Maine LD 681: An Act To Increase the Effectiveness of the Legislature

LD 681 (subjects: LEGISLATURE , ADMINISTRATION )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=681&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text & Amendments | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Mark Eves of North Berwick: (D – District 6) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook

9 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
3/3/2015 House Committee on State and Local Government suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
3/5/2015 Senate On motion by Senator Willette of Aroostook, REFERRED to the Committee on State and Local Government, in concurrence.
4/28/2015 House CONSENT CALENDAR – FIRST DAY
4/29/2015 House Committee on Bills in the Second Reading Reports no further verbal amendments necessary Representative McLEAN of Gorham, Chair, House of Representatives Report Accepted.
CONSENT CALENDAR – SECOND DAY.
The Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (H-93).
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
4/30/2015 Senate Report READ and ACCEPTED , in concurrence.
READ ONCE
Committee Amendment “A” (H-93) READ and ADOPTED , in concurrence.
ASSIGNED FOR SECOND READING NEXT LEGISLATIVE DAY.
5/5/2015 Senate COMMITTEE ON BILLS IN THE SECOND READING REPORTS NO FURTHER VERBAL AMENDMENTS NECESSARY, Senator Saviello, Senate Chair. REPORT ACCEPTED.
READ A SECOND TIME and PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED AS AMENDED BY Committee Amendment “A” (H-93), in concurrence.
Ordered sent down forthwith.
5/7/2015 House PASSED TO BE ENACTED.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
5/12/2015 Senate PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

Bill Text & Amendments

Important Note: The bill text below presents L.D. 681 as originally introduced. L.D. 681 was changed by the legislature through amendment. To understand the impact of this legislation in proper context, be sure to read adopted amendment text, available here: C-A (H-93) .

An Act To Increase the Effectiveness of the Legislature

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 3 MRSA 161, as amended by PL 1979, c. 127, 5, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

161. Legislative Council

1. Establishment; membership. The Legislative Council, consisting of 10 members, 5 of whom are members of the Senate and 5 of whom are members of the House of Representatives, is established. The members of the Legislative Council are:

A. The President of the Senate;
B. The Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
C. The majority and minority leaders and assistant leaders of the 2 political parties with the greatest number of members in each body.

Only a person who holds an office specified in paragraph A, B or C may be a member of the Legislative Council and is a member only during the term of the Legislature in which that office is held. The Legislative Council shall elect a chair from within its own membership.

The Legislative Council shall exercise such powers and duties as may be delegated by law or by rule of the Legislature. Any action by the Legislative Council requires the affirmative votes of a majority of the members.

The Legislative Council shall meet at least once monthly when the Legislature is not in session, unless the chair determines that a meeting is not necessary, and at such other times as the membership or the chair determines necessary.

Sec. 2. 3 MRSA 162, sub- 6, as amended by PL 1985, c. 501, Pt. B, 2, is further amended to read:

6. Appointment of directors and office directors. To By a vote of no fewer than 8 members, to appoint an Executive Director of the Legislative Council, a State Law Librarian and such other office directors as the council deems considers necessary. Each director shall must be chosen without reference to party affiliations and solely on the grounds of fitness to perform the duties of his the office ; each to be appointed for a term of 3 years from the date of his appointment. Reappointment shall be based on performance in the office and shall be considered in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Legislative Council; . The Executive Director, the State Law Librarian and the office directors appointed pursuant to this subsection serve at the pleasure of the Legislative Council and may be removed from office only by a vote of no fewer than 8 members of the Legislative Council.

Sec. 3. 3 MRSA 162, sub- 6-A, as corrected by RR 1997, c. 2, 4, is repealed.

Sec. 4. 3 MRSA 163, sub- 2, as amended by PL 1985, c. 501, Pt. B, 4, is further amended to read:

2. Supervision. To assign coordinate, direct and supervise oversee, subject to the control of the council Legislative Council, the activities of the nonpartisan legislative staff offices and to direct and supervise the administrative functions of legislative staff offices in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Legislative Council. The Executive Director shall have no does not have any supervisory authority with respect to any persons employed pursuant to chapter 1 or section 168 of this title;

Sec. 5. 3 MRSA 163, sub- 2-A, as amended by PL 1985, c. 785, Pt. B, 4, is further amended to read:

2-A. Appointment of nonpartisan legislative staff. To appoint, upon recommendation of the appropriate office director and subject to the approval of the Legislative Council and in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the council, qualified persons to nonpartisan legislative staff positions based solely on their ability to perform their duties and without regard to party affiliation. The general duties and compensation of these positions shall must be established under the direction of the council and in accordance with organizational and performance objectives established by the council. These nonpartisan legislative staff positions shall be are unclassified and not subject to the civil service law.

Sec. 6. 3 MRSA 163-A, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 501, Pt. B, 5 and amended by PL 1987, c. 816, Pt. KK, 2, is further amended to read:

163-A. Nonpartisan legislative staff services

Legislative Nonpartisan legislative staff shall provide the following services under the direction of the Executive Director:

1. Bill drafting. To furnish to the members of the Legislature the assistance of expert draftsman drafters qualified to aid the Legislature in the preparation of bills for introduction into the Legislature;
2. Revision. Upon request, to assist any agency appointed to revise the statutes of the State or any portion of the statutes and, at the direction of such agency, to consolidate, revise and clarify the statutes of the State;
2-A. Engrossing. To engross all bills passed by the Legislature;
3. Session laws. To prepare and index for printing as promptly as possible, after the adjournment of each session, the session laws, which compilation shall include includes all Acts and resolves which that the Legislature has adopted during the session and which that have received the approval of the Governor, when such approval is necessary, and any other material of a general nature that the Executive Director may determine;
4. Copy of public laws. After each session of the Legislature, to cause the public laws enacted at that session to be printed on good paper and in suitable type and to distribute the same within the State to all citizens making a request for those laws;
5. Pocket supplements. After each session of the Legislature, to cause to be published cumulative pocket supplements of the volumes of the Revised Statutes, and any replacement or recompiled volumes, which shall must contain an accurate transcription of all public laws, the material contained in the next preceding pocket supplement, complete and accurate annotations to the statutes, appendix and other material accumulated since the publication of the next preceding pocket supplement and a cumulative index of that material;
6. Continuing revision. After each session of the Legislature, to prepare a report inserting in their proper places in the Revised Statutes public laws enacted since the last revision of the statutes and, after each subsequent session of the Legislature, to prepare a report supplementing the report so that those reports and supplements shall form the basis of the next revision of the statutes;
7. Committee assistance. To provide research, analysis and bill drafting assistance for joint standing or select committees, including, but not limited to, the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, the Joint Standing Committee on Audit and Program Review joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs and other legislative agencies;
8. Reports and legislation. To prepare narrative reports on matters referred to joint standing committees for review or study and prepare legislation to be introduced pursuant to those reports;
9. Research services. To provide a comprehensive research service for Legislators, legislative joint standing or select committees and commissions and the Legislative Council;
10. Collection of fiscal information. To collect and assemble factual information concerning the fiscal affairs of the State for the use of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs of the Legislature joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs in formulating its proposals for appropriations and to collect and assemble fiscal information concerning other revenue funds for the use of any joint standing committee in formulating proposals for allocation acts;
11. Appropriation requests. To examine all requests for appropriations made by the various agencies of State Government and attend any hearings necessary to obtain complete information;
12. Statement of cost. To prepare statements pertaining to the existence of cost or the amount of cost to municipalities or counties for implementing or complying with a proposed law. The statement of cost shall be is made within the limits of information provided to the office designated by the Legislative Council as having responsibility for financial analysis. The statements shall must be furnished to the appropriate committee for the information of its members and for inclusion in bills which that receive an ought to pass report when reported by the committee. A statement shall is not be necessary for any bill which that has no cost to municipalities or counties; and
13. Other duties. To undertake such other duties as are assigned by the Executive Director.

Sec. 7. 5 MRSA 21, sub- 2, as amended by PL 1985, c. 737, Pt. B, 5, is further amended to read:

2. Nonpartisan staff. “Nonpartisan staff” means the directors and staffs of the Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, the Office of Fiscal and Program Review, the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, the Legislative Information Office , the Law and Legislative Reference Library, the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, the Office of Legislative Information Technology and the Office of the Executive Director of the Legislative Council.

Sec. 8. 5 MRSA 1817, as amended by PL 1985, c. 737, Pt. B, 11, is further amended to read:

1817. Printing of laws

When the Revisor of Statutes shall have has prepared material for a revision of the entire statutes or for a volume containing the laws passed at a session of the Legislature with accompanying material of the State, he the revisor shall deliver the same revision prepared for printing to the State Purchasing Agent , who shall contract for the printing, binding and delivery to the State of a sufficient number of volumes to meet the needs of the State and for sale as provided.

Sec. 9. 5 MRSA 4594-D, sub- 11, as enacted by PL 1989, c. 795, is repealed.

Sec. 10. 5 MRSA 12023, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 616, Pt. A, 1, is amended to read:

12023. Reports to the Legislature

1. Adoption and implementation. By February 1, 2013, a governing body shall submit a report to the Legislature on the adoption and implementation status of written policies and procedures required by section 12022 and describing the measures the governing body intends to use to monitor compliance with those policies and procedures. The report must be submitted to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council in a manner established by the executive director, who shall refer forward it to the appropriate joint standing committee or committees of the Legislature for review.
2. Ongoing reports. By February 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, a governing body shall submit a report to the Legislature containing the following information:

A. A list of all procurements exceeding $10,000 in the preceding year for which competitive procurement was waived under the policies adopted pursuant to section 12022, subsection 3, including procurements exceeding $10,000 that were made under contracts previously entered into for which competitive procurement was not required. The list must include the names of the vendors and costs associated with those procurements;
B. A list of all persons to which the entity made contributions greater than $1,000 in the preceding year and the total amount contributed to each; and
C. A description of changes made in the preceding year to the written policies and procedures required by section 12022 or to the procedures used by the governing body to monitor compliance with those policies and procedures.

For the purpose of this subsection, “the preceding year” means either the most recent January 1st to December 31st budget cycle or the most recent July 1st to June 30th budget cycle, depending on the fiscal year that the entity uses.

Reports to the Legislature required by this subsection must be submitted to the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate and the Executive Director of the Legislative Council in a manner determined by the Executive Director of the Legislative Council. The Executive Director of the Legislative Council shall refer forward each report to the appropriate joint standing committee or committees of the Legislature.

Sec. 11. Transition. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 162, subsection 6, this Part may not be construed to affect the term of a person appointed to a 3-year term as the Executive Director of the Legislative Council, the State Law Librarian or a director of a nonpartisan staff office before October 1, 2015.

SUMMARY

This bill makes changes to the statutes governing the Legislature.

It clarifies that the floor leaders and assistants are from the 2 political parties with the greatest number of members in each body. It also removes the current requirement that the Legislative Council meet at least monthly when the Legislature is not in session. Instead, this bill allows the chair of the Legislative Council to cancel a meeting when the Legislature is not in session if the chair determines that a meeting is not necessary. It retains the ability of the chair of the Legislative Council or the membership of the Legislative Council to call a meeting.

Current law provides that the Executive Director of the Legislative Council, the State Law Librarian and other nonpartisan office directors appointed by the Legislative Council are appointed to 3-year terms and that reappointment “shall be based on performance in the office”; that language is open to different interpretations. The bill removes the element of the 3-year term and specifies that the executive director, the State Law Librarian and other nonpartisan office directors serve at the pleasure of the Legislative Council. It also specifies that both the appointment and the removal of the executive director, the State Law Librarian and other nonpartisan office directors must be by a vote of no fewer than 8 members of the Legislative Council.

It repeals a transition section for persons holding certain named positions in legislative staff offices in 1985 that no longer exist, making the law unnecessary.

It specifies that the executive director coordinates the activities of the nonpartisan legislative staff offices.

Current law specifies that a duty of the executive director is to appoint nonpartisan legislative staff; by delegating the authority to officially appoint staff, the Legislative Council is not itself required to officially appoint each staff member. The bill specifies that the appointments must be done in conformity with the policies adopted by the Legislative Council and further specifies that the appointing authority of the executive director applies only to nonpartisan legislative staff.

Although the term “legislative staff” is used a number of times in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, chapter 7, the term is not defined to indicate that it is limited to nonpartisan legislative staff when describing the duties of the nonpartisan staff offices and the executive director. The bill corrects that.

It removes outdated and duplicative language regarding the updating of the Maine Revised Statutes, which is already required by the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, section 92.

It removes a reference to a committee that no longer exists and standardizes the reference to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs.

It specifies that the directors and staff of the Law and Legislative Reference Library, the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability and the Office of Legislative Information Technology are subject to the same restrictions regarding testifying before legislative committees as the members of the other nonpartisan staff offices of the Legislature.

It removes outdated language regarding the printing of the Laws of the State of Maine, also referred to as the session laws, but retains and clarifies the language regarding a revision of the entire Maine Revised Statutes.

It removes an outdated provision regarding reporting by the Maine Human Rights Commission.

It changes the wording of the statutes regarding the receipt by the executive director of reports from boards and commissions to clarify that the executive director merely forwards the report to the appropriate joint standing committee, instead of referring it, since “refer” has a specific meaning in the Legislature.

It specifies that the term of a person appointed to a 3-year term as the executive director, the State Law Librarian or a director of a nonpartisan staff office of the Legislature before October 1, 2015 is not affected by the bill’s removal of that specified term.

It makes other nonsubstantive changes to grammar and format.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 681 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
The Open Maine Politics website is in a beta release and results should not be taken as definitive. Please visit the official website of the Maine State Legislature for entirely verifiable information.

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