MSBA Legislative Update 01-02-09
MAINE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY WEEKLY REPORT
January 2, 2009
The 124th Legislature will reconvene on January 7, 2009, to start its slate of work for its first regular session. Even before the Legislature meets on the 7th, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee will start public hearings on the Governor's Supplemental Budget to close the approximately $140 million gap in the current FY2009 budget. The Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings throughout the week of January 5, and a link to the budget schedule with the specific departments and agencies may be found at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/schedule_agendas/PublicHearing-010509.htm.
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEES
The membership of the Joint Standing Committees has been established. Click here for a copy of the committee membership list. The Legislature will be in full session for only one day next week, so only the Appropriations Committee is expected to meet. I anticipate that committees will start organizational meetings the week of January 12.
The Appropriations Committee will spend considerable time during January to review the issues pertaining to the FY2009 Supplemental Budget in hopes of reporting out its recommendations on how to close the $140 million gap as soon as possible.
Other events include the submission by Gov. Baldacci of the next biennial budget, which is expected to be released on January 9. Currently, the state deficit for the biennial budget period is at least $400 million and increasing. The Governor has indicated that his budget will contain a number of consolidation, streamlining, and efficiency measures to reduce the size of state government, and help prepare the state for the future.
Legislators are also required to submit proposed legislation by January 16, 2009. This cloture date is the latest that many can remember, and though it is hoped the extra time will allow legislators to become more efficient in legislative submissions, many expect the actual affect will be to have bills introduced later in the session, with ultimate action on most proposals toward the latter part of the first regular session.
Only a very few bills have been formally introduced to date (LDís 1-45) which we have reviewed and highlighted those of possible interest to you. Click here for your Legislative Database.
Click here for a text document of this report.
As always, please donít hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:
Pattie Aho at 207-622-6311 or email@example.com