Committee Subject Areas

Following is a brief description of topics generally referred to each committee:

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Department of Agriculture; agricultural marketing; animal welfare; food inspection; dairy industry; pesticides regulation; soil and water conservation; farmland preservation; harness racing; public access to lands; forest practices; fire control and forest management, marketing and utilization; Department of Conservation, including state parks, memorials and historic sites, public lands and coastal islands registry, Maine Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC); Baxter State Park Authority and geological surveying and mapping.

Appropriations and Financial Affairs. General Fund budget; federal funds allocations; special revenue and block grant allocations; Rainy Day Fund; unappropriated surplus; bond issues; collective bargaining funding; review of revenue estimates; performance-based and zero-based budgeting; general fiscal policy; and financial evaluation of agencies of State Government.

Banking and Insurance. Banking; financial institutions; credit unions; consumer credit; Uniform Consumer Credit Code; Bureau of Banking; Officer of Consumer Credit Regulation; securities; Bureau of Insurance; credit, automobile, life, property and casualty insurance; health insurance; health maintenance organizations; mandated health benefits; insurance rating, regulation and practices; agents and brokers; licensing; Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company; self-insurance; and workers' compensation.

Business and Economic Development. Corporations; business practices (auto and fuel sales); professional and occupational licensing; retail pricing; franchising; advertising; returnable containers; real estate; insulation; credit law (business related); consumer protection; Maine State Housing Authority; affordable housing; homelessness; Finance Authority of Maine (FAME); economic planning and development agencies; venture capital and trade programs; opportunity zones; import competition; product marketing; public services; technology transfers (Maine Science and Technology Foundation); tourism; and defense facility conversion.

Criminal Justice. Criminal law; law enforcement; Department of Public Safety; Criminal Justice Academy; victims' rights; corrections system; intensive supervision; probation and parole; county jails; adult and juvenile corrections; community corrections; Criminal Justice Commission; Department of Corrections; operating under the influence; fire safety and arson; firearms; private investigators; and security guards.

Education and Cultural Affairs. State Board and Department of Education; University of Maine System; Maine Technical College System; elementary and secondary schools; teachers; vocational and special education; State Library and Museum; curriculum, including gifted and talented programs; and school funding, including the funding of educational services at the Maine Youth Center.

Fisheries and Wildlife. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; hunting; fishing; trapping; recreational and hunter safety; fisheries and wildlife research; fish hatcheries; wardens; licensing; ATVs; snowmobiles; boat registration; and white water rafting.

Health and Human Services. Department of Human Services and Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services; public health and disease control; smoking; medical (hospitals, health care); social and rehabilitation services; substance abuse; mental health; public assistance; nursing and boarding homes; and elderly and aging.

Judiciary. Courts; civil and property law; probate; family law; guardianship; child support; adoptions; legal services; trustees; attorneys; errors and inconsistencies in laws; judges; Attorney General; Uniform Commercial Code; human rights; civil rights; Indian land claims; and child protection.

Labor. Wage and hour laws; employment security; job service; unemployment compensation; workers' compensation; labor relations; collective bargaining; workers' health and safety; job training; retirement eligibility and benefits for state and municipal employees, including teachers; and judicial and legislative retirement systems.

Legal and Veterans Affairs. Claims against the State; liquor; lottery; gambling; games of chance (beano, fairs, raffles, machines); off-track betting; nonprofit corporations; elections; campaign financing; voter registration; governmental ethics; lobbyist registration; landlord-tenant; veterans' programs; Department of Defense and Veterans Services; sale and furnishing of cigarettes to minors; and National Guard.

Marine Resources. Department of Marine Resources; commercial marine fisheries management, licensing and enforcement; processing and sale of marine fish and shellfish; aquaculture; and anadromous fish.

Natural Resources. Air and water quality; natural resource protection; site location, shoreland zoning, subdivisions, and growth management; management and disposal of solid, hazardous, biomedical and special wastes; hydropower and dams; energy facility siting; waste-to-energy facilities; mining; and general environmental policy, including oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection.

State and Local Government. State contracts and fiscal procedures; state government organization; oversight of state officials; state personnel and property; administrative procedures; boards and commissions; capitol area planning; constitutional amendments; county and regional government; Legislature; and municipal and local government.

Taxation. Bureau of Taxation; taxes; tax exemptions and credits; Maine Residents Property Tax Program; property valuation and assessment; tax increment financing; municipal revenue sharing; and unorganized territories and tree growth tax issues.

Transportation. Department of Transportation; Maine Turnpike Authority; Highway Fund; transportation policy; aeronautics; highway and bridge construction and maintenance; highway safety; waterways; railroads; and motor vehicles.

Utilities and Energy. Public Utilities Commission; Public Advocate; regulated public utilities (electric, gas, water and telephone); electric industry restructuring; telecommunications; cable television; water, sewer and utility district charters; nonutility power generation (power purchase contracts); energy efficiency and conservation; alternate energy sources; nuclear power; energy policy; and energy production and transmission.

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