Bill briefs: A quick rundown of the tri-county delegation bill highlights

Here is a list of highlights from bills 426 through 525 sponsored by tri-county lawmakers.

* Rep. Michael Carey, D-Lewiston, has a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to match inflation, or the consumer price index. The proposal is opposed by several trade groups and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, all of which argue that the economy is too fragile to withstand a wage increase. Carey said he submitted the bill because the minimum wage should increase along with the cost of essential goods.

The Legislature's Labor Committee heard LD 457 last week. A committee vote on the bill has not been scheduled.

* Rep. Stephen Wood, R-Sabattus, wants to amend the state's bear hunting and trapping laws. Wood's LD 468 would push back by one week the open season for bear hunting with dogs; prohibit trapping on another person's land without written permission; prohibit dog training on bears seven days before the start of the hunting period; and increase the bag limit to two bears by allowing a hunter to kill one bear by trapping and one by shooting.

No public hearing has been scheduled.

* Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake, R-Turner, has a bill that would require the Department of Transportation to place directional signs to Hebron Academy on the closest southbound and northbound exits of Interstate 95. Hebron Academy would pay for the signs.

The transportation committee voted to pass LD 483 on March 11. It will now go for a vote in the House of Representatives.

* Timberlake also has a bill that would allow hay bales and corn stalks to be burned in outdoor wood boilers. The natural resources committee voted not to pass LD 484, but the vote produced a divided report, which means the bill still has a chance in the House.

* Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, wants to exempt active duty military servicemen from paying state income tax. The fiscal impact of the bill has not been determined.

LD 489 has already had a public hearing. The taxation committee will vote on the proposal on Tuesday.

* Timberlake, who lists his occupation as a farmer, wants to exempt family farms from Maine's estate tax. LD 490 is scheduled for a Monday public hearing.

* Rep. Jarrod Crockett, R-Bethel, has a bill that would allow male citizens and immigrants to register with the military's Selective Service System when applying for a driver's license.

LD 501 is scheduled for a March 31 public hearing.

* Rep. Matthew Peterson, D-Rumford, has a bill that would repeal provisions authorizing the commissioner of the Department of Education to require school districts to report student Social Security numbers.

No public hearing has been scheduled for LD 506.

* Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello, R-Poland, is sponsoring a bill that would exempt shellfish processing facilities from testing and reporting requirements and discharge limits concerning arsenic.

The bill is slated for public hearing Wednesday.

* Snowe-Mello also wants the state to study the law that revokes a driver's license for individuals who don't pay child support. The study commission would report back later this year. 

LD 511  is scheduled for a March 31 public hearing.

* Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, is sponsoring a resolution to amend the Maine Constitution to change the current amortization schedule of unfunded liabilities in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System from a fixed 31-year schedule to a so-called open, or rolling, 25-year schedule.

A public hearing hasn't been scheduled for LD 513.

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I think Lois Snow-Mello is working with the fishermen.Also,how do people pay their child support if they can't get to work? Gotta look at the WHOLE picture...


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