Advocating for Maine's Children Since 1994

State House Bill Tracking

Maine State House - Photo Credit: Andrew Lachance

At the State House
Find out what’s happening at the State House!
(Photo Credit: Andrew Lachance)

During the Legislative Session, Maine lawmakers make a number of decisions that affect our children, youth and families almost every day. As citizens, advocates and champions for children, it is our responsibility to provide Legislators with as much information as possible so they can make the best decisions. The list below is designed to act as a resource to help you learn and track the status of some bills that affect Maine kids.

Disclaimer: We will do our best to update this information weekly but the best way to find out what is happening at the state house is to check out www.legislature.maine.gov. (Last updated 6.12.17)

ECE BILLS for 128TH LEGISLATURE As of February 5, 2018

LD#

TITLE; An act to . . .

* = Carried over from 2017

SPONSOR

CMTE

STATUS/COMMENT

166*

Increase reimbursement for child care services.

Sen Libby

HHS

 

Increases rate to 75th percentile of market rate. WS 2/14 10:00

230*

Increase Access to Head Start

Sen Millett

HHS

Passed House in ’17, carried over in Senate.

274*

Implement the Recommendations of the Working Group on Background Checks

Rep McReight

HHS

Was passed in ’17 as amended, but as amendments continued it was carried over.

383*

Increase Access to Child Care.

Sen Millett

HHS

Concept draft. WS 2/14 10:00

384*

Strengthen Children’s Mental Health

Sen Millett

HHS

Would require MaineCare to cover mental health treatment for children and meetings with parents without the child present if the meetings address goals of the treatment. WS 2/7 10:00

386

Establish Universal Health Care for Maine

Sen Gratwick

HHS

Hrng 2/3.

561*

Remove Requirement for Fingerprinting

Rep Sirocki

HHS

 

566*

Increase Access to Quality Child Care.

Sen Katz

HHS

Sets the reimbursement rate at 75th percentile. WS 2/14 10:00.

691*

Prevent Lead Poisoning in Children

Rep Golden

HHS

Would require the home visiting program to provide free home lead test kits to parents of young children living in homes built before 1978.

765*

Allow In-home Child Care Providers to Care for up to 5 Children w/o State Certification

Rep Espling

HHS

Changes threshold requiring certification as family child care provider from caring for 3 children to caring for 6 children. WS 2/14 10:00

902*

Resolve: Increase Access to Psycho-social treatment for children in MaineCare.

Rep Malaby

HHS

Would increase rates and add services covered. WS 1/31 voted OTP/AM.

999*

Provide a Healthy Learning Environment in Early Care Settings by Requiring Rules Concerning Nutrition and Physical Activity. CARRIED OVER

Rep Terry

HHS

Would require regs to meet USDA food Standards, that limit screen time, and require certain physical activity. WS 2/14 10:00.

1063*

Protect Substance-exposed Infants.

Rep Hamman

HHS

Would enhance protections for substance- exposed infants, including prevention, intervention, identification of risk and treatment of prenatal substance exposure. WS 1/11; tabled

1148*

Safeguard the rights of Private Child Care Businesses.

Rep Sirocki

HHS

Provides that the State may not prohibit expulsion or compel attendance of a child at an independently operated, privately owned child care facility except to remedy unlawful discrimination under the Maine Human Rights Act. WS 2/14 10:00.

1177*

Create an Appeals Process for Child Care Providers.

Sen Volk

HHS

Establishes the Child Care Appeal Review Panel to review disputes related to licensing and certification of child care facilities, family child care providers and nursery schools. WS 2/14 10:00.

1374*

Resolve: Directs DHHS to assess and improve Access to Child Care.

 

HHS

Directs DHHS to restore consistent scheduled meetings of the Child Care Advisory Council, to contract with a 3rd party to assess the availability of child care in the State, to engage in cost modeling to determine the cost of child care, and to develop a system to support child care providers and parents. WS 2/14 10:00.

1423*

Amend Certain Laws Governing Child Care Providers.

Sen Libby

HHS

 

Expands licenses to 5 years; limits complaint investigations to the complaints; allows employment while awaiting background check; adds flexibility to ratios; eliminates notifying DHHS of change of Director; gives fee refund to those not obtaining a license. WS 2/14 10:00.

1474*

Reduce the Regulation of Child Care Facilities

Rep Espling

HHS

Would change allowable ratios, payments by parents, inspection protocols, and other aspects of care. WS 2/14 10:00.

1661

Resolve: to review portions of Chapter 33; Rule relating to Licensing of Family Child Care

Rep Hymanson

HHS

Would have the HHS committee review the major substantive portions of Chapter 33, which made significant changes to ratios and other aspects of the Rule. WS 2/14 10:00.

1676

Reestablish the Office of Advocacy within the DHHS

Rep Denno

HHS

Reestablishes the Office of Advocacy, abolished in 2011, in DHHS as an internal agency to protect the interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. Hrng 1/31.

1710

Restore Maine’s School-based Health Centers

Rep Handy

HHS

WS 2/1;voted 8-3 OTP to provide $1.2M to restore clinics for one year.

1748

Regarding Rules Governing Family Child Care Providers

Sen Millett

HHS

Would counter some of the changes made in Chapter 33, including ratios and age classifications. WS 2/14 10:00.

1771

Stabilize Vulnerable Families

Sen Volk

HHS

Would encourage the prioritization of families for subsidized housing and other services. Hearing 2/8 1:00.

1774

Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families for Tomorrow

Rep Gideon

HHS

Would establish two training programs for low-income families using SNAP and TANF funds. Hrg 2/14 3:00.

NA

Briefing: Task Force to Identify Special Ed Cost Drivers and Innovative Approaches to Services

 

EDU

Briefing 2/1.

1684

Forbid Food Shaming, Food Denial and the Use of Food as Discipline Involving Any Child in Maine's Public Schools

Sen Maker

EDU

Would require a public schools providing free and reduced-price meals to provide meals to students who request the meal and is otherwise eligible for the meal regardless of the student's inability to pay or failure in the past to pay for school meals. It also requires the school to take certain actions to assist the parent or guardian of a student who requests such a meal. WS 1/25; divided report

1187*

Amend the Child Protective Services Statute

Rep Malaby

JUD

Would change the standard for child placement, strengthen parents’ rights, revise use of protection orders, and add a reporting requirement. Voted 2/1 OTP/AM

1758

Strengthen Maine Families with Children by Changing Income Tax Laws

Rep Fredette

TAX

Would double earned income tax credit to 10% of the federal earned income credit; enacts a new child tax credit in an amount equal to the federal child tax credit; up to $1,000 for each qualifying child the taxpayer supports during the tax year. Hrng 1/22.