Maine Association of Retirees

Howe, Cahill & Company's Legislative Report

Report sorted by Committee. Updated 06/11/18 3:14:27 PM.
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For more information on a bill's status, click on the underlined Web Link.

Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee:

LD 176: An Act To Amend the Laws Pertaining to Disability Retirement Benefits Administered by the Maine Public Employees Retirement System   Web Link to LD 176

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to implement changes to the disability retirement program administered by the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. The changes would be based on the recommendations of a task force, which was convened by the system to review the current disability retirement program and propose changes to improve member experience while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The task force, consisting of representatives of employers and employees and staff from the system, is expected to provide its recommendations before the end of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Representative FOLEY of Wells. Cosponsored by Senator KATZ of Kennebec and Representatives: GERRISH of Lebanon, HANLEY of Pittston, HYMANSON of York, PICCHIOTTI of Fairfield, PRESCOTT of Waterboro, Senator: WHITTEMORE of Somerset
Committee: AppropsHearing: Friday, April 07, 2017, 10:30 AM, State House, Room 228
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 177: An Act To Remove the Age Penalty for State Retirees Working at State Correctional Institutions That Are Closing   Web Link to LD 177

Description: This bill allows employees at state correctional facilities that close who have not reached their normal retirement age to retire and receive their full retirement benefit if certain conditions are met and funding is appropriated for the additional actuarial costs that result from the elimination of a reduction for retirement prior to normal retirement age. This bill requires the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services to provide certification of the pending closure of a state correctional facility to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. The bill requires the retirement system to calculate the amount of funding necessary to pay for the actuarial costs and report that information to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over retirement matters. The bill provides that the joint standing committee may report out legislation appropriating funds for the costs set forth in the report.
Position: Status: MOVED INTO LD 925
Sponsors: Presented by Representative ALLEY of Beals. Cosponsored by Senator MAKER of Washington and Representatives: DUNPHY of Old Town, FECTEAU of Biddeford, GOLDEN of Lewiston, HICKMAN of Winthrop, LUCHINI of Ellsworth, PERRY of Calais, STANLEY of Medway, TUCKER of Brunswick
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 247: An Act To Amend the Retirement Laws Pertaining to Participating Local Districts   Web Link to LD 247

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to implement changes to the Participating Local District Consolidated Retirement Plan administered by the Maine Public Employees Retirement System; the changes would be based on recommendations of the Participating Local District Advisory Committee. The committee, which represents both employee and employer interests, is authorized by statute to provide proposals for changes to the plan. Pursuant to that authority, the committee is reviewing possible plan adjustments to improve future funding levels and is expected to issue its recommendations prior to the end of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Representative MADIGAN of Rumford
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 521: An Act To Align the Criteria Used by the Maine Public Employees Retirement System in Determining Veterans' Disability Claims with the Criteria Used by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs   Web Link to LD 521

Description: This bill provides that a veteran who is a member of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and who has been awarded a disability pension under 38 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3.3 (2003) for a service-connected disability is qualified for disability retirement benefits under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 423, article 3. The provisions of the bill apply to all applications for disability retirement benefits filed on or after January 1, 2018.
Position: Status: Anticipate Divided Report
Sponsors: Presented by Representative BERRY of Bowdoinham. Cosponsored by Senator CARSON of Cumberland and Representatives: ALLEY of Beals, AUSTIN of Gray, DAUGHTRY of Brunswick, FOLEY of Wells, FREY of Bangor, GOLDEN of Lewiston, McCREIGHT of Harpswell, SHEATS of Auburn
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 650: An Act To Clarify and Protect Certain Public Service Retirement Benefits   Web Link to LD 650

Description: This bill changes the contractual commitment to maintain state-protected benefits regarding cost-of-living adjustments for retired state employees and teachers by specifying that it constitutes a solemn contractual commitment of the State that is protected under the Constitution of Maine and the United States Constitution.
Position: Status: Unfinished business
Sponsors: Presented by Senator WOODSOME of York. Cosponsored by Representative MARTIN of Sinclair and Senators: BELLOWS of Kennebec, COLLINS of York, DAVIS of Piscataquis, GRATWICK of Penobscot, JACKSON of Aroostook, LIBBY of Androscoggin, Representatives: FOLEY of Wells, GERRISH of Lebanon, GRANT of Gardiner, GROHMAN of Biddeford, HARRINGTON of Sanford, MASTRACCIO of Sanford, McELWEE of Caribou, PICCHIOTTI of Fairfield, SAMPSON of Alfred
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1509: An Act To Prohibit Retired State Employees and Teachers from Returning to Work While Collecting Retirement Benefits   Web Link to LD 1509

Description: This bill prohibits retired state employees or retired teachers from returning to employment after retirement, either as a state employee or as a teacher, while collecting retirement benefits from the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. This prohibition does not apply to retired state employees or retired teachers who are hired as independent contractors pursuant to a service contract lasting less than one year or as a substitute teacher.
Position: OpposeStatus: Dead
Sponsors: Presented by Representative SAMPSON of Alfred. Cosponsored by Senator MASON of Androscoggin and Representatives: BRADSTREET of Vassalboro, GERRISH of Lebanon, KINNEY of Limington, O'CONNOR of Berwick, SIROCKI of Scarborough, STETKIS of Canaan, TIMBERLAKE of Turner, WADSWORTH of Hiram
Committee: AppropsHearing: Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. by AFA
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1653: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Retirement Benefits for Capitol Police Officers   Web Link to LD 1653

Description: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Retirement Benefits for Capitol Police Officers
Position: Status: Pending Final Legislative Action
Sponsors: Submitted by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to Joint Rule 203
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1907: Resolve, To Continue a Review of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Plan   Web Link to LD 1907

Description: This resolve directs the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, within their existing resources, to continue the working group to evaluate and design retirement plan options for all state employees and teachers. The Maine Public Employees Retirement System is directed to submit the final recommendation of the working group, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over retirement matters by December 1, 2019.
Position: Status: Resolve Ch. 57 (Veto Overridden)
Sponsors: Reported by Representative GATTINE of Westbrook for the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs pursuant to Joint Rule 353.
Committee: AppropsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

Education and Cultural Affairs Committee:

LD 526: An Act To Increase the State Share of the Cost of Health Insurance for Retired Teachers   Web Link to LD 526

Description: Current law requires the State to pay 45% of a retired teacher's share of the premium for group accident and sickness or health insurance. This bill raises that percentage to 50% from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019; 55% from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021; and 60% after June 30, 2021. It also removes the cap on the increase in the State's total cost for retired teachers' health insurance premiums for fiscal years ending after June 30, 2015. The committee amendment is a minority report of the committee. The amendment strikes the bill's proposal to raise the required percentage of a retired teacher's share of the premium for group accident and sickness or health insurance from 45% to 60% between fiscal year 2016-17 and fiscal year 2020-21. The amendment retains the current requirement that the State pay 45% of a retired teacher's share of the premium for group accident and sickness or health insurance and, beginning in fiscal year 2017-18, removes the restriction in current law that limits the increase in the State's total cost for retired teachers' health insurance premiums.
Position: Status: Unfinished business
Sponsors: Presented by Representative COLLINGS of Portland. Cosponsored by Senator MILLETT of Cumberland and Representatives: BERRY of Bowdoinham, KORNFIELD of Bangor, MARTIN of Eagle Lake, PIERCE of Falmouth, SYLVESTER of Portland, TALBOT ROSS of Portland, Senators: CHIPMAN of Cumberland, JACKSON of Aroostook.
Committee: EducationHearing: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 202
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 601: An Act To Return the Normal Cost of Teacher Retirement to the State   Web Link to LD 601

Description: This bill changes the method for funding teacher retirement costs. It repeals those provisions of law enacted pursuant to Public Law 2013, chapter 368 that require school administrative units and private schools to pay for teacher retirement.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsors: Presented by Representative STEARNS of Guilford. Cosponsored by Representatives: BABBIDGE of Kennebunk, FARNSWORTH of Portland, HIGGINS of Dover-Foxcroft, POULIOT of Augusta, TIPPING of Orono
Committee: EducationHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

Health and Human Services Committee:

LD 386: An Act To Establish Universal Health Care for Maine   Web Link to LD 386

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to establish a single-payor, universal health care system in the State. Portions of the system will be based on the single-payor system in place in Vermont and the single-payor proposals submitted previously in Maine and Colorado. The single-payor system proposed in this bill will also be responsive to any changes made on the federal level to the federal Affordable Care Act.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsors: Presented by Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot. Cosponsored by Representative HYMANSON of York and Senators: BELLOWS of Kennebec, BREEN of Cumberland, CHIPMAN of Cumberland, JACKSON of Aroostook, Representatives: ACKLEY of Monmouth, BERRY of Bowdoinham, BROOKS of Lewiston, DENNO of Cumberland
Committee: HHSHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 1280: An Act Regarding Generic Drug Pricing   Web Link to LD 1280

Description: This bill amends the Maine Pharmacy Act to require that a drug distributed in this State must be made available for sale in this State to a person seeking to develop an application for the approval of the drug under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the licensing of a biological product under the federal Public Health Service Act. It establishes disciplinary actions for noncompliance.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Senator JACKSON of Aroostook. Cosponsored by Representative GATTINE of Westbrook and Senators: BELLOWS of Kennebec, CARSON of Cumberland, DAVIS of Piscataquis, SAVIELLO of Franklin, VITELLI of Sagadahoc, Representatives: LAWRENCE of South Berwick, MASTRACCIO of Sanford.
Committee: HHSHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

Insurance and Financial Services Committee:

LD 192: An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids   Web Link to LD 192

Description: This bill requires insurance plans to provide coverage for hearing aids at a minimum of $3,000 per hearing aid to all individuals with documented hearing loss.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Representative Handy of Lewiston. Cosponsored by Senator Bellows of Kennebec and Representative Brooks of Lewiston, Representatives Galgay Reckitt of South Portland, Lawrence of South Berwick, Sheats of Auburn, Sylvester of Portland
Committee: Insur & Fin'l SvcsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

LD 968: An Act To Help Prevent Financial Elder Abuse   Web Link to LD 968

Description: This bill requires the form for opening a joint account at a financial institution to have for each party to the account the question, "Do you intend for the sum remaining upon your death to belong to the surviving party or parties? Yes No." Each party to the joint account must answer the question in writing on the form prior to opening the account.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Representative LONGSTAFF of Waterville. Cosponsored by Senator CARPENTER of Aroostook and Representatives: DILLINGHAM of Oxford, LUCHINI of Ellsworth, MADIGAN of Waterville, NADEAU of Winslow, SCHNECK of Bangor, TEPLER of Topsham, WARREN of Hallowell, Senator: KATZ of Kennebec
Committee: Insur & Fin'l SvcsHearing: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 220
Work Session: Mar 30, 2017 Work Session Held Mar 30, 2017 Voted OTP-AM May 2, 2017 Work Session Reconsidered TABLED

LD 1279: An Act To Ensure Patient Protections in the Health Insurance Laws   Web Link to LD 1279

Description: This bill allows children 26 years of age and younger to remain on their parents' health insurance policy. It clarifies that carriers offering individual or group health plans may not establish lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of benefits. It clarifies that individual, group and blanket health plans may not impose a preexisting condition exclusion on any enrollee.
Position: Status: Anticipate Divided Report
Sponsors: Presented by Senator JACKSON of Aroostook. Cosponsored by Senators: BREEN of Cumberland, CHIPMAN of Cumberland, GRATWICK of Penobscot, LIBBY of Androscoggin, Representatives: GATTINE of Westbrook, MARTIN of Eagle Lake, MASTRACCIO of Sanford
Committee: Insur & Fin'l SvcsHearing: Thursday, May 04, 2017, 1:00 PM, Burton M. Cross Building, Room 220
Work Session: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 - 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 220

LD 1417: An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease   Web Link to LD 1417

Description: This bill requires a carrier offering or renewing a health plan in the State to provide coverage to diagnose and treat Lyme disease.
Position: Status: Anticipate Divided Report
Sponsors: Rep. Fredette
Committee: Insur & Fin'l SvcsHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: 1/18/2018 1:00 PM Burton Cross Building, Room 220

LD 1476: An Act To Ensure Continued Coverage for Essential Health Care   Web Link to LD 1476

Description: This bill incorporates current requirements under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for coverage of preventive health services, including services for women, into state law. The bill also requires coverage of certain contraceptive methods and services. The bill directs the Superintendent of Insurance to annually review the recommendations and guidelines for coverage of preventive health services to identify any gaps in the minimum coverage provided by health plans and authorizes the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health insurance matters to introduce legislation to update the requirements for minimum coverage. The requirements apply to all individual and group health insurance policies and contracts issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018.
Position: Status: OTP-AM
Sponsors: Presented by Representative McCREIGHT of Harpswell. Cosponsored by Senator CARSON of Cumberland and Representatives: DENNO of Cumberland, DEVIN of Newcastle, GOLDEN of Lewiston, HERBIG of Belfast, McCREA of Fort Fairfield, PARKER of South Berwick, RECKITT of South Portland, SYLVESTER of Portland
Committee: Insur & Fin'l SvcsHearing: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 220
Work Session: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 220

Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee:

LD 1006: An Act Regarding Housing Insecurity of Older Citizens   Web Link to LD 1006

Description: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to establish a statewide commission to study housing insecurity in the context of aging in place. The commission created under this bill would be tasked with exploring: 1. The long-term implications associated with the State's aging population; 2. The status of available affordable housing options in the State; 3. The availability of weatherization and repair programs that would allow older individuals to remain in their homes; 4. Various models of affordable and appropriate housing opportunities for older citizens that are in place in other states; and 5. The establishment of a statewide program facilitating the building for older persons of small accessory dwelling units that are located on the same grounds as, or attached to, a primary residence belonging to a family member of the older person.
Position: Status: Carried Over
Sponsors: Presented by Representative TALBOT ROSS of Portland
Committee: LCREDHearing: For public hearing details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.
Work Session: For work sessions details, click on the Web Link above for this bill.

Taxation Committee:

LD 442: An Act To Create a Family Caregiver Income Tax Credit   Web Link to LD 442

Description: This bill provides an income tax credit for certain eligible expenditures incurred by a family caregiver for the care and support of an eligible family member 18 years of age or older. Eligible expenditures include the improvement of or alteration to the caregiver's primary residence to permit the eligible family member to remain mobile, safe and independent in the home and community; the caregiver's purchase or lease of equipment necessary to assist the eligible family member in carrying out one or more activities of daily living; and costs incurred to assist the caregiver to provide care to an eligible family member, such as expenditures related to hiring a home care aide, respite care, adult day care and transportation and for technology to assist the family caregiver to care for the eligible family member. To be eligible for the tax credit, a family caregiver claiming the credit must have a federal adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 if the family caregiver is filing as a single individual or as a married person filing separately and $150,000 if the family caregiver is filing as a head of household or is filing a married joint return. An eligible family member must require assistance with at least one activity of daily living, as certified by a qualified licensed health care practitioner, and qualify as a dependent of, spouse of, registered domestic partner of, parent of or other relation by blood or marriage to the family caregiver or a registered domestic partner of the family caregiver. The amount of the credit is equal to the eligible expenditures incurred by the eligible caregiver during the taxable year up to a maximum of $2,500.
Position: Status: Dead
Sponsors: Presented by Senator DAVIS of Piscataquis
Committee: TaxationHearing: Monday, February 27, 2017, 1:00 PM, State House, Room 127
Work Session: Monday, March 6, 2017 10:00 AM,State House, Room 127

LD 513: An Act To Eliminate the State Income Tax for Maine Public Employees Retirement System Pensions   Web Link to LD 513

Description: Retirement benefits under state, local or federal government retirement plans that are based on employment compensation for which contributions are not made to the federal Social Security system result in reductions in the amount of Social Security benefits that a retiree is eligible to receive under the federal Windfall Elimination Provision. This bill provides an income tax exemption for those retirement benefits. The committee amendment increases the maximum annual income tax pension deduction amount for nonmilitary retirement pensions from $10,000 to $35,000 over a 5-year period beginning with the 2017 tax year. The $35,000 pension deduction amount that applies after 2021 is subject to an annual inflation adjustment.
Position: Status: Unfinished business
Sponsors: Presented by Senator BELLOWS of Kennebec. Cosponsored by Senator VOLK of Cumberland, Representative DOORE of Augusta and Senators: CHENETTE of York, WOODSOME of York, Representatives: GRANT of Gardiner, HANDY of Lewiston, POULIOT of Augusta, SYLVESTER of Portland, WARREN of Hallowell
Committee: TaxationHearing: Monday, February 27, 2017, 1:00 PM, State House, Room 127
Work Session: Monday, March 6, 2017 10:00 AM,State House, Room 127