use of Service Animals   Web Link to LD 1601

Description: This bill implements the recommendations of the task force to ensure integrity in the use of service animals established pursuant to Resolve 2015, chapter 36. The committee has not taken a position on the substance of the recommendations or this bill and by reporting this bill out the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of the task force's recommendations or this bill. The committee is reporting the bill out for the sole purpose of turning the task force's proposal into a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course. The committee is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the task force's proposal. The bill creates a definition for "assistance animal," which distinguishes assistance animals from service animals, and amends the definition of "service animal" to achieve this distinction. It amends the provisions in the Maine Human Rights Act related to fair housing and public accommodations to provide clarity regarding their application to service animals compared to assistance animals. It also amends provisions in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7 to align with the new definitions. Finally, it increases the penalty for misrepresentation as a service dog or assistance animal.
Position: Status: OTP-AM
Sponsor: Representative HICKMAN of WinthropCosponsors:
Committee: JudicHearing: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 438
Work Session: Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 438

LD 1608: An Act To Allow the Placement of Road Signs Advertising Events That Benefit Certain Organizations and Allow Free Admission to Military Personnel   Web Link to LD 1608

Description: This bill allows a public, civic, philanthropic, charitable or religious organization to erect signs in the public right-of-way that announce a fund-raising event for that organization at which military personnel, active and retired, and the families of military personnel are permitted entry free of charge.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsor: Representative CAMPBELL of OrringtonCosponsors: Representative ALLEY of Beals Senator BURNS of Washington Senator KATZ of Kennebec Representative MAKER of Calais Representative TUELL of East Machias
Committee: TaxHearing: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 126
Work Session: Thursday, March 3, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 126

LD 1613: An Act To Exempt from Sales Tax Meals Sold by Nonprofit Organizations   Web Link to LD 1613

Description: This bill provides an exemption from the sales and use tax for meals served by an incorporated nonprofit organization, including a regularly organized church or house of religious worship, when the proceeds of the sale of the meals are used to fund the purpose of the organization.
Position: Status: OTP-AM
Sponsor: Senator SAVIELLO of FranklinCosponsors: Senator BREEN of Cumberland Representative DUCHESNE of Hudson Representative HANLEY of Pittston Representative MARTIN of Eagle Lake Representative TUCKER of Brunswick Representative WHITE of Washburn
Committee: TaxHearing: Thursday, March 3, 2016 1:00 PM,State House, Room 127
Work Session: Thursday, March 3, 2016 2:00 PM,State House, Room 127