12 July 2015
Sponsored bills enacted
- LD 3 An Act To Ensure Consistent Certification of Graduation Standards in Publicly Funded Secondary Schools
…clarifies that public charter schools are subject to Maine’s learning standards, proficiency-based diplomas, and the state’s assessment system.
- LD 38 An Act To Allow Sufficient Time for Implementation of the Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth System for Educators
…extends by one year the phased stages to implement educator evaluation systems for schools.
- LD 131 An Act To Amend the Laws Related to Public Funding of Charter Schools
…transfers to the state the liability for the full public allocation for charter school funding. (Recognized as the second most important bill of the session in a Press Herald op-ed)
- LD 462: An Act To Clarify Rulemaking for Transportation of Public School Students
…technical bill on behalf of the Department of Education
- LD 692: An Act Regarding Educator Effectiveness
…compromise negotiated to preserve both Maine’s local teacher evaluation systems and federal waiver from requirements of ‘No Child Left Behind.’ (Commended in Bangor Daily News editorial.)
- LD 840: An Act To Support the Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas and Standards-based Student Learning
…directs the Department of Education to annually collect and report data on the progress of public schools and public charter schools towards the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas.
- LD 853: An Act to Allow Secondary Schools to Grant Intermediate Certificates of Academic Proficiency
…clarifies that public schools may award certification of proficiency to students for each content area in Maine’s Learning results and report this data to the Department of Education. Permits the Department of Education to collect and report data aggregated from school administrative units.
- LD 1173: An Act To Improve School Administrative Efficiency and Expand Capacity for Professional Growth
…establishes criteria for providing grant funds to regional education collaboratives from the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services to expand access to professional development, training, and support for teachers and school administrators.
Cosponsored bills enacted
- LD 98: An Act Amending the Trap Limit for the Swans Island Lobster Conservation Area
…increases the number of traps that an individual registered to obtain Swans Island Lobster Conservation Area trap tags may place or maintain in the Swans Island Lobster Conservation Area from 550 to 600.
- LD 124: An Act To Require Payment by a Carrier for Health Care Services Provided to Enrollees of the Carrier
…requires insurance carriers to pay providers for services rendered prior to credentials being granted, retroactive to when a complete application for credentialing is submitted, as long as credentials are granted to that provider by the carrier. Clarifies that a claim may not be submitted until the provider has been notified of the credentialing decision and the effective date of any credentials.
- LD 222: An Act To Reduce Commercial Shellfish License Fees for Persons under 18 Years of Age
…reduces a commercial shellfish license for persons under 18 years of age to $67.
- LD 364: An Act To Allow a Sales Representative To Serve Spirits or Wine at a Tasting Event
…provides that a licensed sales representative may pour samples of spirits, wine or malt liquor at a taste-testing event that has been authorized by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations at an on-premise retail licensee’s establishment, an agency liquor store or an off-premise retail licensee’s establishment.
- LD 428: An Act To Amend the Powers and Duties of the State Board of Education
…authorizes the State Board of Education to enter into an interstate reciprocity agreement regarding postsecondary distance education, to administer the agreement and to approve or disapprove an application to participate in the agreement from a postsecondary institution that has its principal campus in the State.
- LD 454: An Act To Enact the Student Information Privacy Act
…prohibits the operator of an Internet website, online service or mobile application designed, marketed and used for kindergarten to grade 12 purposes from presenting targeted advertising to students, amassing a profile of a student except in furtherance of school purposes, selling student data or disclosing student personally identifiable data without consent.
- LD 461: An Act To Change the Notification Deadline for the Nonrenewal of a Teacher’s Contract
…provides that the deadline for a superintendent to notify a teacher of the superintendent’s decision not to renew the teacher’s contract is at least 6 months before the terminal date of the contract except for teachers who received a summative effectiveness rating indicating ineffectiveness pursuant to the performance evaluation and professional growth system for the preceding school year. Also requires that unless the superintendent provides a written notice to the contrary not later than May 15th to a teacher who received a summative effectiveness rating indicating ineffectiveness for the preceding school year, the teacher’s contract must be extended automatically for one year.
- LD 763: An Act To Change the Budget Approval Process for Alternative Organizational Structures
…requires that a change in the determination of who approves a budget for a school Alternative Organizational School must be approved at a special meeting authorized by a majority of the governing body of the alternative organizational structure rather than at the next statewide election.
- LD 844: An Act To Improve Transit Services Statewide
…replaces the requirement in current law for biennial plans for regional transit with a requirement for quinquennial plans, which is consistent with federal requirements. The bill eliminates the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Committee and replaces it with a new Public Transit Advisory Council. The council is required to assist state agencies and the Legislature on issues related to public transit services.
- LD 856: An Act To Amend the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program To Allow for Participation in Early College and Career and Technical Education Programs
…expands the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program to include participants who are under 18 years of age if they are full-time students at a public secondary school and enrolled in a career and technical education program at a career and technical education center or a career and technical education region.
- LD 1042: Resolve, To Create the Task Force on School Leadership
…establishes the Task Force on School Leadership to conduct a comprehensive study on excellence in school leadership in prekindergarten to grade 12 public schools.
- LD 1205: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support the Independence of Maine’s Seniors
…The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $15,000,000, will be used to assist in the provision of energy-efficient affordable homes to low-income Maine seniors. The bulk of the bond proceeds will be used to construct new homes for seniors and to adaptively reuse existing structures to provide homes for seniors. Preference will be given to home locations that have access to health care services and other essential goods and services. A portion of the bond proceeds will provide for home repair and weatherization of the existing homes of low-income seniors. The bond proceeds will leverage an estimated $22,600,000 in private and other funds.
- LD 1230: An Act To Create a Digital Portal for Education
…creates a digital content library, which makes digital educational content and learning resources available to all students through a method determined by the Commissioner of Education and based upon the recommendations of a digital content library advisory group.
- LD 1263: An Act To Create Jobs and Promote Investment in Maine’s Economy through Increased Access to Solar Energy
…directs the Public Utilities Commission to convene a stakeholder group to develop an alternative to net energy billing.
—Maine Bills Could Unlock Solar Future, if Lawmakers Show the Will to Move Forward
- LD 1277: An Act To Establish a Magnet School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering
…establishes the Maine School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering as a public magnet school for the purpose of providing certain high-achieving high school students with a challenging educational experience. The school may implement the plan established for operating the magnet school during the 2017-2018 school year. The school’s board of trustees is required to provide a report to the Legislature by December 1, 2018 on the commencement and operations of the school.
BILLS CARRIED OVER TO THE SECOND SESSION:
Sponsored bills carried over to the second session
- LD 2: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for the Purchase and Development of the Bar Harbor Ferry Terminal as a Multimodal Transportation Facility
While this bond bill officially was carried over, the funds that I sought were included in the larger $85M transportation bond bill which the legislature approved, the Governor signed, and which will go to the voters in November.
- LD 405: An Act To Support Expanded Capacity for Breeding Wild Atlantic Salmon in Downeast Rivers
…seeks to solicit and fund proposals to expand successful salmon hatcheries on Washington County rivers.
- LD 1394: An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula
…Education Committee bill to implement recommendations of the school funding commission which I chaired last summer and fall.
Cosponsored bills carried over to the second session
- LD 217: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Development of a Multimodal Transportation Facility.
…like my bill LD 2, while this bond bill officially was carried over, the funds sought were included in the larger $85M transportation bond bill which the legislature approved, the Governor signed, and which will go to the voters in November.
- LD 427: An Act To Address and Mitigate the Effects of Marine Debris
…proposes to enact measures to address and mitigate plastic pollution in the marine environment, including but not limited to microdebris pollution. For the purpose of this resolve, “microdebris” means particles of plastic approximately 5 to 10 microns in length that may be ingested by filter-feeding organisms in the marine environment.
- LD 784: An Act To Authorize a Revenue Bond for a Student Loan Reduction Plan
…authorizes the Finance Authority of Maine to issue revenue bonds in the amount of $40,000,000 to fund a student loan reduction plan in order to allow residents of the State to refinance student loans.
- LD 795: An Act To Encourage Prudent Development along the Coast or in a Flood Zone by Considering Predictions for Sea Level Rise
…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. 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.
- LD 1053: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Stimulate Investment in Innovation by Maine Businesses To Produce Nationally and Globally Competitive Products and Services
…funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $50,000,000, will be used to provide funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State’s 7 targeted technology areas to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share and to expand employment or preserve jobs, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio.
- LD 1069: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Upgrade Municipal Culverts at Stream Crossings
…funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $10,000,000, will be used for a competitive grant program that matches local funding for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings in order to improve fish and wildlife habitat and increase community safety.
- LD 1253: An Act To Improve the Evaluation of Public Schools
…directs the Commissioner of Education to convene a task force to review school assessment systems that have been implemented in other states and to develop a system to evaluate and rate the performance of schools in this State. Provides that the commissioner must report the task force’s findings, recommendations and any necessary legislation with respect to the implementation of a school assessment system to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs no later than January 15, 2016 and authorizes the joint standing committee to report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 127th Legislature related to the recommendations included in this report. Provides that, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and only after the adoption of major substantive rules by the Department of Education, the Commissioner of Education shall implement a school assessment system to measure school performance and student proficiency in achieving the knowledge and skills described in the parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements.
- LD 1370: An Act To Improve the Quality of Teachers
…proposes to improve teacher quality in the State by amending the current statutes related to programs involving teacher preparation, support systems for provisional teachers, teacher certification, teacher salaries and college loans for students enrolled in a program of study leading to certification as a teacher.
BILLS WHICH DID NOT BECOME LAW:
Sponsored bills which did not become law
- LD 205: An Act To Facilitate the Development and Operation of a Group Home for Post-High School Adults with Developmental Disabilities
This bill which sought to support the development of the ‘Local Solutions’ house in Bar Harbor, proved to be unnecessary. Expanded funding for Local Solutions’ residents is incorporated in the new state budget.
- LD 391: Resolve, To Create a State-run Virtual Academy Providing Maine Students with Access to Online Learning through Their Existing School Districts
The concept of this bill was amended into a different bill, LD 1230: An Act To Create a Digital Portal for Education
- LD 601: An Act To Clarify the Authority of Individualized Education Plans in Relation to Proficiency-based Diplomas
The aim of this bill was included in another bill, LD 1235: Resolve, To Strengthen Standards-based Diplomas
- LD 1207: Resolve, To Implement an Online Professional Development Platform for Teachers and Educators
The concept of this bill was amended into a different bill, LD 1230: An Act To Create a Digital Portal for Education
Cosponsored bills which did not become law
- LD 415: An Act To Promote the Safe Use and Sale of Firearms
Sought a compromise solution to the private sale ‘loophole’ of the sales of firearms by making available “strict liability” legal protection to sellers using background checks for private transactions.
- LD 471: An Act To Improve Childhood Vaccination Rates in Maine
…sought to require a parent or guardian who is seeking a philosophical exemption to routine childhood vaccination when enrolling a child in school or a licensed daycare facility to present written documentation signed by a healthcare practitioner that the health care practitioner has reviewed with the parent information about the risks and benefits of immunization that is consistent with information published by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
—Victory for vaccine foes puts Maine kids at risk, Editorial, Press Herald, July 6, 2015
- LD 956: An Act To Create Community Schools
This bill was incorporated into the new state budget.
- LD 1270: An Act Regarding Patient-directed Care at the End of Life
…enacts a process for patient-directed care at the end of life for Maine residents who are adults who are terminally ill and who have been determined to have a limited life expectancy. Provides that such a patient has a right to information and includes requirements for patient and physician action and documentation in the patient’s medical records of the steps taken. Authorizes a physician to prescribe a medication that the patient may self-administer for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death. Provides protections for the physician, the patient’s health care facility and health care providers. Protects the patient’s life insurance and the health care providers’ medical professional liability insurance. Protects the patient’s right to palliative care. Specifically states that nothing in the provisions of the bill may be construed to authorize a physician or other person to end a patient’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing or active euthanasia.
—Dying Mainers deserve right to make final choice in life, Editorial, Press Herald, June 3, 2015