1 p.m.

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee; public hearings; room 214; Cross Building

L.D. 475, “An Act To Increase Food Sovereignty in Local Communities”: proposes to preserve the ability of local communities to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods; ensure the preservation of family farms; and promote the unimpeded ability of individuals, families and other entities to process or prepare foods for home consumption.

L.D. 745, “An Act To Promote Sustainable Food Policies”: adds $1 million for Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry grants to support sustainable food practices and adds $100,000 for the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to administer a pilot project for sustainable food practices.

L.D. 903, “An Act To Enhance the Development and Implementation of Integrated Pest Management Programs”: increases the annual registration fee for pesticides to $165 beginning Jan. 1, 2014; requires those funds be used only for integrated pest management programs; and 10 percent of the fee is for competitive grants of pest management projects.

L.D. 961, “An Act To Ensure Safe School Grounds”: allows the use of pesticides on school grounds only in situations that pose a health threat to a student or staff member, when the presence of animals or insects have been identified as a public health nuisance, on athletic fields if there is a 14-day waiting period after application of the pesticides or on agricultural fields in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and requires the commissioner of education to adopt rules to implement landscaping design that minimizes or avoids the necessity of the use of pesticides on school grounds.

Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee; work sessions; room 211; Cross Building

L.D. 248, “An Act To Encourage Workforce Development in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Efficiency and Energy Conservation Trades and Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions”: adds another category of carbon dioxide emissions offset projects for workforce development in the trades of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, efficiency and energy conservation.

L.D. 796, “Resolve, To Enhance Economic Development by Encouraging Businesses Adjacent to Electric Power Generators To Obtain Power Directly”: establishes a stakeholder group to identify barriers to and incentives for the direct purchase of electricity by businesses adjacent to electricity-generating facilities with the intent that direct purchasing of electricity will decrease the total electricity costs to businesses and details the membership of the stakeholders and requires them to report to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology by Jan. 15, 2014.

L.D. 876, “Resolve, To Establish a Working Group To Study Issues Relating to Broadband Infrastructure Deployment”: directs the ConnectME to establish a working group to identify technical, legal, funding and jurisdictional challenges and solutions to the deployment of broadband conduit for fiber-optic communications and report to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology and the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation by Feb. 1, 2014.

L.D. 885, “An Act To Remove Obsolete Provisions of the Electric Industry Restructuring Laws”: repeals the requirement that electric utilities to issue unbundled bills to consumers that state the cost of electricity separately from the cost of the transmission and distribution of that electricity, the consumer education program and the requirement that each investor-owned utility prepare a plan for providing transition services; it transfers funds for the consumer education program to the General Fund.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee; public hearings; room 206; Cross Building

L.D. 143, “An Act To Allow a Hunter To Harvest a Wild Turkey of Either Sex during the Month of October without an Extra Charge for the Permit”: requires the commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a wild turkey hunting season for the month of October to allow the harvest of wild turkeys of either sex open to any licensed hunter and would not require any extra permit charge and the hunter must have any harvested turkey tagged.

L.D. 177, “An Act To Expand Moose Hunting Opportunities”: increases the number of moose hunting permits based on the latest moose population estimate, phased in over three years; changes the system of issuing moose permits to a drawing in which persons who apply over a number of consecutive years may be guaranteed to receive a permit, sets aside 15 percent of permits for nonresidents and aliens, 10 percent for licensed guides and people associated with sporting camps; and provides 25 percent of revenue from moose hunting application and permit system is for the Moose Research and Management Fund and modifies the fund to include addressing moose health issues, overbrowsing of land and promoting and marketing moose hunting.

L.D. 200, “An Act To Expand Turkey Hunting Opportunities for Young Hunters”: requires the commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a six-day spring youth hunting season for wild turkey from Monday to Saturday in April, coinciding with April vacation.

L.D. 477, “An Act To Expand Wild Turkey Hunting”: establishes an open season for hunting wild turkeys for the month of October, with no bag limit.

L.D. 895, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife To Amend Its Rules Regarding Required Setback Distances for Beaver Traps”: requires the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to expand the number of wildlife management districts for which no setback distance is required.

L.D. 896, “An Act To Allow Fox Hunting at Night”: establishes an open season for hunting fox at night in all counties of the state.

L.D. 910, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife To Study and Make Recommendations Regarding the Bear Hunting Season”: requires the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to study issues that exist during the overlapping of the bear hunting season when bait is allowed to be used and the bear hunting season when dogs are allowed to be used and report the results by Jan. 15, 2014.

Insurance and Financial Services Committee; work sessions; room 220; Cross Building

L.D, 129, “An Act To Give Retroactive Effect to the State Employee Health Commission’s Reconsideration of Hospital Ratings”: adds the six hospitals added to the list of hospitals that qualify for the maximum amount in coverage of costs under the health insurance plan that covers state employees to provide retroactive coverage from Oct. 1, 2012.

L.D. 146, “An Act To Prohibit Unfair Discrimination in Long-term Care Insurance”: prohibits unfair discrimination on the basis of gender in the underwriting of long-term care insurance and requires the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance to evaluate the best methods to stabilize rates for long-term care insurance.

L.D. 448, “An Act To Authorize the State Employee Health Commission’s Preferred Provider Program”: authorizes the State Employee Health Commission to develop and implement a preferred-provider program, health insurance program or any other program the purpose of which is to rank into tiers health care providers to determine preferred hospital or health care provider status for the state employee health insurance program and to steer the state employee health insurance program members to be treated by or to consult with those health care providers.

L.D. 506, “Resolve, Directing the Bureau of Insurance To Amend Its Rules Pertaining to Medicare Advantage Plans”: emergency bill, directs the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance to clarify that a Medicare beneficiary who is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan may enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan with the same insurer or a different insurer for a period of three years without affecting the Medicare beneficiary’s continuity of coverage.

L.D. 637, “An Act To Prohibit Consideration of Preexisting Conditions in Short-term Disability Insurance”: prohibits an insurer that issues group short-term disability insurance on or after Jan. 1, 2014, from refusing to provide coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition and from imposing any exclusion on coverage based on that pre-existing condition.

L.D. 848, “An Act To Clarify the Right To Name a 3rd Party To Receive Notification of Policy Cancellation”: allows an insured person who had been paying for health insurance through a payroll plan 60 days after they are no longer on the payroll plan to designate at least one other person to receive notice of lapse or termination of the policy.

L.D. 891, “An Act To Create Uniform Claims Paying Practices in Long-term Care Insurance Policies”: emergency bill, requires a long-term care insurer to pay a claim to an insured within 14 business days of receipt of all necessary documentation identified by the insurer; if this does not happen, then is subject to interest of 1 1/2 percent per month after the due date.

L.D. 893, “An Act To Protect Life Insurance Policyholders”: requires that a notice of cancellation of life insurance be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the policyholder and any third party designated by the policyholder.

L.D. 1006, “An Act To Clarify Transparency of Medical Provider Profiling Programs Used by Insurance Companies and Other Providers of Health Insurance”: requires that any cost metric used by insurance providers is covered by the existing transparency provisions in the health plan improvement laws and requires carriers to provide copies of the data methodology used in the metric to affected providers.

Judiciary Committee; public hearings; room 438; State House

L.D. 680, “An Act To Nullify the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010”: Expresses the findings of the Legislature that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Amendment X, and, as such, is considered null and void in Maine and outlaws the enforcement of the act or anything related to it.

L.D. 852, “An Act To Amend Certain Provisions of Law Affecting the Judicial Branch”: authorizes the state court administrator to use the fees generated from sale of publications or forms to fund forms and information technology; combines the Northern Penobscot and Central Penobscot judicial divisions into Northern and Central Penobscot; permits the chief judge of the District Court to employ retired family law magistrates; changes reporting dates for the Judicial Department and the state court administrator to Feb. 15; requires the Maine Criminal Justice Sentencing Institute to meet only when sufficient funding has been allocated for that purpose; and requires attorney’s fees for the defense of appeals by the state to be paid by the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services.

L.D. 864, “An Act Regarding Service of Small Claims Notices”: permits service of a statement of claim in a small claims court proceeding by alternate means as permitted for service of a summons and complaint.

L.D. 884, “An Act To Improve Death Investigations”: allows the chief medical examiner to appoint qualifying persons who are not physicians as medicolegal death investigators with the authority to go to death scenes and conduct investigations and inquiries into the cause, manner and circumstances of death in medical examiner cases as either employees or on a fee-for-service basis.

L.D. 912, “An Act To Provide Another Alternative to the Civil Order of Arrest Process”: allows a judgment creditor to request a court to issue an order for appearance after the debtor has been served with a disclosure subpoena and failed to appear in court.

L.D. 1025, “An Act To Amend the Law Pertaining to Staff in the Office of the Attorney General”: eliminates the requirement that salaries set by the attorney general for the assistant attorneys general, staff attorneys and secretary to the attorney general be approved by the governor and the aggregate amount of such compensation not exceed the amount appropriated.

L.D. 1040, “An Act To Prohibit the Placement of Cameras and Electronic Surveillance Equipment on Private Property without the Written Permission of the Landowner”: prohibits a person from placing a camera or electronic surveillance equipment that records images or data of any kind while unattended on the private property of another without the written consent of the landowner.

Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee; public hearings; room 208; Cross Building

L.D. 1069, “An Act To Provide Flexibility in the State Prevailing Wage and Benefit Rates”: allows flexibility in the minimum hourly wage and benefit rates for workers employed in the construction of public works by the state or persons contracting with the state as long as the sum of the benefit rate and hourly wage is the same as sum of the appropriate hourly wage and benefit rate.

L.D. 1070, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation To Conduct a Sunrise Review Regarding the Proposal To License Certain Mechanical Trades”: requires the Commissioner of Professional and Financial Regulation to conduct an independent assessment of the proposal to license certain mechanical trades and report by Feb. 17, 2014.

L.D. 1071, “An Act Regarding Qualifications for Real Estate Licensees”: changes the Maine Real Estate Commission by removing one public member and adding one member representing the real estate education field; eliminates the real estate agent license and requires an applicant qualifying for a real estate broker license or an associate real estate broker license to pass a written examination; increases the number of years a real estate broker applicant must have been licensed as an associate broker with a real estate agency within the five years preceding the date of the application; removes the authority of the Real Estate Commission to adopt rules determining whether educational programs meet license qualifications.

L.D. 1072, “An Act To Provide Accountability in the Handling of Affordable Housing Tenants’ Security Deposits”: requires the Maine State Housing Authority to establish a process to use to verify the condition of dwelling units rented to low-income tenants in order to provide documentation for the proper retention or return of security deposits.

L.D. 1087, “An Act Concerning Workers’ Compensation and Short-term Disability Insurance in Maine”: provides that an injured worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury regardless of whether the injury is of a cumulative or gradual nature and prohibits an insurer that issues group short-term disability insurance on or after Jan. 1, 2014 from refusing to provide coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition or from imposing any exclusion of coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

L.D. 1093, “An Act To Clarify the Criteria of the Health Professions Loan Program as It Affects Physicians Practicing Neurology-psychiatry”: clarifies the criteria in the Health Professions Loan Program administered by the Finance Authority of Maine for designating underserved areas and populations and clarifies the criteria for designating eligibility of specialty physicians to practice in underserved areas to include neurologists-psychiatrists.

L.D. 1108, “An Act To Modify the Qualifications for a Person To Be Able To Teach Driver’s Education”: proposes to amend the laws governing the qualifications required for a person to teach driver’s education.

Transportation Committee; work sessions; room 126; State House

L.D. 403, “Resolve, To Establish a Task Force on the Establishment of So-called Complete Streets Design Guidelines”: directs the commissioner of transportation to establish a task force to develop complete streets design guidelines to apply whenever state or federal funds are used to build or reconstruct a road or bridge and to develop a statewide policy designed to enable the delivery of cost-effective, sustainable and customer-focused transportation services.

L.D. 473, “Resolve, To Widen the Shoulders of Highways”: directs the Department of Transportation to review and evaluate the roadside brush program and report by Feb. 1 and increase the safety clear zone along highways to at least 12 feet, giving priority to where there have been accidents.

L.D. 483, “An Act To Promote Small Businesses by Enhancing the Use of On-premises Signs”: provides definitions of “point of interest,” “outdoor area” and “principal structure”; increases the distance that a sign may be erected from a principal structure of a business or point of interest to 1,500 feet; allows on-premises signs to be placed within 20 feet of the edge of the paved portion of public ways with more than two travel lanes only if they use approved breakaway mounting devices; repeals the authority of the commissioner of transportation to waive the prohibition on the placement of certain on-premises signs within 20 feet of the edge of the paved portion of certain public ways; increases to three the number of approach signs a business or point of interest may have on its lot of record if that business or point of interest is not visible from or is located more than 1,000 feet from a public way intersection; and expands the limit of the total surface area to 100 square feet per side; allows changeable signs to change once per minute and removes the restriction on the percentage of a changeable sign that may be used for display; allows a business or point of interest to have one changeable sign per public way that the business or point of interest abuts; allows time and temperature signs to also display the date and permits those signs to change as frequently as once every two seconds; allows for changeable signs to be erected adjacent to and for viewing from the interstate highway system; and increases the maximum height of a freestanding sign structure statewide to 35 feet.

L.D. 565, “Resolve, To Establish a Task Force To Study the Feasibility of Imposing Tolls on Interstate 95”: proposes to establish a task force composed of legislators, highway users and other interested parties to study and analyze options for imposing tolls on portions of the Interstate Highway system in the state for the purpose of funding necessary highway improvements.

L.D. 582, “An Act To Enhance and Encourage Economic Development of the Lower Penobscot River Basin by Creating a Niche Port Plan”: proposes to amend the current law to enhance and encourage economic development and opportunities in the lower Penobscot River basin through the development of a strategic plan for niche port development.

L.D. 763, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority To Conduct a Study Regarding the Need for a Passenger Transit Service Linking Municipalities from Portland North to Lewiston and Auburn”: directs the Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority to conduct a study regarding the need for a passenger transit service linking municipalities from Portland north to Lewiston and Auburn.

L.D. 764, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Transportation To Conduct a Traffic Study To Consider Whether To Open Water Street in Augusta to 2-way Traffic”: directs the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the city of Augusta and affected residents, to conduct a traffic study to consider the feasibility of reconfiguring Water Street in the city of Augusta to accommodate two-way traffic and report by Feb. 28, 2014.

L.D. 819, “Resolve, To Equalize Tolls on Highways in the State”: directs the Department of Transportation to make Interstate 295 a toll highway if an additional lane is added on any portion of Interstate 295.

2 p.m.

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee; work sessions; room 214; Cross Building

L.D. 493, “An Act To Provide Economic Development in Aroostook County through Expanded Sale and Lease of State-owned Land”: proposes to increase economic development in Aroostook County by permitting expanded leasing or sale of state-owned property.

L.D. 622, “An Act To Amend the Laws Concerning Reciprocal Disciplinary Actions in Harness Racing and Pulling Events”: emergency bill, requires that people suspended or barred from agricultural pulling competitions in other jurisdictions be suspended or barred in the state until the other jurisdiction indicates otherwise.

L.D. 639, “An Act To Require Payment Quotes in Service Contracts for the Harvesting and Hauling of Wood”: proposes that the contracting party notify those hired to harvest or haul wood the price per ton they are being paid prior to the service.

L.D. 714, “An Act To Clarify the Laws Governing the Rule-making Authority of the Maine Forest Service”: provides that the Maine Forest Service may develop rules to destroy or order the destruction or other mitigation of nearby trees that are likely to become infested in order to control the spread of the outbreak of a plant pathogen or insect.

Health and Human Services Committee; public hearing; room 209; Cross Building

L.D. 1066, “An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding”: expands medical coverage under the MaineCare program to adults who qualify with incomes up to 133 percent of the nonfarm income official poverty line with the 5 percent federal income adjustment for family size and qualifies Maine to receive federal funding for 100 percent of the cost of coverage for members who enroll under the expansion.

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