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August 28, 2002
as posted in 5 daily Maine newspapers

NOTICE OF STATE RULE-MAKING

Public Input for Proposed and Adopted Rules

Notices are published each Wednesday to alert the public regarding state agency rule-making. You may obtain a copy of any rule by notifying the agency contact person. You may also comment on the rule, and/or attend the public hearing. If no hearing is scheduled, you may request one -- the agency may then schedule a hearing, and must do so if 5 or more persons request it. If you are disabled or need special services to attend a hearing, please notify the agency contact person at least 7 days prior to it. Petitions: you can petition an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal any rule; the agency must provide you with petition forms, and must respond to your petition within 60 days. The agency must enter rule-making if the petition is signed by 150 or more registered voters, and may begin rule-making if there are fewer. You can also petition the Legislature to review a rule; the Executive Director of the Legislative Council (115 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333, phone 207/287-1615) will provide you with the necessary petition forms. The appropriate legislative committee will review a rule upon receipt of a petition from 100 or more registered voters, or from "...any person who may be directly, substantially and adversely affected by the application of a rule..." (Title 5 Section 11112). World-Wide Web: Copies of the weekly notices and the full texts of adopted rule chapters may be found on the World-Wide Web at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rcn/apa/.


PROPOSALS

AGENCY: 10-144 - Department of Human Services, Bureau of Family Independence
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 301, Food Stamp Manual - Annual Increase in Income Limits and Maximum Allotments, Standard Deduction, Excess Shelter Deduction, Asset Limits, Legal Immigrants, Court Ordered Child Support Payments, FSUA and Proration of the FSUA
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P216
CONCISE SUMMARY: On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed Public Law 107-171, which included the Food Stamp Program reauthorization. A number of changes affect the Food Stamp Program. This proposed rule makes those changes that are mandatory and are to be in effect as of October 1, 2002. This rule also makes the annual changes in income levels and maximum allotment levels. The mandatory changes are: the standard deduction amount, which has been $134 for all households, will now be based upon 8.31 percent of the applicable net income limit based on household size. No household will receive an amount less than the current deduction or more than the standard deduction for a household of six. The asset limit for households with a disabled member will increase to $3000 to be the same as the limit for households with an elderly member. Legal immigrants who are qualified for the program will now be eligible for federally funded benefits, instead of state funded benefits, if they are receiving blind or disability benefits. In addition to the mandatory rules, this rule incorporates some optional changes. These include: Court ordered child support payments will now be treated as income exclusions rather than income deductions meaning the amount of these payments will not be included in the gross income test and households with heating/cooling costs separate from their rent or mortgage will need to have the full utility standard of $401 a month and no longer an option of using actual expenses. By doing so, all households that share the heating/cooling costs will be eligible for the full standard. Currently, households that share these costs also share the standard.
THIS RULE WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 22 MRSA 3104
PUBLIC HEARING: None scheduled unless requested by 5 or more people.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 26, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Richard Morrow, Food Stamp Program Manager
AGENCY NAME: Department of Human Services, Bureau of Family Independence
ADDRESS: 11 State House Station, Whitten Road, Augusta ME 04333-0011
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-5093
TTY: (207) 287-6948


AGENCY: 10-144 - Department of Human Services, Bureau of Family Independence
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 332, Maine Medicaid Eligibility Manual - State Supplement to Residents of Cost Reimbursed Boarding Homes and Adult Family Care Homes
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P217
CONCISE SUMMARY: This rule increases the maximum State Supplement payment to residents of Cost Reimbursed Boarding Homes effective October 1, 2002. The maximum payment will change from $219 to $234 for an individual.
THIS RULE WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 22 MRSA 3173
PUBLIC HEARING: None scheduled unless requested by 5 or more people.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 26, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Barbara Feltes, Medicaid Program Manager
AGENCY NAME: Department of Human Services
ADDRESS: Bureau of Family Independence, 11 State House Station, Whitten Road, Augusta ME 04333-0011
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-5088
TTY: (207) 287-6948 (Deaf/Hard of Hearing)


AGENCY: 04-059 - Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands, Off Road Vehicle Division

RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 8, Amendment to Rules and Regulations for the Snowmobile Club Trail Maintenance Grant in Aid Program
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P218
CONCISE SUMMARY: The amendment will provide concise definitions and procedures to the Snowmobile Club Trail Maintenance Grant in Aid Program. This amendment will also remove the language of the Capital Equipment grant programs so that the Capital Equipment Grant will be an independent grant from the Snowmobile Club Trail Maintenance Grant.
* Provides changes and corrections to the existing rule governing the grants from the Snowmobile Trail Fund to snowmobile clubs.
* Increases the amount of money clubs are eligible to receive
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Scott Ramsay/Tim Russell
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-4956

RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 9, Rules and Regulations for the Snowmobile Capital Equipment Grant in Aid Program
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P219
CONCISE SUMMARY: The Rules for the Snowmobile Capital Equipment Grant Program are being promulgated to:
* establish independent rules and guidelines for the purpose of snowmobile clubs or political subdivisions to receive a grant for purchased snowmobile grooming equipment. Previously, the rules for the Capital Equipment Grant Program were a part of the Snowmobile Trail Maintenance Grant Program.
* Rephrase certain rules to increase clarity and eliminate redundancy;
* Reorganize rules to provide a more logical grouping by subject.
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Scott Ramsay/Karen B. Morgan
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-4957

THESE RULES WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 12 MRSA Ch. 715
PUBLIC HEARING: September 18, 2002; 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Bangor, Augusta, Presque Isle (U of M ITV Locations)
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 28, 2002
AGENCY NAME: Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands, Off Road Vehicle Division
ADDRESS: 286 Water Street Key Tower 5th Floor, Augusta, ME 04330


AGENCY: 01-001 - Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 346, Rules Governing Meat and Poultry Inspection and Licensing
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P220
CONCISE SUMMARY: These Rules are being proposed to implement a Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection Program; to establish inspection and licensing standards to safeguard public health and assure consumers safe food that is unadulterated and honestly presented. The adoption of these Rules is required to obtain approval of the State Inspection Program by the United States Department of Agriculture.
THIS RULE WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 22 MRSA, Ch. 562-A
PUBLIC HEARING: September 16, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. at the Department's Agricultural Shop which is located at 333 Cony Road, Augusta, Maine
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 27, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: David Gagnon
AGENCY NAME: Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
ADDRESS: 28 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-2161


AGENCY: 65-407 - Public Utilities Commission
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 380, Electric Energy Conservation Program
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P221
CONCISE SUMMARY: This rulemaking changes the terms of Ch. 380 by establishing a definition of low-income and small business consumers and by establishing some of the procedures for developing and implementing energy conservation programs, in a manner consistent with P.L. 2001 ch. 624.
THIS RULE WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 35-A MRSA 3211 -A
PUBLIC HEARING: September 19, 2002, 9:30 a.m., Public Utilities Commission Hearing Room 242 State Street, Augusta, Maine
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 30, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Paula J Cyr
AGENCY NAME: Public Utilities Commission
ADDRESS: 242 State Street, Station 18, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0018
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-3831


AGENCY: 99-346 - Maine State Housing Authority
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 16, Allocation of State Coiling for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rule
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2002-P222
CONCISE SUMMARY: The Allocation of State Ceiling for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rule is being amended as follows: (i) To modify the formula for calculating the State Ceiling to include an inflation adjustment factor pursuant to the Code; (ii) to revise the SRO set-aside threshold criteria to eliminate the Project size limitation and the requirement that 50% of the units in the project be located in a Qualified Census Tract or Difficult to Develop Area; (iii) to provide that successful applicants who are awarded tax credits under the SRO set-aside will be eligible for project-based Section 8 rental subsidy if the Authority makes the resource available; (iv) to increase the maximum credit restriction from $400,000 to $450,000 per project; (v) to eliminate the February and October tax credit reservation cycles; (vi) to open the March tax credit reservation cycle to applications for the SRO set-aside;
(vii) to allow applicants with a binding agreement (as defined in the Rule) who experience development cost increases resulting in an insubstantial increase in tax credits to request additional tax credits without applying in subsequent funding rounds; (viii) to require submission of the housing needs market study prior to an allocation of tax credits rather than at the time of application; (ix) to clarify that below market funding commitments must include certain financing terms (i.e., interest rate, amortization period, loan term and any security required) to be awarded points under the leveraged funds selection criteria; (x) to clarify that the value of donated property, of which only a portion will be used for the Project, will, be prorated based on the square footage of the property attributed to the Project; (xi) to reduce the percentage of the developer fee, which an applicant must pledge as a source of funds for the construction of the Project, to be awarded points under the leveraged funds selection criteria; (xii) to update the housing need ranks for assisted living projects; (xiii) to update and clarify the monitoring requirements in accordance with changes to the Code; and (xix) to make updates, clarifications and grammatical changes.
THIS RULE WILL NOT HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT ON MUNICPALITIES.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 30-A MRSA 4741(l) and 4741(14), Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
PUBLIC HEARING: September 17, 2002, 9:30 a.m., Maine State Housing Authority, 353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633. The meeting room is accessible to persons with physical disabilities and, upon sufficient notice, appropriate communication auxiliary aids and services will be provided for persons with disabilities.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: September 27, 2002, 5:00 p.m.
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Jodie Stevens, Counsel
AGENCY NAME: Maine State Housing Authority
ADDRESS: 353 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04330-4633
TELEPHONE: (207) 626-4600 (voice)
TTY: (800) 452-4603


ADOPTIONS

AGENCY: 65-407 - Public Utilities Commission
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 322, Public Utilities Commission Amendment to Rule, Metering, Billing, Collections and Enrollments Interactions Among Transmission and Distribution Utilities and Competitive Electricity Providers
ADOPTED RULE NUMBER: 2002-322
CONCISE SUMMARY: We adopt amendments to Ch. 322 that would require utilities to provide billing and collection services to aggregators and brokers. We also adopt several minor changes that result from a legislative change to the definition of small customers and from our experience in implementing the rule.
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 19, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Paula J Cyr
AGENCY NAME: Public Utilities Commission
ADDRESS: 242 State Street, Station 18, Augusta, ME 04333-0018
TELEPHONE: (207) 287-6074


AGENCY: 16-222 - Bureau of State Police
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 11, License For The Transportation of Hazardous Materials Rules
ADOPTED RULE NUMBER: 2002-323
CONCISE SUMMARY: The purpose of this rulemaking is the repeal of Ch. 11 which was the requirement for a license for the transportation of hazardous materials. Ch. 11 was first adopted February 1, 1989 but the statutory authority in Title 29 MRSA 246-B was repealed in 1990. Inadvertently, the repeal of Ch. 11 did not occur at the same time.
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 26, 2002
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: John Fraser
AGENCY NAME: Bureau of State Police
ADDRESS: # 20 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
TELEPHONE: (207) 624-8939


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