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Home > Advocacy > Bills

Bills


L.D. 1141 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
An Act To Make Election Day a State Holiday
This bill designates Election Day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as a state holiday.

L.D. 1136 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Amend Its Rules Regarding Services Provided to Students
This resolve directs the Department of Health and Human Services to amend its rules regarding services provided to students to:
  1. Allow speech pathologists to bill directly for services they provide to students who are eligible for the MaineCare program; and
  2. Remove requirements that, for a student to be eligible for coverage for services under early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment, the services be included in the student’s individualized education plan or the family’s individualized family service plan and that the services be medical in nature as opposed to educational.

L.D. 1132 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
An Act To Create Education Savings Accounts for Students with Special Needs
This bill directs the Department of Education to establish education savings accounts for children with disabilities that may be used by the parents or legal guardians of such children for certain educational purposes. The funding for these accounts would come from shifting 90% of the essential programs and services funding that would otherwise be provided by the State and the school administrative unit for the child into the savings account. The bill provides mechanisms for approval of educational expenditures and review of spending from the accounts.

L.D. 1131 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
An Act To Create Education Savings Accounts for Maine Students
This bill directs the Treasurer of State to establish education savings accounts that may be used by the parents or legal guardians of children to pay for the education of their children outside of the public school system. The funding for these savings accounts would come from shifting 90% of the essential programs and services funding that would otherwise be provided by the State and the school administrative unit for each child into a savings account. The bill specifies what educational expenditures are permitted and provides for review of spending from the accounts.

L.D. 1130 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
An Act To Provide Traffic Safety Education in Schools
The purpose of this bill is to provide students in Maine with access to traffic safety education from an early age with the goal of teaching students safe practices and respect for all users of the road in order to reduce the unacceptable number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and make Maine's roadways safer and more enjoyable for all users. This bill requires all school administrative units to provide at least one hour annually of age-appropriate traffic safety education to students in grades 2 to 12. The traffic safety education program must provide, at a minimum, instruction on the use of public and private ways by pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle operators and on the laws and rules regarding that use. A school administrative unit may contract with a 3rd party to provide the education.

L.D. 1119 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/22/17
An Act To Ensure Safe Drinking Water in Public Buildings
Current law requires schools that take drinking water from sources other than public water systems to have that water tested. This bill expands this requirement to include all public buildings that take water from a source other than a public water system. This bill requires public buildings that take drinking water from public water systems to have the same tests performed on that water, except that public buildings less than 10 years old are exempt from this requirement. Under the bill, the Department of Health and Human Services must provide test results to the Department of Environmental Protection. After receiving the results, the Department of Environmental Protection must make the results available on the department's publicly accessible website.

L.D. 1113 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/20/17
An Act To Improve Antihunger Programs in Maine Schools
This bill requires the Department of Education to develop and make available to public schools an Internet-based application for eligible students for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. The bill provides that a public school may make available the Internet-based application developed by the department for school meal applications. The bill also provides that if a public school implements an Internet-based application process, the public school is required to maintain paper applications for school meals.

L.D. 1104 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/20/17
An Act To Exempt School Resource Officers from Department of Education Background Check and Fingerprinting Requirements
This bill exempts from the school personnel background check and fingerprinting requirements law enforcement officers from a local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over a school’s premises, commonly called school resource officers, who assist with school security, safety, emergency preparedness or emergency response or has been assigned other responsibilities concerning the school by the school or the local law enforcement agency.

L.D. 1098 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Ensure Reasonable Accommodations for Children for Whom Medical Marijuana Has Been Recommended
Current law allows the primary caregiver of a child for whom medical marijuana has been recommended to possess and administer the marijuana on school grounds. This bill allows a medical provider with whom the child has a bona fide relationship to possess and administer marijuana on school grounds.

L.D. 1093 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Clarify That Involuntary Transfers of Teachers and Municipal Public Employees Are Subject to Collective Bargaining
This bill specifies that the involuntary transfer of a teacher or other municipal employee is included in working conditions that must be collectively bargained in good faith. This bill specifies that an involuntary transfer is not considered an educational policy, which is not subject to negotiation.

L.D. 1084 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Require That Certain Applicant Information for Certain Local Government and School Administrative Positions Be Public upon Application
This bill provides that the names and addresses of applicants for positions as county administrator, city manager, town manager and school superintendent are public records upon application by the applicant.

L.D. 1080 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Prevent Economic Hardship in Maine School Administrative District 44
This bill maintains the existing ad valorem cost-sharing agreement of the members of Maine School Administrative District 44 by requiring the Town of Newry to remain a member of that district. The bill expresses the Legislature's findings that the Constitution of Maine requires municipalities to support public schools, that there exists established precedent for prohibiting the withdrawal of a municipality from a school district and that the residents of the school district have considered and rejected an amendment to the cost-sharing formula used to fund education and have expressed objection to the use of the withdrawal process for the purpose of tuitioning students back to the same school district at increased expense of neighboring towns.

L.D. 1074 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Support Public Charter School Enrollment Options for Certain Students
This bill authorizes public charter schools to give enrollment preference to students at risk for academic failure. It also authorizes public charter schools with a mission for single-gender education to give enrollment preference based on gender.

L.D. 1051 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest
This bill enacts the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act, which provides for education regarding sudden cardiac arrest in students engaged in athletics, the removal from athletic events of students who exhibit symptoms of cardiac arrest, education and training for athletic directors, coaches and athletic trainers and penalties for violations of the Act.

L.D. 1045 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/17/17
An Act To Create More Transparency in the Setting of Normal Teacher Retirement Costs
This bill requires the Board of Trustees of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System to prepare and present an actuarial report on normal teacher retirement costs to a joint meeting of the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs matters by May 31st of even-numbered years. It also requires the board to rely on this biennial actuarial report in its determination of the percentage of total teacher compensation required to fund normal teacher retirement costs. This bill also requires the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs to conduct a review of the historical and projected future actuarial value of normal teacher retirement costs. It requires the committee to report the results of its review to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

L.D. 1036 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
Resolve, To Study Repeal of Occupational Licensing Requirements for Certain Occupations
This resolve directs the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation to submit a report with proposed legislation to remove licensing requirements for several occupations to the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development by December 1, 2017. The committee is authorized to report out a bill related to the department's recommendations to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

L.D. 1029 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Abolish the 5-year Cap for Retired State Employees Who Return to Work
Current law allows a state employee or teacher who retires after September 1, 2011 to return to service for up to 5 years. This bill eliminates that 5-year cap.

L.D. 1026 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Assist Student Achievement
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to explore ways to assist students in achieving academic success.

L.D. 1016 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Provide Funding for Career and Technical Education Based on Projected Enrollment
This bill modifies the funding model for career and technical education costs. This bill requires that the state allocation for these costs be based on the projected enrollment for the fiscal year of the allocation rather than actual enrollment in a prior year.

L.D. 1015 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Improve the Student Transfer Process
This bill provides that a parent of a student requesting a transfer from one school administrative unit to another school administrative unit may not request the Commissioner of Education to review a decision to not approve a transfer if both superintendents find a transfer is not in the student's best interest. The bill also establishes the Commission To Study the Student Transfer Process to conduct a review of the appeal process under the laws governing the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another school administrative unit, including, but not limited to, a review of the criteria used by the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education to make a decision regarding a parent's request to review a decision to not approve a transfer.

L.D. 997 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Increase Funding to Schools by Repealing Unnecessary and Burdensome Regulations
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. The bill proposes to increase funding to schools by repealing unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

L.D. 988 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act Regarding Possession of a Firearm on School Property
This bill provides that the prohibition on the possession of a firearm on public school property or the property of an approved private school does not apply to a person who possesses a firearm in a motor vehicle while dropping off or picking up a student.

L.D. 987 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
Resolve, To Direct the Department of Education To Form a Study Group To Improve Public Education
This resolve directs the Department of Education to form a study group to consider ways to improve the mathematics, reading and writing skills of elementary and secondary school students, including increasing the length of the school day to add additional instruction in mathematics, reading and writing and to estimate the cost to the State, municipalities and school administrative units of the considered improvements.

L.D. 986 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/14/17
An Act To Improve School Safety
This bill provides for a mandatory one-year suspension of a driver's license for a person convicted of terrorizing if the terrorizing causes the evacuation of a public elementary or secondary school. If the person does not have a driver's license, the bill specifies a one-year delay in the issuance of the driver's license from the date of the conviction of the offense or, if the person is not eligible for a driver's license, a one-year delay from the date that the person is eligible for the license. This bill also requires that a notice of the provisions of the law be conspicuously posted in at least one location in every public middle and secondary school.

L.D. 978 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/09/17
An Act To Simplify the In-service Days Requirement in Education
This bill changes the law regarding school administrative units' scheduling from allowing 5 days to be used for in-service education of teachers, administrative meetings, parent-teacher conference, records' days and similar activities to allowing 5 days or 40 total hours.

L.D. 965 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/09/17
Resolve, To Create the Task Force To Study School Board Member Training
This resolve creates the Task Force To Study School Board Member Training. The task force is required to submit its report with its recommendations and any accompanying legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 6, 2017.

L.D. 940 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/09/17
An Act To Increase Student Learning Time
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to limit the total amount of time during each school year that a student spends taking tests.

L.D. 929 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/09/17
An Act Regarding the State Retirement System
This bill amends the definition of "earnable compensation" for the purposes of the state retirement system. The bill provides that if, during any year, an employee receives retrospective payment for compensation earned in a prior year or years, the portion of the employee's compensation that is retrospective payment for compensation earned in a prior year or years must be deducted from earnable compensation for the year in which it is paid and must be added to earnable compensation for the prior year or years in which that compensation was earned.

L.D. 926 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/09/17
An Act To Improve Equity in State Aid to Schools
This bill provides for an adjustment in the state share of the total allocation to a highly funded school, which is defined as a school administrative unit whose total spending on education programs and services in the most recent year for which data is available exceeded 108% of the total cost of the components of essential programs and services for that school administrative unit in that year, excluding any adjustment made pursuant to this new provision. The Commissioner of Education is required to decrease the state share of the total allocation to a highly funded school by an amount equal to the difference between 108% of the total cost of the components of essential programs and services for that school administrative unit in the previous fiscal year and the amount spent by the school administrative unit on education programs and services in the previous fiscal year.

L.D. 919 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Establish the Summer Success Program Fund
This bill establishes the Summer Success Program Fund, a dedicated fund to be directed and administered by the Commissioner of Education and held by the Treasurer of State, to encourage the facilitation of high-quality summer success programs in school administrative units throughout the State. The bill accomplishes the following.
  1. It provides that money paid into the fund may include General Fund appropriations, as well as grants, gifts and other money from any unit of federal, state or local government or from any person, firm, partnership or corporation for deposit to the fund, money received from a social impact bond and interest, dividends and other pecuniary gains. It requires that school administrative units ensure that grants provided from the fund for expanding access to summer success programs supplement and not supplant federal funding.
  2. It requires the commissioner to administer the fund within the Department of Education and to establish standards and approval for the allocation and use of fund money for summer success programs offered at elementary and secondary schools in the State. It also allows the commissioner to include the following in the standards:
  3. Guidelines similar to the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to close the achievement gap between high-performing and low-performing students;
  4. Effective models of summer success programs that involve networking and partnerships with community-based organizations that provide a range of high-quality services to support student learning and development; and
  5. Implementation of the formative and summative assessment methods to measure student achievement in order to monitor the progress of students participating in summer success programs.
  6. It provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2018-19, the department is required to provide grant funding, through a grant application process, to cover 90% of the costs of summer success programs in school administrative units with greater than 50% student participation in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.
  7. It adds the fund to the enhancing student performance and opportunity provisions of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.
  8. It requires the commissioner to submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 15, 2017 that outlines the proposed rules to implement the fund by the 2018-2019 school year.

L.D. 917 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
Resolve, To Require a Review of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Plan
This resolve directs the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, within their existing resources, to jointly convene and provide necessary staffing assistance to a 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 its recommendations, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2018.

L.D. 891 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Support the Professional Development of Principals in Maine Schools
This bill requires that the performance evaluation and professional growth system for new school administrative staff include a mentoring program that promotes excellence in school leadership, builds a supportive environment within school administrative units, increases the retention of school leaders and promotes the personal and professional well-being of school leaders.

L.D. 866 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Provide Additional Funds to Schools That Offer Residential Options
This bill requires that the State provide a minimum state subsidy of $500 per residential student to all school administrative units, including public charter schools, as well as to magnet schools, that provide residential services.

L.D. 865 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Determine the Effectiveness and Success of Charter Schools
This resolve requires the Department of Education to conduct an evaluation and assessment of public charter schools to determine their effectiveness and success in carrying out state goals with respect to public charter schools and to establish recommended standards by which public charter schools are to be evaluated. This resolve also places a moratorium on executing any charter school contracts until the department submits its report on the assessment and evaluation to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, which may report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

L.D. 864 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Provide for a Statewide Contract for School Teachers
This bill provides for statewide collective bargaining for teachers beginning January 1, 2021. The bill directs the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to develop a plan to implement statewide collective bargaining for teachers and requires that the plan be designed to permit school administrative units to maintain local control and direction of teacher employment; to include for all public school teachers a uniform compensation system that is based upon performance results that are competitive and fair throughout the State; and to maximize opportunities for certain economies of scale through the statewide negotiation of teachers' benefits, including, but not limited to, health insurance. The department is directed to submit its plan, together with proposed implementing legislation, for introduction to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

L.D. 863 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Create a Standard Kindergarten Entry Assessment
This bill directs the Commissioner of Education to develop a standard assessment for kindergarten entry for use by all school administrative units beginning January 1, 2019.

L.D. 862 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Install Video Cameras in School Buses
This resolve directs the Department of Education to establish a pilot program with selected school administrative units to install video cameras in school buses and study the effectiveness of the cameras in assisting in the maintenance of order and safety on the school buses.

L.D. 851 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Repeal and Subject to Referendum in 2018 the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education and the 3 Percent Income Tax Surcharge
Part A of this bill repeals the 3% surcharge imposed on taxable individual income over $200,000 for tax years beginning in or after 2017 and the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education, both as enacted in Initiated Bill 2015, chapter 4. The repeal is retroactive to the effective date of the initiated bill. Part B of this bill enacts a 3% surcharge on taxable individual income over $200,000 for tax years beginning in or after 2019 and it enacts the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education, but only if approved by the voters at referendum in November 2018.

L.D. 841 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Provide Stability in MaineCare Payments for Educational Programming
Under current law, the Department of Education is authorized to pay on behalf of a school administrative unit allowable school-based costs that represent the school administrative unit's portion of MaineCare payments. Current law also provides that the department may then deduct that amount from the school administrative unit's state subsidy. This bill changes the law to provide that the department may not deduct from a school administrative unit's state subsidy such payments.

L.D. 840 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/07/17
An Act To Expand Educational Opportunities for Students in the Unorganized Territories
This bill provides that the parent or guardian of a child residing in an unorganized unit that does not have an elementary school located in that unorganized unit may choose an elementary school in the State for that child to attend.

L.D. 826 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Prioritize the Renovation of Existing Underutilized Schools in Conjunction with the Closing of Nearby Schools Due to Declining Enrollment
This bill amends the laws governing the School Revolving Renovation Fund to add renovation and repurposing of underutilized space when done in conjunction with closing a school to the list of projects that qualify for Priority 1 status.

L.D. 818 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Improve the Quality of Teachers
This bill 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 and teacher salaries and funding college loans for students enrolled in a program of study leading to certification as a teacher. The bill expands the student teaching experience and academic achievement requirements for a provisional teacher certificate. It specifies the number of hours of practicum an applicant must complete, clarifies the time frame during which the student teaching experience must occur and specifies that the grade point average requirement applies only to an applicant's teacher preparation course work. The bill enacts a grade point average requirement with respect to applicants recommended by educational institutions offering teacher preparation programs. The bill strengthens the support systems required to provide assistance for provisional teachers during each year of their probationary period and requires the Commissioner of Education to pay salary supplements to teachers who are involved in the operation of such systems. The bill increases the minimum salary for certified teachers to $40,000 beginning with the 2018-2019 school year and includes in the school funding formula state funding for the incremental costs of meeting this minimum beginning in fiscal year 2018-19. The bill requires the State Board of Education to amend its rule Chapter 114: Purpose, Standards and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Preparation Programs for Education Personnel to articulate and outline clear standards for a memorandum of understanding between student teachers, teacher preparation programs and participating school administrative units. The bill directs the Governor to appoint members to vacant positions on the Professional Standards Board by November 1, 2017 and directs the board to convene a meeting by December 1, 2017. The bill provides additional appropriations for the Educators for Maine Program within the Finance Authority of Maine in order to double the annual investment of state loan funds awarded to eligible students.

L.D. 816 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Promote Academic Achievement through Hunger Relief for Maine Children
This bill directs the State to fund the difference between the federal reimbursements for reduced-price and free lunches in order to provide all children under 185% of the federal poverty level free lunch at school.

L.D. 809 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Address Student Hunger with a "Breakfast after the Bell" Program
This bill requires a school administrative unit with a public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year to operate an alternative breakfast delivery service that provides breakfast after the start of the school day. It also provides a process for a school administrative unit to opt out of the alternative breakfast delivery service. This bill requires the Department of Education to adopt rules to develop an application process and to adopt standards to address evaluation criteria based on need for funding assistance for alternative breakfast delivery services in school administrative units. It also requires the department to develop a means to track health and academic outcomes of students and schools that participate in alternative breakfast delivery services.

L.D. 785 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Improve Safety and Traffic Efficiency near School Grounds
This bill allows a school crossing guard to direct traffic.

L.D. 774 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Create a Training Wage
This bill provides a minimum hourly training wage of $1.00 above the federal minimum wage for a person who is 20 years of age or under and is a student at a secondary or postsecondary school.

L.D. 772 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Ensure Transparency in Public Union Negotiations
This bill amends the Freedom of Access Act by making collective bargaining meetings between public employers and a collective bargaining unit conducted pursuant to the municipal public employees labor relations laws, the state employees labor relations laws or the judicial employees labor relations laws public proceedings under the Act and therefore subject to the open meeting and notice requirements of the Act.

L.D. 770 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Clarify Insurance Coverage in School-based Health Centers
This bill prohibits health insurance carriers from denying coverage for services delivered in a school setting under a contract with a federally qualified health center if the same services would be covered if provided at the federally qualified health center.

L.D. 753 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
Resolve, To Promote Internet Safety in Schools
This resolve requires the Commissioner of Education to develop Internet safety guidelines for students and others who have received laptop computers under the program that supplies laptop computers to middle school students.

L.D. 752 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Enhance the Safety of Schoolchildren by Requiring the Posting of the School Zone Speed Limit
This bill requires schools to post school zone speed limit warning signs

L.D. 751 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Establish Districtwide Standardized Assessment Policies
This bill requires school boards, with input from parents, teachers and school administrators, to adopt districtwide policies regarding standardized assessments.

L.D. 749 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Ensure Municipal Equity for the Town of Frye Island
This bill repeals the prohibition against the withdrawal of the Town of Frye Island from School Administrative District No. 6, which then allows the Town of Frye Island the same statutory municipal power of any other municipality in Maine, as long as the Town of Frye Island joins another school administrative unit within 2 years of the withdrawal.

L.D. 748 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Require at Least a 30-minute Lunch Period for Students
This bill requires that school administrative units provide for students a lunch period of at least 30 minutes unless the governing body of the school administrative unit determines by vote after notice and public hearing that a 30-minute lunch period would be impracticable.

L.D. 747 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/03/17
An Act To Amend Minimum Age Eligibility for School Enrollment
This bill provides that school boards are responsible for establishing the minimum age necessary for student enrollment.

L.D. 741 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Provide Equity in Education Funding
This bill allows a municipality that is a member of a school administrative unit receiving the minimum state share for education funding to impose by referendum a local option sales tax of up to 1% to be used for funding kindergarten to grade 12 education and reducing the property tax rate. This bill also repeals a provision of the education funding laws calculating a minimum state share of costs based on a percentage of special education costs.

L.D. 738 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Make the School Budgeting Process a Biennial Process
This bill changes the local school budgeting approval process, which is currently done on an annual basis, to a biennial process beginning with the biennium of fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

L.D. 737 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Allow Public Schools To Reserve Funds Designated for Operating Costs
This bill allows a school administrative district to establish a reserve fund for operating costs of the school administrative district, including salary and benefits.

L.D. 736 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Create Equity in Funding of Rural Schools
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to create equity in funding of rural schools by examining the funding of the most disadvantaged school administrative units under the school funding formula and determining how best to provide financial resources to better assist these school administrative units.

L.D. 717 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Protect Maine School Children from Lead and Arsenic Exposure
Current law requires schools that take drinking water from sources other than public water systems to have that water tested. This bill requires all schools and nursery schools that take drinking water from any source to have the same tests performed on that water, including, but not limited to, tests for lead and arsenic. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to make all test results available on the department's publicly accessible website and to inform the parents and guardians of all students at a school or nursery school if the water is found to violate the state primary drinking water regulations.

L.D. 687 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/06/17
An Act Regarding Reimbursement for Speech and Language Pathology Services
This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to provide for reimbursement for all speech and language pathology services provided by an independent speech-language practitioner at the rate that is paid to a speech and hearing agency for the same services. It also directs the department to amend its rules to increase by 10% the rates of reimbursement for all speech and language pathology services.

L.D. 682 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Eliminate the Regional Adjustment for Public School Systems
This bill removes the regional adjustment in the total operating allocation for schools under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.

L.D. 681 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act Regarding Sexual Activity and Sexual Assault at Secondary and Postsecondary Educational Institutions
This bill requires that instruction involving affirmative consent, communication and decision making regarding sexual activity be a mandatory part of secondary school instruction. "Affirmative consent" is defined as consent to sexual activity that can be revoked at any time and does not include silence, lack of resistance or consent given while intoxicated. This bill also requires a postsecondary educational institution to make a notation on a student's transcript if the student has been convicted of sexual assault committed on the campus of the postsecondary educational institution.

L.D. 680 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Allow the Employment or Service in a School of a Spouse of a School Board or Committee Member
This bill allows a spouse of a school board member to be employed or serve in a volunteer position in a public school within the jurisdiction of the school board to which the member is elected or in a contract high school or academy located within a supervisory union in which the member is a representative on the union committee upon a 2/3 vote of the school board or committee.

L.D. 679 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Reform School Testing Procedures
This bill limits statewide assessment program testing requirements to grades 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 and limits any use of alternative measures of student achievement to grades 9 and 11. It also limits the statewide system of learning results testing requirements to students in grades 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The bill authorizes the Commissioner of Education to adopt rules to implement the provisions of the bill.

L.D. 678 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Protect Students from Identity Theft
This bill requires a public school or private school, if asking for a student's social security number, to inform the student's parent or guardian for what purpose the social security number will be used and to provide the parent, guardian or student with the opportunity to opt out of providing the social security number.

L.D. 674 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Provide Public Charter Schools with Access to State Funds for Capital Expenses
This bill allows a per-pupil allocation for capital expenses to be added to the essential programs and services funding formula for public charter schools that do not have access to capital funds from the State or from a school administrative district.

L.D. 669 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
An Act To Address the Unmet Workforce Needs of Employers and To Improve the Economic Future of Workers
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact a comprehensive package of proposals designed to address the unmet workforce needs of employers and to improve the economic future of workers. These proposals may include, but are not limited to, proposals to:
  1. Identify workforce needs;
  2. Connect businesses with trained workers;
  3. Maximize the benefits of educational assessment funding by focusing the funds on the students;
  4. Provide incentives for educational institutions receiving state training funds to place graduates into the employment or school of the graduates' choice;
  5. Strengthen the ability of the Maine Quality Centers, established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 12725, to fulfill their mission of meeting the workforce education and training needs of new and expanding businesses in the State and providing new employment and career advancement opportunities for Maine people;
  6. Design diverse programs to meet the needs of Maine employers;
  7. Prepare untrained workers to meet immediate and long-term needs;
  8. Allow military training to count towards required training for certain certifications and licenses;
  9. Establish a clearinghouse to connect workers with employers;
  10. Identify educational programs necessary for specific types of employment and create a process to preemploy prospective workers while they are being trained;
  11. Provide to people receiving public assistance the opportunity to permanently leave poverty behind by providing skills training that offers academic degrees, certifications or credentials and leads to employment with wages that can sustain families;
  12. Establish workforce training programs targeted exclusively at individuals who are on public assistance or whose incomes meet certain criteria and provide transitional benefits including child care, health care, transportation supports and educational supports;
  13. Align Maine's system of learning results with technical skills for current employment needs, support technical courses in high schools and integrate those courses with the high school curriculum and identify for middle school and secondary school students career paths that include alternatives that do not require college educations;
  14. Identify barriers to the reentry by older citizens into the workforce;
  15. Establish a program to identify and eliminate unfavorable tax policies with respect to retirement income and pensions and tax policies that discourage older citizens and retirees from returning to the workforce; and
  16. Promote education to allow seniors to develop new skills.

L.D. 642 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 03/02/17
Resolve, To Establish the Task Force To Identify Special Education Cost Drivers and Innovative Approaches to Services
This resolve establishes the Task Force To Identify Special Education Cost Drivers and Innovative Approaches to Services.

L.D. 633 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Amend Teacher Evaluation Requirements
This bill removes the requirement that student learning and measures of growth and state assessment results be used to measure educator effectiveness.

L.D. 603 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Provide Funding for Preschool Programs
This bill provides ongoing funds for start-up grants for expanded access to public preschool programs for children 4 years of age.

L.D. 601 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Return the Normal Cost of Teacher Retirement to the State
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.

L.D. 591 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Allow Municipalities To Adopt Bus Traffic Ordinances
This bill allows municipalities to adopt local ordinances requiring vehicle operators to yield the right-of-way to a bus.

L.D. 582 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Provide for the Comprehensive Medical, Dental, Educational and Behavioral Assessment of Children Entering State Custody
This bill shortens the time requirement for the physical examination of a child ordered into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services from 10 days after the department's custody of the child commences to 3 days and allows a physician's assistant to conduct the examination. It also requires, within 60 days after the department's custody of a child commences, that the child receives an appointment for a comprehensive medical, dental, educational and mental health assessment by a licensed pediatrician and a licensed child psychologist and that reimbursement, including reimbursement for obtaining and reviewing relevant records, is provided under MaineCare for the assessment. The department is directed to adopt routine technical rules pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

L.D. 573 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
Resolve, To Audit Standardized Testing in Maine's Schools
This bill directs the Maine Education Policy Research Institute to conduct an audit of standardized testing in a random sample of school administrative units statewide for the purpose of understanding the amount, cost and usefulness of standardized testing. This bill requires the Maine Education Policy Research Institute no later than January 1, 2018 to issue a report with its findings and recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, which may report out a bill based upon the report to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

L.D. 571 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/15/17
An Act To Eliminate the 3 Percent Surcharge on Certain Income and Provide an Alternative Funding Source for the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to eliminate the 3% surcharge imposed on individual income over $200,000, which is imposed to fund the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education. Instead, this bill would supplant the revenue from the surcharge with 2 alternate sources:
  1. All of the revenue from the tax imposed on the sale of recreational marijuana products, except for the amount retained for training law enforcement personnel on marijuana-related laws and rules; and
  2. All surplus revenue generated by growth in the Maine economy up to the amount needed by the State to meet its obligation of funding 55% of public education from kindergarten to grade 12.

L.D. 554 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/17
An Act To Require Paid Parental Leave for Employees
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to require employers to create a parental leave policy to provide certain full-time employees who become parents through child birth or adoption with additional flexibility and time to be with their new children, adjust to new family situations and balance professional obligations. Employees who are eligible under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act would be entitled to paid parental leave, with certain exceptions and restrictions.

L.D. 528 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Create a Maine Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Studies Educational Component
This bill allows the study of race, ethnicity and culture in Maine to be taught in the State's elementary and secondary schools as a component of Maine studies.

L.D. 527 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Schools
This bill prohibits the imposition of corporal punishment in elementary and secondary schools and preschool programs. "Corporal punishment" means any form of discipline or punishment involving offensive physical contact with or inflicting physical pain or discomfort on a student. "Corporal punishment" does not include the use of physical restraint to protect the student or others from immediate harm.

L.D. 526 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Increase the State Share of the Cost of Health Insurance for Retired Teachers
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.

L.D. 513 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Eliminate the State Income Tax for Maine Public Employees Retirement System Pensions

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.

 

L.D. 507 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Establish Regional School Leadership Academies
This bill allows school administrative units to enter into collaborative agreements to establish regional school leadership academies that combine state and local programs and resources, including the preparation, licensure, certification, professional development and training for educational leadership, into a coherent system that can significantly improve the recruitment and preparation of prospective candidates for school principalship and other school leadership positions, as well as the induction, mentoring and retention of principals and school leaders during the first 2 years of employment in their school leadership positions.

L.D. 472 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act Regarding Parental Rights

This bill amends the law to stipulate that parents have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care of their minor children and prevents courts from limiting these fundamental parental rights unless the limitation is supported by a compelling state interest and narrowly tailored to serve that interest through the least restrictive means possible.

 

L.D. 468 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/08/17
An Act To Provide for a Later Starting Time for High Schools
This bill requires that, by September 1, 2019, each school administrative unit ensure that its secondary schools' school days start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and that extracurricular activities do not start after 7:30 p.m. on an evening immediately prior to a school day. A school administrative unit is required to provide a compliance plan. Units that do not provide a compliance plan face reductions in the state share of funding attributable to the cost of the components of essential programs and services.

L.D. 462 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/17
An Act To Require a Capstone Project as a Condition of High School Graduation
This bill requires all high school students to complete a capstone project in which the student must identify a problem, develop a solution to that problem and share that solution with the community.

L.D. 436 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Allow Intermediate Driver's License Holders To Drive between Midnight and 5:00 a.m. for School Activities
This bill allows a student at a secondary school holding an intermediate driver's license to operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. if the operation of the motor vehicle is required for a school-sanctioned activity.

L.D. 420 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Require Same-year State Valuations for Education Funding Purposes for Municipalities That Lose More Than 35 Percent of Their Tax Base
This bill changes the determination for property fiscal capacity as used to determine the amount of state aid a school administrative unit receives under the school funding formula if a municipality has experienced a decline in state valuation of at least 35% attributable to one taxpayer. Under this bill, the State Tax Assessor is required to certify to the Commissioner of Education when a municipality's state valuation has declined by at least 35% from the previous year's certified state valuation and the decline is due to the loss in value attributable to a single taxpayer. When those conditions have been met, the property fiscal capacity for that municipality is the most recently certified state valuation.

L.D. 412 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Require the Completion of Courses of Study in Home Economics and Industrial Arts Education Prior to Graduation from High School
This bill adds home economics and industrial arts to the list of courses required for a high school diploma and adds home economics and industrial arts to the areas of essential instruction in the system of learning results.

L.D. 409 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Amend the Laws Pertaining to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System
This bill makes the following changes to the laws governing the Maine Public Employees Retirement System:
  1. It replaces the term "physician" with "medical provider" and defines "medical provider" to include physicians and clinical psychologists, which permits clinical psychologists to be included in the composition of the medical board and for other medical consultations;
  2. It clarifies that the board member who represents participating local districts may be either an active or retired member.
  3. It clarifies the basis on which disability benefits for members of the Legislative Retirement Program are determined;
  4. It clarifies that any property owned by the retirement system is tax exempt;
  5. It gives the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over public employee retirement matters the authority to report out legislation as recommended by the board of trustees to improve the retirement system;
  6. It replaces obsolete language regarding the retirement system budgeting process;
  7. It corrects a reference to the legislative jurisdiction that pertains to matters relating to the retirement system;
  8. It clarifies the treatment of retirement system assets;
  9. It clarifies the disposition of funds appropriated to subsidize the purchase of military service credit for specific members who subsequently decline to purchase service credit or are able to purchase service credit without subsidy;
  10. It changes the manner in which disability retirement benefits are calculated for less than full-time members;
  11. It clarifies that assets of the group life insurance program may only be used for benefits for participants of employers for which the assets are attributable; and
  12. It removes obsolete language.

L.D. 404 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 115: Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the State Board of Education
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 115: Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel, a major substantive rule of the State Board of Education that was filed outside the legislative rule acceptance period.

L.D. 398 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Recognize Computer Science in the Path to Proficiency
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to ensure that schools are authorized and encouraged to consider courses taken by a student in computer science as demonstrating proficiency in science or mathematics, or both. Under this bill, the value of computer science coursework would be recognized as part of a student's path to proficiency.

L.D. 397 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act To Ensure the 3 Percent Tax on Incomes over $200,000 Is Distributed Proportionally Based on Student Counts
This bill provides that the supplemental revenue funds allocated to school administrative units by the Commissioner of Education from the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education must be distributed proportionally based on the average October and April pupil enrollment counts for that fiscal year. The bill requires that every school administrative unit receives the same amount of supplemental state revenue contribution funds per pupil regardless of the local cost share expectation calculated under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act. This bill also repeals the authorization for the Department of Education to use the fund for administrative costs.

L.D. 390 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/03/17
An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government, General Fund and Other Funds and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2019
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill as emergency legislation proposes to make unified appropriations and allocations for the expenditures of State Government, General Fund and other funds and change certain provisions of the law necessary to the proper operations of State Government for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2019, as submitted by the Governor pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5. The documents submitted by the Governor may be found here: http://legislature.maine.gov/documents/ros?aiv%5Bdocuments.title%5D=2018&tt=documents.

L.D. 380 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Implement the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act in Maine
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act in Maine.

L.D. 379 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Provide Stability and Continuity in the Department of Education
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to provide stability and continuity in the Department of Education by enacting measures designed to ensure the timely nomination of the Commissioner of Education and to discourage repeated appointments of acting commissioners.

L.D. 378 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Promote Physical Activity for Schoolchildren
This bill requires all school administrative units to provide at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity for all students in kindergarten to grade 5. The bill provides that a teacher may restrict a student from engaging in physical activity if the physical activity presents a danger to the student or others or if the restriction is consistent with the student's individualized education program.

L.D. 356 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Repeal Certain Requirements for Graduation from Secondary School
Under current law, in order to award to a student a diploma indicating graduation from secondary school, a school must certify that the student has demonstrated proficiency in each of the guiding principles set forth in rules adopted by the Department of Education. In accordance with rules adopted by the department, the guiding principles are measured using rubrics that assess and grade a student's proficiencies in being a clear and effective communicator, a self-directed and lifelong learner, a creative and practical problem solver, a responsible and involved citizen and an integrative and informed thinker. This bill repeals this requirement.

L.D. 355 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act Regarding Special Education Costs
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to increase the speed with which the State reimburses towns for unexpected spikes in special education costs.

L.D. 354 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Address the Shortage of School Administrative Professionals
This bill provides that limitations on conditions of restoration to service after retirement enacted in 2011 for state employees and teachers apply to school administrators. It also provides that, effective October 1, 2017, school administrators who have reached normal retirement age and who have retired after September 1, 2011 may be restored to service as school administrators for a maximum of 10 years: 5 years under one-year contracts with compensation set at 100% of the compensation established for the position and 5 years with compensation set at 75%.

L.D. 353 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/02/17
An Act To Reduce Absenteeism in Students from Kindergarten to Third Grade
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to direct the Department of Education to establish a program that provides incentives to parents or guardians of students in kindergarten to 3rd grade who are prone to absenteeism from school to encourage the parents or guardians to reduce or eliminate the absenteeism. The parent or guardian of a student who has been determined to have excessive absenteeism would be required to meet with a school administrator and social worker. Incentives may be offered, for example, cash rewards or gift cards to grocery stores. The program would be a public-private partnership, and the Department of Education would seek private or corporate partners to help provide or donate the incentives.

L.D. 337 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/01/17
An Act To Protect Jobs and the Maine Economy by Eliminating the 3% Income Tax Surcharge Imposed on Certain Mainers and the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
This bill repeals the provisions establishing the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education and the income tax surcharge of 3% imposed on taxable income of $200,000 or more, which is the source of revenue for the fund.

L.D. 334 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/01/17
An Act To Clarify the Uses of the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to amend the provisions of the Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education as enacted in Initiated Bill 2015, chapter 4 in order to clarify terminology and uses of the fund.

L.D. 333 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/01/17
An Act To Stabilize Maine's Educational Leadership and Vision
This bill changes the selection process for the position of Commissioner of Education. Instead of being appointed by the Governor, under this bill, the commissioner is selected by the State Board of Education in consultation with the Governor. The candidate selected by the State Board of Education would be subject to legislative review and confirmation.

L.D. 322 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act To Reintroduce Civics to High School Graduation Requirements
This bill requires secondary schools to provide instruction in civics as part of the requirements for graduation.

L.D. 321 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act To Enhance Safety on School Property
This bill creates the Class E crime of criminal trespass on school property if a person who is not authorized to be in or on school property enters or remains in or on the property that is posted. The bill also prohibits a person from staying on school property after being asked not to enter or being asked to leave the property by the principal, principal's designee, member of the school staff or law enforcement officer.

L.D. 301 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act To Protect Children from Marijuana Sales by Prohibiting Retail Marijuana Establishments and Social Clubs near Schools
This bill restricts the licensing authority of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry under the Marijuana Legalization Act by prohibiting the issuance of a license under that Act to operate a retail marijuana establishment or a retail marijuana social club that is to be located within 2,000 feet of the property line of a preexisting school.

L.D. 272 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act Requiring Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccinations for Teenagers
This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to adopt rules requiring that students 11 years of age or older and under 20 years of age receive meningococcal meningitis immunizations.

L.D. 266 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act Regarding Funding for Children's Behavioral Health Day Treatment
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to examine rates paid by the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and school administrative units for children's behavioral health day treatment and the survey and rate review process used to set these rates.

L.D. 256 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries
This bill changes the limit on the amount collected on prepaid wireless telecommunications service from a percentage to a flat amount. This bill also requires the Public Utilities Commission to convene a stakeholder group to evaluate and provide recommendations regarding the method of collection of funds to support telecommunications access at libraries and public schools. The commission is required to report to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology by January 30, 2018, and the committee is authorized to submit a bill based on the report.

L.D. 247 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/30/17
An Act To Amend the Retirement Laws Pertaining to Participating Local Districts
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.

L.D. 228 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/17
An Act To Amend the Mathematics Requirements for High School Graduation
This bill prohibits requiring the secondary course of study in schools from including an advanced algebra course and prohibits requiring students to achieve proficiency in advanced algebra. The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to amend the rules by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year requiring students to complete an advanced algebra course.

L.D. 181 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/17
An Act To Improve Teacher Preparation Programs
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. The purpose of this bill is to attract and retain new teachers in the State. This bill proposes to create incentives to attract students to teacher education programs in colleges and universities in the State and to retain those students to teach in schools in the State after graduation. The bill also proposes to identify components of effective teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities, including, but not limited to, educating teachers to use technology in the classroom in new ways. To encourage new teachers to stay in the State, the bill also proposes to establish a tuition reduction and loan repayment program for new teachers who teach in the State for 5 years after graduation.

L.D. 174 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/17
An Act To Limit the Use of Pesticides on School Grounds
This bill restricts the use of pesticides on school grounds. It allows their use only in situations that pose a health threat to a student or staff member, in response to the presence of animals or insects identified as a public health nuisance or on agricultural fields in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It permits their use on athletic fields when determined necessary by the school for the health and safety of the field and students. It 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 for new construction of school facilities.

L.D. 163 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/19/17
An Act To Strengthen the Enforcement of Maine's Labor Laws
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to strengthen the enforcement of Maine's laws governing labor and employment.

L.D. 158 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/19/17
An Act To Improve the Certification and Evaluation of New Educators and Administrators by Consolidating Standards
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to streamline the process for moving teachers and administrators from provisional certification to professional certification by including in that certification process elements of the locally adopted and state-approved evaluation system conducted by supervisory personnel that is used to evaluate and improve teacher and administrator performance. The local support system that includes the pairing of mentors with mentees and is commonly known as the professional learning community support system must remain distinctly separate from any evaluation by supervisory personnel.

L.D. 144 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/19/17
An Act To Create a Pilot Project To Reduce Substance Use Disorders among Youth in Piscataquis County To Be Used as a Model for All Maine Communities
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to establish a comprehensive, evidence-based pilot project in selected Piscataquis County communities and schools with the goal of reducing the harmful effects of substance use disorder and addiction. The pilot project will use best practices for screening high-risk children, early intervention and community and family support to prevent addiction and promote public health and safety. The pilot project must be administered by a local nonprofit entity with expertise in management and in the subject matter of the project. The bill provides funding for the planning and implementation of the pilot project, including, but not limited to, funding to:
  1. Employ one full-time person to lead and manage the implementation of the project;
  2. Engage outside consultants with expertise in planning, evaluation, training and technical assistance;
  3. Convene community partners to leverage local, state and federal resources;
  4. Train school staff and others working with priority populations;
  5. Screen and provide early intervention to children and families most at risk for substance use disorder and its related implications;
  6. Build school and community capacity to mitigate trauma and improve resilience; and
  7. Promote understanding of and decrease stigma surrounding substance use disorder.
The bill also provides funding for a professional evaluation of the pilot project and requires a report to the Legislature on the pilot project's effectiveness and ease of replication in other communities that are being affected by the opiate epidemic.

L.D. 143 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/19/17
An Act To Provide Funding for Upgrades of Learning Spaces and Other Projects Funded by the School Revolving Renovation Fund
This bill provides funds to be used to upgrade learning spaces in school buildings and for other necessary repairs approved by the Commissioner of Education.

L.D. 138 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/19/17
An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Sex Offender Registry
This bill requires a person to register on the registry of sex offenders maintained by the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of State Police, State Bureau of Identification when that person is a teacher, employee or other official having instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority who is convicted of a Class D or Class C offense of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact or unlawful sexual touching and the victim, regardless of the victim's age, is a student over whom that person has control. Class D sex offenses are considered Tier I offenses, requiring the offender to register for up to 10 years, and Class C sex offenses are considered Tier II offenses, requiring the offender to register for up to 25 years.

L.D. 129 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
An Act To Include Locally Funded School Construction Projects in the School Funding Formula
This bill amends the definition of debt service costs to include, for purposes of the school funding formula, the cost of locally funded major capital projects for school construction that are not approved by the State Board of Education.

L.D. 127 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age 20, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age 20, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

L.D. 122 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
An Act To Allow Schools To Operate Nonprofit Bingo Events for Children and Families
This bill allows elementary and secondary schools to operate beano or bingo games for the entertainment of and recreation for the schools' students and the students' families if the games are not for profit.

L.D. 96 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
An Act To Improve Attendance at Public Elementary Schools
This bill provides that a person 5 years of age or older who is enrolled in public day school is required to attend during the time it is in regular session. The bill provides that a person 5 years of age or older and under 7 years of age may withdraw from school at any time within the 45 days after enrollment and may withdraw from school after 45 days after enrollment after consultation with the school board or its designee. The bill provides that students who are at least 5 years of age and enrolled in a public day school are subject to the same provisions regarding truancy as students who are at least 7 years of age and have not completed grade 6 who are required to attend a public day school. The bill provides that a person 5 years of age or older and under 7 years of age is not required to meet the alternatives to attendance requirements set forth in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 5001-A, subsection 3.

L.D. 95 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
An Act To Provide a Method for a Student To Be Excused from Standardized Testing
This bill requires a school administrative unit to excuse a student from a standardized assessment at the written request of the student's parent or guardian and establishes requirements for school administrative units and the Department of Education related to excusing a student.

L.D. 94 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/17
An Act To Provide a Source of Funding for Drug Abuse Resistance Education
This bill requires that the funds generated by forfeited firearms that are auctioned to federally licensed firearms dealers or the public be used to fund educational programs taught by law enforcement officers that target prevention of substance abuse, violence or high-risk behavior and teach students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives. These educational programs are known as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

L.D. 86 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Protect Worker Wages and Benefits
Current law provides that an employee whose employment has ceased is entitled to earned wages from the employer, including unused vacation time when paid vacation was included in the terms of employment, upon a reasonable time after that employee makes a demand for such payment from the employer, and that the employee may bring a civil action against an employer that does not comply with this requirement. This bill eliminates the requirement that the employee make a demand for the earned compensation with the employer. Instead, earned wages must be paid by the employer within a reasonable amount of time after the cessation of employment, regardless of whether the employee has made a demand for the wages.

L.D. 79 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Career and Technical Student Organizations
This bill provides a sales tax exemption to nonprofit career and technical education student organizations recognized by the Department of Education.

L.D. 74 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Realign the State-Municipal Revenue Sharing Distribution
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to realign the percentage of revenue from the sales and use taxes, the service provider tax and the income taxes that is transferred monthly from the General Fund to the Local Government Fund under state-municipal revenue sharing.

L.D. 70 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Allow Municipal Governing Boards of 3 Members To Perform Official Duties via Technology
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to allow municipal governing boards of 3 members to perform official duties via technology, such as conducting meetings remotely.

L.D. 66 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Prohibit Public Employers from Acting as Collection Agents for Labor Unions
Current law allows a public employer to deduct service fees owed by an employee to a collective bargaining agent pursuant to a lawful collective bargaining agreement. This bill prohibits a public employer from collecting those fees or collecting member dues. This bill also eliminates language from the election statutes allowing a public employer to deduct dues or other funds from an employee's pay and remit those funds to the employee's collective bargaining agent.

L.D. 65 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Ensure the Right To Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment
This bill prohibits a person, either in the public or private sector, from being required to join a labor organization or pay any labor organization dues or fees as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, notwithstanding any state law to the contrary. A violation is a Class D crime and is also subject to civil damages and injunctive relief. The Attorney General is responsible for enforcement and is required to prosecute all violations.

L.D. 51 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act Regarding the Withdrawal of a Single Municipality from a Regional School Unit
This bill adds requirements to an agreement for withdrawal of a single municipality from a regional school unit. The additional requirements are a plan for providing child nutrition services and an anticipated budget for the first year of operation of schools operated by the petitioning municipality. The bill requires the directors of a regional school unit board to respond to a proposed agreement of a withdrawing municipality within 30 days. It also authorizes a withdrawing municipality to request the Commissioner of Education to provide assistance to the withdrawing municipality and the directors of the regional school unit board in negotiations relating to the withdrawal agreement.

L.D. 50 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Teacher Certification
This bill provides that a person who has not completed an approved educator preparation program is eligible for a provisional teacher certificate if that person has satisfactorily completed a criminal history record check and attained certification from a nonprofit organization that was founded with United States Department of Education funding and that developed a certification program designed for professionals who want to change careers.

L.D. 49 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine's Students
This bill requires the Department of Education to include the so-called Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten to grade 12 in the State's system of learning results and assessment and directs the Commissioner of Education to amend Department of Education rules on or before December 31, 2017 in order to include the science standards as part of the State's system of learning results and assessment beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

L.D. 48 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Provide for Fairness in the Transfer of Students
Current law provides no appeal for a student denied a request to transfer to a school administrative unit that does not operate a public school that includes the grade level of the student. This bill provides that the appeals process that applies to other transfer students applies to such a student and explicitly makes the law regarding transfers apply to a transfer involving a private school approved for tuition purposes pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 117, subchapter 2.

L.D. 47 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Equipment for Career and Technical Education Centers
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $40,000,000, will be used to provide funds to make capital improvements to and purchase equipment for career and technical education centers for high school students.

L.D. 43 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
Resolve, To Establish the Task Force To Study Higher Education Attainment and Completion Goals
This resolve establishes the Task Force To Study Higher Education Attainment and Completion Goals. The task force membership consists of Legislators, representatives of quasi-governmental and business entities, state agency commissioners and one member of the public. The task force's duties include examination and review in the areas of college completion, statewide postsecondary education attainment goals and metrics, college affordability and completion initiatives and college and university support of state policies and strategies to enable college completion and support workforce development. The task force is required to submit a report containing its findings and recommendations, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 15, 2017.

L.D. 40 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing for Schools
Current law requires schools that take drinking water from sources other than public water systems to have that water tested. This bill requires schools that take drinking water from public water systems to have the same tests performed on that water, except that school buildings less than 10 years old are exempt from this requirement. Under the bill, after receiving results of school water tests, the Department of Education must make the results available to the public. The Department of Health and Human Services must make test results from nursery schools available to the public.

L.D. 38 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Strengthen the Maine Children's Growth Council
This bill adds duties for the Maine Children's Growth Council. The bill requires the Maine Children's Growth Council to include additional information in the council's report to the Governor and certain legislative committees. It changes the reporting requirement from every 2 years to annually and includes the Legislative Council as a recipient of the report. The bill directs the Maine Children's Growth Council to develop an evaluation process and to periodically perform an evaluation of its effectiveness in performing its duties. The bill authorizes the Maine Children's Growth Council to receive staff assistance from the Child Development Services System and the Department of Health and Human Services.

L.D. 32 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/12/17
An Act To Increase the Size of Grants under the Maine State Grant Program
This bill increases the minimum grant amount under the Maine State Grant Program from $1,000 to $2,000, subject to the current grant amount modifications under the program.

L.D. 28 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/17
An Act To Allow Alternate Flashing Headlights on a School Bus
This bill allows a school bus to be equipped with a device that provides for alternate flashing of the school bus's headlights.

L.D. 27 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/17
An Act To Exempt Sales to Parent-Teacher Organizations from the Sales Tax
This bill provides a sales tax exemption to parent-teacher organizations organized as public benefit corporations.

L.D. 23 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/17
An Act To Provide for Legislative Review of Federally Mandated Major Substantive Rules under the Maine Administrative Procedure Act
This bill repeals the provision of law that exempts from legislative review major substantive rules that must be adopted to comply with federal law or to qualify for federal funds.

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Upcoming Events

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MSSA Annual Fall Meeting
October 25, 2017

44th Annual MSMA Fall Conference
October 26-27, 2017