(UPDATED) 126th Legislature Joint Standing Committees: Big Changes Ahead

Posted on December 20, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

(NOTE: Originally posted 27 Nov 2012; being shared again for comparative purposes with the recently released 126th committee lists. ~AP)

With all of the 126th Legislative races now settled and all names known, it is time to look ahead to 2013- not just the new members, but possible shake ups in the joint standing committees (For more info: “Rule 301. Joint Standing Committee Responsibilities and Jurisdiction”).

These committees will be of great focus immediately after the new Legislature is sworn in next week, as there are already anticipated reviews of LD 1333/ PL 90 and LD 849/ PL 692, as well as the next biennial budget, with additional work still needed to fix the Governor’s previous budget:

    LePage’s finance commissioner, Sawin Millett, told Capitol News Service that the governor’s two-year budget will be presented to the Legislature in early January and that a supplemental plan to plug the gap in the current budget would follow.

    Budgetary matters could set the tone for a legislative session seemingly set up for conflict between the Democratic majority and LePage.

    Democrats haven’t announced any policy initiatives but have hinted that workforce development, education and health care are on their wish list. Changes to the Republican-backed health insurance law that was passed over the objection of Democrats in 2011 will likely be proposed.

The 125th saw the elimination of 2 separate committees to form a third with a tremendous range of focuses. As Reps Terry Hayes and Paul Gilbert explain in a BDN opinion piece (“Maine workers and employers deserve more attention”) published yesterday:

    Here is a bit of Maine legislative history. The Joint Standing Committee on Labor existed for 100 years before 2010, when the Republicans were elected to lead. The first action of the new Republican leadership two years ago was to eliminate the Labor Committee and broaden the charge of the Business, Research, and Economic Development committee to include labor policy. The rationale included, “By combining these two committees, GOP leadership seeks to address commerce, workforce, research and development issues within a more effective framework.”

    The outcome was the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, a “supercommittee” of 13 legislators with a staggering workload. Policy issues ranged from uniform building codes to workers’ compensation reform to protecting heating oil consumers. Previously, the two committees dealing with these issues each met twice a week during the legislative session. The newly formed supercommittee met five days per week.

What Hayes and Gilbert envision for a practical workable solution to the problems seen in the past is the creation of a new committee:

    Republicans argued successfully in 2010 that isolating labor issues from management was counterproductive. We agree. We suggest establishing a Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Work Force Development, appointing members from both management and labor backgrounds. Diverse representation on the committee will provide the variety of perspectives necessary to generate policy improvements for workers and businesses.

Via Pierce Atwood comes this comprehensive look at the current state of the various standing committees, with the names of former and no longer serving legislators crossed out:

    Appropriations and Financial Affairs (6 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Richard W. Rosen (R-Hancock), Chair

    Senator Roger J. Katz (R-Kennebec)*

    Senator Dawn Hill (D-York)

    Representative Patrick S. A. Flood (R-Winthrop), Chair
    (now Senator of SD 21)

    Representative Tom J. Winsor (R-Norway)

    Representative Kathleen D. Chase (R-Wells)

    Representative Tyler Clark (R-Easton)

    Representative Kenneth Wade Fredette (R-Newport)*

    Representative Dennis L. Keschl (R-Belgrade)

    Representative Margaret R. Rotundo (D-Lewiston), Ranking Member

    Representative John L. Martin (D-Eagle Lake)

    Representative David C. Webster (D-Freeport)

    Representative Sara R. Stevens (D-Bangor)

    *Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

    Energy, Utilities and Technology(6 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Michael D. Thibodeau (R-Waldo), Chair*

    Senator Christopher W. Rector (R-Knox)

    Senator Philip L. Bartlett II (D-Cumberland)

    Representative Stacey Allen Fitts (R-Pittsfield), Chair

    Representative James M. Hamper (R-Oxford)

    Representative Dean A. Cray (R-Palmyra)

    Representative Larry C. Dunphy (R-Embden)

    Representative Aaron F. Libby (R-Waterboro)

    Representative Jon Hinck (D-Portland), Ranking Member

    Representative Alexander Cornell du Houx (D-Brunswick)

    Representative Roberta B. Beavers (D-South Berwick)

    Representative Mark N. Dion (D-Portland)

    Representative Louis J. Luchini (D-Ellsworth)

    *Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

    Environment and Natural Resources(6 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Thomas B. Saviello (R-Franklin), Chair

    Senator Roger L. Sherman (R-Aroostook)

    Senator Seth A. Goodall (D-Sagadahoc)*

    Representative James M. Hamper (R-Oxford), Chair

    Representative Bernard L. A. Ayotte (R-Caswell)

    Representative Jane S. Knapp (R-Gorham)

    Representative Joan M. Nass (R-Acton)

    Representative Ricky D. Long (R-Sherman)

    Representative James W. Parker (R-Veazie)

    Representative Robert S. Duchesne (D-Hudson), Ranking Member

    Representative Melissa Walsh Innes (D-Yarmouth)

    Representative Joan W. Welsh (D-Rockport)

    Representative Denise Patricia Harlow (D-Portland)

    *Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

    Health and Human Services(6 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Earle L. McCormick (R-Kennebec), Chair

    Senator Nichi S. Farnham (R-Penobscot)

    Senator Margaret M. Craven (D-Androscoggin)

    Representative Meredith N. Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland), Chair

    Representative Leslie T. Fossel (R-Alna)

    Representative Richard S. Malaby (R-Hancock)

    Representative Beth A. O’Connor (R-Berwick)

    Representative Deborah J. Sanderson (R-Chelsea)

    Representative Heather W. Sirocki (R-Scarborough)

    Representative Mark W. Eves (D-North Berwick), Ranking Member*

    Representative Matthew J. Peterson (D-Rumford)

    Representative Linda F. Sanborn (D-Gorham)

    Representative Peter C. Stuckey (D-Portland)

    *Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

    Insurance and Financial Services(6 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Rodney L. Whittemore (R-Somerset), Chair

    Senator Lois A. Snowe-Mello (R-Androscoggin)

    Senator Joseph C. Brannigan (D-Cumberland)

    Representative Wesley E. Richardson (R-Warren), Chair

    Representative Jonathan B. McKane (R-Newcastle)

    Representative Joyce A. Fitzpatrick (R-Houlton)

    Representative Susan E. Morissette (R-Winslow)

    Representative John J. Picchiotti (R-Fairfield)

    Representative Sharon Anglin Treat (D-Hallowell), Ranking Member

    Representative Adam A. Goode (D-Bangor)

    Representative Henry E. M. Beck (D-Waterville)

    Representative Terry K. Morrison (D-South Portland)

    Representative Paulette G. Beaudoin (D-Biddeford)

    Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development(7 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Christopher W. Rector (R-Knox), Chair

    Senator Thomas H. Martin, Jr. (R-Kennebec)

    Senator Troy Dale Jackson (D-Aroostook)*

    Representative Kerri L. Prescott (R-Topsham), Chair

    Representative Dana L. Dow (R-Waldoboro)

    Representative Melvin Newendyke (R-Litchfield)

    Representative Amy Fern Volk (R-Scarborough)

    Representative Raymond A. Wallace (R-Dexter)

    Representative John L. Tuttle, Jr. (D-Sanford), Ranking Member
    (Now Senator of SD 3)

    Representative Timothy E. Driscoll (D-Westbrook)

    Representative Paul E. Gilbert (D-Jay)

    Representative Robert B. Hunt (D-Buxton)

    Representative Erin D. Herbig (D-Belfast)

    *Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

    Taxation(8 openings of 13 seats)

    Senator Jonathan T. E. Courtney (R-York), Chair

    Senator David R. Hastings III (R-Oxford)

    Senator Richard G. Woodbury (U-Cumberland)

    Representative L. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls), Chair

    Representative G. Paul Waterhouse (R-Bridgton)

    Representative Bruce A. Bickford (R-Auburn)

    Representative Paul Edward Bennett (R-Kennebunk)

    Representative R. Ryan Harmon (R-Palermo)

    Representative Windol C. Weaver (R-York

    Representative Seth A. Berry (D-Bowdoinham), Ranking Member*

    Representative Donald E. Pilon (D-Saco)

    Representative Mark E. Bryant (D-Windham)

    Representative Elspeth M. Flemings (D-Bar Harbor)

*Member of legislative leadership in the 126th and unlikely to serve on a committee

This post will be updated as soon as the final decisions regarding committees and members are released to the public.

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